Review: The Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series–Book Two: Spirits (Second Edition)

I grew up watching Avatar the Last Airbender and many years later, when Avatar: The Legend of Korra was released, I was hooked from the start. I couldn’t wait to dive back into a world that felt like a second home. To say I liked Korra was a bit of an understatement. I did change my name to Korra II after all. That is to say, I may be a bit biased.

I tend to hyper-fixate on one of my interests for months or years on end. I knew there were Avatar graphic novels, I didn’t know there were companion art books, however. This book has been my introduction to the book’s side of the Avatar series and I see now that I have quite a few more to catch up on than I initially thought. I regret not following the news around the series more closely.

The art featured in this book is stunning. The locations all have a sense of grandeur, they have a way of making the world around them seem small and insignificant, despite being printed on a page. Locations and characters are seen from multiple angles; characters feature multiple facial expressions and stances. What’s even better is it’s not just limited to still images. The book includes storyboards from episodes, pencil sketches of the artwork alongside the colored in version. When you can see the architecture, spirits, and plant life without the action of the show, it helps you to better appreciate all the effort that went into building this new and yet familiar world Korra inhabits. It allows you to catch details you might not have otherwise given a second thought.

I’ve had coffee table art books before and what really sets this one apart for me is the creator commentary. As I mentioned before, I tend to obsess over my interests and I want to know everything there is to know about the world, lore, backstory, etc. This for me is a rare glimpse into the minds of the creators about a series I adore which would be enough of a selling point for me, the art is just a bonus.

This is definitely a copy I will be adding to my personal collection when it’s released. If you’re an Avatar fan, I think you really owe it to yourself to pick up a copy as well.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as an advanced reading copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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