|Hardcover, 183 pages|
Borrowed from my wife
Read May 2015
by Bryan Koneitzko and Michael Dante DiMartino
Avatar: The Last Airbender had a unique visual ethos, and that was definitely one of its appealing qualities; the design work was like nothing else I could really remember from Western animation. This book reproduces concept sketches and background paintings and all sorts of stuff from literally every episode of the series, and it's worth poring over just for that.
This is more than just an artbook, though, as the creator commentary throughout the book also serves as a sort of making-of for the series, taking us from its earliest days as doodles for a science-fiction premise all the way to the planning of the finale, with co-creators Bryan and Michael filling in the reasoning behind many of their decisions. My only regret is that it's not longer! Sequel series The Legend of Korra got one art book per season, though I suppose that was made possible by this book proving that a market existed.