SDCC 2012 Avatar the Last Airbender: Beginning and Beyond Fan Panel
Panelists: Kevin Coppa, DJ Welch, Bobby Rubio, Naoko Kawano and Chifuyu Sasaki (both are part of the illustration team, Gurihiru) with their translator, Mae Whitman, and Dante Basco. Moderated by Avatar_Mom.
Majority of the transcript is done using the recording provided by GhostClone on Youtube. Only the last part where Avatar_Mom makes an announcement for everyone to leave the panel room is done using recording provided by SiWongDesert.
I've left out the 'ums', 'uhs', and odd moments of minor verbal stumbling for the sake of clarity. Occasionally, there are moments when a speaker is inaudible either due to moving away from their microphone, the crowd's cheers, a combination of both or that the speaker is mumbling/talking too fast to be heard. Those moments will be indicated with [inaudible].
Avatar_Mom: Hi, I'm Avatar_Mom! Thank you so much for-
(Audience cheers and the panelists applaud.)
Avatar_Mom: For coming to another humble family gathering. Today we have a really amazing panel line up. I mean, I don't know if I had this much represenation of the fandom in one place at one time so I'm really excited. We're gonna get it done in under forty-five minutes, hopefully because they start kicking us out for the Twilight people after that.
(Audience boos and Kevin brings puppet Aang up and shakes its head.)
Avatar_Mom: Be nice, they have fandoms too.
Avatar_Mom: Okay. So, here's how it's gonna go. So basically, the way we do it is we're gonna do a quick introduction of our awesome panelists and we're gonna start with Kevin because he's our puppetbender, you know.
(Audience cheers and Kevin brings puppet Aang up and waves its arm.)
Avatar_Mom: And then we're basically gonna go down the line... Dante will be last because you know, he isn't here yet. We're gonna go down the line and give brief introductions for everybody and we'll have a little slide show playing as it goes on so you can see some of the examples of their work and their pretty faces as well. So, you know, take a look at both, it's a multimedia experience. Alright, so without anymore talking from me, we're gonna start with Kevin Coppa and then as we move down, just introduce yourselves.
Kevin Coppa: Hi, I'm Kevin Coppa!
(He waves as the audience cheers)
Kevin Coppa: (In Puppet Aang's voice) These people are cool, check them out.
DJ Welch: Hi, I'm Dark- DJ Welch. DarkKenjie (on deviantArt).
Bobby Rubio: Hi, I'm Bobby Rubio.
Naoko Kawano: I... we are Gurihiru.
Mae Whitman: And I'm Mae Whitman, I play Katara.
(Audience cheers and Mae gives a fist pump of excitement. The audience chant something inaudible.)
Avatar_Mom: If we have enough time, I will ask her to do that, believe me. Okay, so we've got our introductions so what we're gonna do is we're gonna start our slideshow presentation. We're gonna start with DJ. DJ is a fan artist that you may know from deviantArt and one of the things that we do at Avatar fan panels is we sorta marry the professionals with the fans. Because basically that's who inspires us to create and continue the legacy of Avatar, if you will. And so we always have a fan artist showcase and Kenjie is our fan artist showcase today. So we're gonna show you some of his art. He's really awesome and he's also a really good cosplayer. You see this? (Points to DJ's Amon costume) I mean, I'm so sad he can't quality for the cosplaying contest. But DJ, can you tell us a little bit about when you began drawing fanart for Avatar. Were you already a professional or were you still learning?
(The slideshow begins to display some of DJ's fanarts)
DJ Welch: I already worked as a professional. I had the opportunity to work at Cartoon Network and [inaudible] Right now-
(DJ is interrupted by the audience cheers as Dante is escorted into the panel. They start chanting "Rufio!" He greets the panelists and plants a kiss on Mae's forehead.)
Avatar_Mom: Someone knows how to make an entrance. Okay now, it's DJ's turn. Alright, so DJ is going to finish telling me about his fanart and then we will get to Dante, I promise you. I promise. Go ahead, DJ.
DJ Welch: Erm...
(Everyone can't help but keep laughing.)
Avatar_Mom: Well you know, you can go ahead and talk about how you're working at Cartoon Network.
DJ Welch: Oh yeah, so I had the opportunity to work at Cartoon Network as a storyboard intern on Firebreather, Adventure Time and Ben 10. Right now, I currently work with Table Taffy Studios with my friend, Sean Galloway and we work like on Lego and Blizzard and stuff like that.
(Audience claps and cheers)
Avatar_Mom: Alright cool, thank you. This is my favorite piece, by the way. (points to the slide show) Okay, Bobby Rubio, our storyboard artist.
Bobby Rubio: Hi guys, I'm Bobby Rubio, I was an assistant director and storyboard artist on Avatar: The Last Airbender for two and half seasons. I worked with Anthony Leroy the director and Giancarlo.
Avatar_Mom: He's not here.
Bobby Rubio: Okay.
Avatar_Mom: I kicked him out. I mean, he's okay. I didn't really kick him out. He gave up his seat for a fan.
(Audience awws and cheers)
Bobby Rubio: Aw. See, that's so awesome of Giancarlo. He really is. I left Avatar after two and a half seasons to go to Pixar and...
Bobby Rubio: And... I'm a storyboard artist at Pixar. I've worked on Up, (audience cheers) Brave, (audience cheers again) and Monsters University which is coming out next year. (Audience cheer once more) And we [inaudible] a new project which is called the [inaudible]. And after hours, I do my own comic book called "Alcatraz High" and my booth is at nineteen forty-three by side show. Just walk up aisle nineteen hundred and I'll sign any Avatar stuff, any Brave stuff, any Pixar stuff you guys have.
Avatar_Mom: He also likes to take pictures of cosplayers.
Bobby Rubio: Yeah.
Avatar_Mom: Okay, so now we're gonna introduce Gurihiru who is the artist team currently working on the Dark Horse graphic novels.
(Audience cheers and claps)
Avatar_Mom: I'm gonna get them to talk about how they got involved with Dark Horse and how they like working on the Avatar project.
(Their translator talks to them and Chifuyu Sasaki leans forward to talk into the microphone.)
Gurihiru translator: I'm sorry for the Japanese.
(The audience chuckle and encourage the team. Chifuyu Sasaki continues to talk.)
Gurihiru translator: Our name is Gurihiru, not mine, but two of them are a team of artist. She's (points to Chifuyu Sasaki) the pencil inker and she's (points to Naoko Kawano) the colorist.
(The camera focuses on the slideshow and one of the Gurihiru staff talks off-camera.)
Gurihiru translator: It's their first time for this.
(More talking from Gurihiru)
Gurihiru translator: They live- actually live in Japan and they've been working in the American comic industry for ten years now.
(Audience cheers and claps. Camera focuses back on the panelists. Chifuyu Sasaki talks some more.)
Gurihiru translator: So they had an offer to work on the Avatar world about two years ago. That was a short story for a Nickelodeon magazine. I think it was published in Europe. Then later on they worked on the graphic novel that I think everyone knows.
(Translator talks to Gurihiru in Japanese and they converse briefly before Chifuyu Sasaki replies into the microphone.)
Gurihiru translator: So, right now they're also working on Marvel books and maybe you might have heard the announcement that they're gonna do a [inaudible] AVB oneshots for Marvel that is coming out in I think October and November. It's written by Skottie Young and they also- they just finished the third book for The Promise and now they're starting to work on the next three books called "The Search".
(Audience cheers and claps wildly)
Avatar_Mom: I don't know if anyone of you noticed but they started doing the books in small batches so a lot of fans are worried if they're going to keep continuing the storyline. Obviously they are. I don't know if you've seen any of the pictures lately but the next line of The Search has a picture of Ursa on it so...
(The screen shows a promotional image of The Search. Audience cheers and claps again)
Avatar_Mom: And now I like to hear from Mae Whitman.
Mae Whitman: This is very- I just want to first of all say it is so cool to be in this room with you guys because this show means so much to me and you guys are just clearly dedicated and it's so cool to be in here with you guys. I love you guys. It's so nice.
Mae Whitman: It's very very awesome. Yeah, this is great to be here with these guys and this is so cool. I don't know if guys have had a chance to look at it yet but I mean, the artwork is so beautiful and you know, to be here with everybody... I also want to say that sitting here in front of us is Dee Bradley Baker who did the voices for every animal; Appa, Momo, every-
(Audience interrupts as they cheer very loudly and start clapping as Dee Baker stands up to face the audience and takes a bow.)
Mae Whitman: I mean, every weird half-breed, you know, half lemur dragon buffalo thing, he invented a voice for them so really happy to have him. (Dee starts to chirp like Momo) Look, he's doing Momo now.
(Audience cheers and Dee Baker walks towards the panelists as he gets handed Mae's microphone.)
Dee Baker: Pabu.
(He starts to make Pabu's chirps and squeaks. Then he goes on to make Momo and Appa's voices. He finishes his small presentation and everyone applauds.)
Mae Whitman: Appa and Momo. (Mae claps) I'm really excited to be here, we'll talk more but now I'm gonna pass the mic down to my best friend.
(The audience clap and cheer)
Dante Basco: What's up? Sorry I was late.
Dante Basco: Yah, this is amazing. I love coming to Comic Con, I love being on Avatar panels. Like Mae says, this show means so much to me and to see so many of you here. So many people that love the show... it just feels great. To be amongst friends and haven't seen her in a while, Mae. I miss you.
Mae Whitman: I miss you too.
(Mae gives Dante a hug and the audience cheer)
Dante Basco: Dee Bradley... Sifu Kisu... It's like the family is back together again. It's good to see everybody.
Avatar_Mom: Okay, so we have a special treat for a young reader that was asked to come up here. And while we get ready, let me tell you a little bit of what this is. I like to call this "You're now reading this in my voice." So basically every time I read anything from Avatar: The Last Airbender, I hear their voices. So they're here with us now so they're gonna give you that gift so that when you're reading Avatar comics, you can imagine their beautiful voices reading along with you. So while I'm doing that and getting our young reader ready, Sifu Kisu is gonna show up and have another volunteer, we have a young volunteer, and he's gonna show us some bending moves over here. So, I would like our two volunteers to come up. One is going to go with Kisu and the other is coming to come up to me and we're gonna get you set up for our comics read, okay?
(Avatar_Mom steps off the podium in front of the slideshow screen as the two volunteers come up to meet her and Kisu. A little girl is dressed in Toph's Blind Bandit costume and pairs up with Kisu. A boy walks off with Avatar_Mom towards the panelists. Sifu Kisu begins to spend some time demonstrating some earthbending moves while the Toph cosplayer mimics the movement. Camera pans to the right to show Avatar_Mom flipping to some pages of The Promise Part 1 while the volunteer reader, Mae and Dante prepare. Camera pans back to Kisu and the cosplayer is still following Kisu. They finish the movements and the audience as well as Kisu claps at the cosplayer's achievement.)
Sifu Kisu: [inaudible] Thank you, guys!
(Kisu gives the cosplayer a high five as the audience continue to talk amongst themselves. Camera pans back to the reading trio as they look like they're reading. Avatar_Mom heads back to the podium.)
Mae Whitman: Do we? Is it possible- can we use that microphone?
One of the panelists: Yeah.
Mae Whitman: So everyone can have one. (Mae brings the mic over) It's here.
Dante Basco: I'm so unprepared.
Avatar_Mom: We need a bigger panel room and- (The audience yells in agreement) That's how they usually do it at SDCC. This is a fan panel room and unfortunately our fan- well, not unfortunately, I think it's awesome. We have a lot of fans that come out to our show and I'm hoping that maybe we'll get our way into a bigger room some day.
Avatar_Mom: He's a little nervous, our reader, but you know he's really confident though and I really feel he's gonna do a great job of reading Aang and so when he's ready...
Avatar_Mom: So I'm gonna kinda address the beginning. Basically if you haven't read the graphic novels, I'm not going to spoil it for you but this is a small part of the graphic novel. There's a fight happening right now with Aang and a Fire Nation soldier. It starts out with a lot of action, a lot of 'whoosh' and 'swish' and 'pow'! I'm not good at that, I'm not a voice actor.
(The slideshow displays the comic pages they're going to read)
Kevin Coppa: Okay, I guess I'm gonna [inaudible] "Fwoom!", "Fwoosh!", "Stomp!"
(Audience laugh at the sound effects)
Kevin Coppa: So Kronk is into dancing, cool.
Aang's reader: I don't want to fight!
Mae Whitman: Whose is that? Oh. (in a gruff male voice) What are you dolts waiting for?! Attack! (addresses the audience) It's the bad guy.
Kevin Coppa: "Fwoosh!", "Fwoosh!", "Fwoosh!"
Mae Whitman: (in Katara's voice) Aang!
Aang's reader: Don't worry, sweetie! I can handle them! Just give me a sec!
(Audience cheer and clap)
Kevin Coppa: "Fwoosh!", "Fwoosh!", "Fwoosh!", "Grr!"
Mae Whitman: Aang! Aang! You're on fire!
Aang's reader: What'd you say?
Mae Whitman: Your clothes, they're on-- (flips the page) Oh, for crying out loud!
Aang's reader: Oh! Thanks!
Mae Whitman: That's it! STOP. TRYING. TO. SET. MY. BOYFRIEND. ON. FIRE!
(Audience cheers and applauds)
Aang's reader: Whoa.
Mae Whitman: Aang, you're okay?
Aang's reader: I'm fine.
Mae Whitman: (in a gruff male voice) Aaahhh!!!! (address audience again) The bad guy again.
Mae Whitman: (in Katara's voice) Can't you people give it a rest?! He just wants to talk!
(Audience giggles and chuckles)
Mae Whitman: (in a gruff male voice) Aaahhh...?
Dante Basco: Katara, stop!
Mae Whitman: Let go, Zuko! You're hurting me! Don't make me hurt you back!
Dante Basco: I'm hurting you?! What are you doing to my soldiers?! My people?!
Aang's reader: Let go of her, Zuko! She said you're hurting her!
Dante Basco: First, she has to agree to stop attacking my people!
Aang's reader: Your soldiers attacked first! Let her go now!
Dante Basco: I am the Fire Lord! I have to protect the citizens of the Fire Nation!
Kevin Coppa: "Fwwsshh", "Woooo!"
Kevin Coppa: "Fwoosh!"
Aang's reader: I came here to talk to you Zuko! As a friend! But you've changed! You've forgotten what we fought for! Maybe Avatar Roku is right. Maybe a promise is a promise.
Mae Whitman: Aang! Stop! If you enter the Avatar State in such an emotional way, you won't be able to control yourself! You have to calm down. Please, sweetie. For me.
Aang's reader: I can't believe it. I might've done something terrible without even thinking it through. Zuko, I'm so--
Dante Basco: Katara's right. We both need to calm down. And talk.
Aang's reader: Are you kidding me?! That's what I wanted in the first place!
(The comic reading ends as the audience cheers and everyone applauds.)
Mae Whitman: He did a pretty good job.
Dante Basco: Spencer!
Mae Whitman: Spencer, amazing job!
(The Aang reader stands up, takes a bow, and leaves the panel table as everyone continues to cheer and clap.)
Avatar_Mom: Look forward to seeing the young man in some upcoming animated adventures, don't you think? Okay, so before we go any further we're probably going to have a Question and Answer session. And I know we have a lot of room, so don't rush. It's only 10 minutes long. So definitely, think of a really good question, don't ask anything about shipping (Audience laughs) or how they're gonna get to [inaudible] or anything like that. Basically, get in line and... where is my Cabbage Corp Cabbage Merchant?
(She finds a guy dressed as the boss of Cabbage Corp standing beside the podium. Avatar_Mom leaves the podium and gestures towards the panelist table. The cosplayer grabs a microphone off the table.)
Avatar_Mom: We're gonna get a microphone so we can bring it out to you [inaudible] But how was that? Was that awesome? Now you can actually read these comics, hear their voice. Honestly, I can't say the word 'honor' without hearing [inaudible]
(Audience whoop, cheer and clap)
Mae Whitman: My grandmother used to tell me stories [inaudible]
Avatar_Mom: I'm just saying that one of my favorite scenes are when Katara says 'You can't knock me down!' Any time I'm feeling like- I just stop and I think 'You can't knock me down!" and thinking it.(Avatar_Mom places a hand on her chest and gives the expression of happiness and content) It's really good to hear their voices like in the comic. Definitely if you buy a comic, open it up and read it to somebody else and you get a [inaudible] experience. So we're gonna have some questions. Definitely talk to everybody, okay? They're all talented, they'll all talk. Don't just talk to Dante.
Fan #1: [inaudible]
Fan #1: Dante, if the Fire Lord couldn't kill Avatar, why did you let M. Night Shyamalan kill him?
(Audience says "ohhhh" while Dante puts a hand on his face in despair and shakes his head as the audience claps.)
Mae Whitman: [inaudible] want us to.
Dante Basco: I can't- I don't even know how to answer that question. Except for- you know I actually never saw the movie.
(Audience claps and cheers)
Fan #1: Actually, I was going to ask M. Night on a boat ride.
(Audience and Mae laugh while Dante is a little confused before he gets the joke.)
Dante Basco: I haven't seen the movie yet and I actually had lunch with Mike and Bryan and when I told 'em that I haven't seen the movie yet and they said 'Don't see it.'
Dante Basco: [inaudible] way off. If I ever see it maybe I'll sit down with Mae and Jack and we'll watch it together.
Mae Whitman: I've also tried to set up a place for Sokka.
(Audience begins to talk)
Fan #2: [inaudible] He wanted me to ask Dante this question. Okay so... probending arena. If there were a probending match between only Avatars, one Avatar for himself, not a team, who would you choose? And why?
(Audience goes "ooo...")
Dante Basco: I'll try- I have a [inaudible]. I have to choose just one Avatar?
Fan #2: You can choose two. Who you are. [inaudible]
Dante Basco: I don't know. I mean... It's a hard question. I don't know. I guess... I mean, I gotta choose Aang, right? Aang's my homie.
(Audience claps and cheers)
Dante Basco: You can't go against Aang. [inaudible]
(Audience whoop briefly and there's some applause)
Fan #2: Thank you.
Fan #3: Hi. We've heard some cameos like- obviously Dante was Iroh and we did hear a little bit of Aang in there as young Amon whose name I don't remember. You know if any-
(Audience interrupts and say "No" at Zach Tyler Eisen voicing a young Noatak.)
Fan #3: Whatever. (Audience boo) Do you know if any other voice actors are having cameos in The Legend of Korra?
(Mae and Dante look at each other for an answer)
Dante Basco: I don't even... I don't... know. Neither do I know and if I do, I couldn't say.
Mae Whitman: I hope so. I'll say I hope so. That sounds like a good idea.
Dante Basco: I hope so. I'm sure there are.
Mae Whitman: There you go.
Fan #4: I need to [inaudible] quickly. I need to ask the voice actors if there's any tips on voice bending- I mean acting. (Audience laughs) [inaudible] get someone into voice bending [inaudible] acting.
Dante Basco: That's a question for Mae, she's been doing it longer than me.
Mae Whitman: I guess.
(Camera pans to the Q&A microphone to reveal Kevin Coppa who was the one who asked the question)
Mae Whitman: Yeah, I don't know. I mean, I'm sure there are. I don't know, any other kind of bending other than natural bending makes me nervous like I don't know if you guys remember the bloodbending episode? That episode really stressed me out a lot. It still stresses me out when I think about it so yeah. Dee probably has something he wants to say about voice bending. This is who you wanna know about.
(Dee walks up to the panel table and talks into Mae's microphone)
Dee Baker: Actually, a couple of weeks ago I made a site with kinda my take on I wanna be a voice actor and it's iwannabeavoiceactor.com and it's just my take on it so if you're interesting in voice acting, there's all my opinions about it. iwannabeavoiceactor.com
(Audience claps and Dee returns to his seat)
Dante Basco: And Dee's definitely the person to go for advice 'cos I think every voice over gig I've done with Dee was an [inaudible] show. Doing something. So he's like one of the greatest in the industry so he definitely is the person to get it from. I kinda stumbled into the whole voice acting world from a on camera world and I guess I [inaudible] where I do. I still don't know what I'm doing half the time.
Mae Whitman: Yes, you do. You're doing great.
(Audience awws and someone shouts 'Zutara!' and the audience laughs)
Fan #5: Hi, I'm big fans of you guys and I love you guys really a lot. Actually, the question I'm going to ask, are you guys sad that -this is for Mae and Dante- are guys you sad that your characters didn't get together?
(Audience starts to talk)
Mae Whitman: I mean, obviously it's a conflicted situation. I think in general there's something obviously exciting about Zuko. He's a attractive man, let's just be honest. But also obviously we also got to see his arc throughout the story and you know, he really had to let go of a lot of evil evil things to come out to be a pretty great guy and a great friend so obviously there's that but you know, Aang... I mean, you know, it's Aang. Katara and Aang. [inaudible] that part. [inaudible]
(Audience cheers and whoops)
Dante Basco: Don't get into the whole [inaudible]
Mae Whitman: Yeah.
Dante Basco: Don't get into the whole taping of it on. I, I always thought that we possibly were gonna end up together.
Mae Whitman: I thought so too.
Dante Basco: But the guys always does think that, doesn't it? And also, you know me and Mae did American Dragon together when we played Jake and Rose.
Mae Whitman: Yeah.
Mae Whitman: The chemistry was already so strong.
Dante Basco: Yeah, so we have these two shows and I don't end up with her two different times.
(Dante makes an exasperated gesture and the audience chatter)
Mae Whitman: Third time's a charm so we'll see.
(Audience whoops as they voice actors laugh)
Fan #6: Sorry, I'm really nervous. It's like the moment of my dreams. My name's Olivia and I know Dante and Mae Whitman. I know... you're a big part of my childhood as Rufio so I was wondering if Iroh and the voice of Katara and anyone going to be in the next season and would we be hearing more of them? Or like flashbacks or anything.
Dante Basco: I'm not sure either. Do you know?
Mae Whitman: We really don't know and if we did, yeah, like Dante said, we couldn't say anything about it but I mean, we're all such a close family still. All those people that you know, I think that everybody really loves and respects each other and would want to have that happen in the future, you know?
Dante Basco: Right.
Mae Whitman: I think- I think for sure we'll all find a way to incorporate it back together.
Fan #6: I have some fan art and I'm wondering if you guys would sign it for me?
Mae Whitman: For sure, I'll be honored.
Dante Basco: For sure.
Fan #6: Thank you. Can't wait for the [inaudible]
Dante Basco: Yeah, definitely.
Fan #7: My question is actually for everyone, if it's possible. So also if you're an artist, if you're a voice artist and I'd like to ask for the voice artists if you could share your favorite memory on working on the show and for the artists, what your favorite piece to work on was?
Dante Basco: Well, for... One of my strongest memories was after Mako passed away, who played Uncle Iroh, and Mako has played my father or my uncle I think three or four times in my career and it's kind of been like a... You know, a mentor and just an older actor that I've always looked up to and he's always looked out for me and so after he passed, which kinda happened suddenly, the next episode we did, another voice actor came in then matched his voice and he was in the booth and when he started talking, it was like 'Mako just passed and his voice is coming through the headphones.' And it wasn't me, everyone in the room was like- it was so eerily and silent but also just a respect for, you know, a man that you love and his memory and just honored to be on his last project.
Mae Whitman: Yeah, that was incredibly special for me. I don't have a specific memory but in general. You know, the feeling of having this family that you got to see every week. I mean, we would just be in there like- It was always usually me and you-
Dante Basco: Jack.
Mae Whitman: Jack DeSena, who played Sokka and he's one of the funniest guys in the world and so I mean, we would just be in there and we just you know, be laughing and having fun the whole time-
Dante Basco: And texting each other.
Mae Whitman: Yeah. Texting each other and writing each other notes and pictures, I mean it was the best-
Dante Basco: Just like high school.
Mae Whitman: Yeah, it was really like a family and so to have that to look forward to another great thing about Avatar was that it was one of the first cartoon shows that had an arc, kind of like a set arc that you know, most of the time they like it when episodes can stand on their own for cartoons 'cos kids would just tune in every once in a while and you know, it's harder to get kids to follow a whole storyline but you know, Mike and Bryan with their thing from the beginning was we know where this is going, we know when it's gonna end. You know, it was not like- and people were like we want more, we want this but they were like, they had it you know from the beginning. Kind of a set story so it was this beautiful, kind of an emotional arc where we knew you know, it was gonna- there were these individual chapters and then eventually, it would come to a bittersweet end. And so- It was a ride of a lifetime, guys. So I'm gonna pass the mic down.
(Mae passes the mic to Chifuyu Sasaki and she starts speaking. She picks up The Promise, Part 1 and begins to open to a page.)
Gurihiru translator: Her favorite character is actually Mai. (Chifuyu Sasaski flips to a page where Mai talks to Zuko) So... She doesn't appear in the books a lot but actually that's the part that she puts in her artwork the most.
(The audience giggle and the mic gets handed down to Naoko Kawano)
Mae Whitman: Watch out for the water.
(Someone walks up to the panel table and moves a cup of water out of the way. The audience giggles a bit and Naoko Kawano starts talking.)
Gurihiru translator: She loved Toph the best and she actually has three apprentices in the second book so those are the sequences- the part that she loves doing.
(Audience claps and the mic gets passed onto Bobby Rubio)
Bobby Rubio: The great thing about working on Avatar: The Last Airbender for me was like, working with Mike and Bryan. Especially in storyboard form it's really cool like- When we would get our script and we would draw out the scenes, I think we would get a week or two and then we would go upstairs and we hang up all our boards and the really cool thing is that Mike and Bryan would go through the boards and some shots they would love, some shots they weren't really digging but it was cool. It was a collaboration. And then we would goof off sometimes so it was a very fun, creative environment and I would definitely miss that. Being part of that group. That's my answer to that.
(Audience applauds and Bobby passes on the mic to DJ Welch)
DJ Welch: As an artist that has never worked on Avatar, (Audience laughs) I would have to say my favorite character to draw is Toph.
(Audience whoops and claps)
DJ Welch: I also did like- I can't compare to his feelings towards Mako because I got to actually experience it but like you know, some of the episodes where they devoted that episode where Iroh is sitting down and talking about his son - Mako - that was one of my favorite episodes to...
Fan #7: Yeah, I cried at that.
DJ Welch: I drew a picture for that but I never sell it because no one really wants to be sad.
(Audience laughs and DJ starts to talk from a customer's point of view.)
DJ Welch: I want it but I don't want to wake up and go 'awww...' (Audience laughs) Thank you.
(Audience claps and the mic gets handed down to the last person at the table, Kevin.)
Kevin Coppa: I guess- Just- Again, as someone who hasn't worked on Avatar before, I guess just for the Puppetbenders, my favorite thing in doing that is actually performing Zuko. Just because get to let out a bit of bitterness and vitriol that is deep in my soul. And everybody loves me for it when I do it.
(The audience laugh and clap)
Fan #7: Thank you.
(Some people of the audience says one more, some bargain for two and Avatar_Mom steps onto the podium.)
Cabbage Merchant cosplayer: I think we've got. Maybe one, maybe two. We'll see, we'll see.
Avatar_Mom: This is our last question.
Cabbage Merchant cosplayer: Oh. Last question.
Fan #8: This is for the creators of The Promise and The Search. Konnichiwa. And basically, is the issue of Zuko's mom going to be resolved in The Search or is going to be open-ended for the future seasons of The Legend of Korra?
(Audience starts to chatter as Avatar_Mom makes a 'shh' sound as Gurihiru discuss amongst themselves.)
(The audience wait a while before Naoko Kawano talks into the microphone)
Gurihiru translator: It's a real tough question and it's really hard to answer but you would see some sort of an answer if you read through the next few books. That's all we can say.
(The audience awws sadly and everyone applauds as the Q&A session comes to an end.)
Avatar_Mom: Thank you, everybody. Yay. Okay, there's a couple of other things that we usually do with our fan panel. Because we are a fan group we would like to have other fan groups also, to give you some updates of what's going on. Some of you may be familiar with Racebending. Marissa from Racebending is here today and she kind of wants to give you a recap of what happened at their panel, it was really good and have Marissa come out so she could review it. So she's gonna step up now. Where is Marissa? Okay. So she's gonna talk to you for just a second and then we're gonna open up to the floor and [inaudible] might play with us for a little while.
Marissa: Hey guys, I don't want to take up too much time. I just want to thank you guys for your support when we were protesting The Last Airbender movie.
(Audience laughs, claps and cheers)
Marissa: It was a really stressful time but we feel really blessed and really empowered to continue doing some of the work and continuing the legacy of the original Mako, the voice actor who played Iroh, who tirelessly advocated for Asian American actors and more diverse media... and... like Avatar. Unfortunately, our fight is not over yet the producers of The Last Airbender are now planning to adapt the novel "Snow Crash". So, we need help so if you're interesting in writing for our website, come see me and... I also want to announce that we're co-presenting a bunch of Asian American bands tonight at The Stage Bar at 7pm at 5th and [inaudible]. So if you're looking for some free entertainment and great music, we'll see you there. Thank you.
(The audience claps, Marissa steps off the podium and Avatar_Mom returns)
Avatar_Mom: Then I'm gonna announce something for somebody- Actually, the tall earthbender would you stand up? Actually, you don't need to stand up, you're so tall. That's you, babe. There you go. There is a masquerade that SDCC hosts and there is a Avatar crew there tonight. So, if you want to join and root them on, definitely talk to that gentleman after the panel to get all the information. They've got a little skit and it'll be great to hear a lot of voices showing the Avatar love. Now, if you were lucky to get a gold ticket for the cosplay contest, could you come up please?
(Camera slowly zooms out as a bunch of cosplayers head towards Avatar_Mom.)
Avatar_Mom: Just line up right here in the front, if you can kind of- There we go. Okay. Do you remember what number you were? Three? Okay. And then I'm going to brief our guests to tell them how to actually judge all these cosplayers.
(An array of cosplayers from both the ATLA and TLOK series walk up to the front, eliciting praise from the audience.)
Avatar_Mom: Wow. See, this is why we need a bigger room. We need a room just for you guys.
(Audience whoops briefly as the cosplayers get ready at the front)
Avatar_Mom: Okay... Alright, so you can all take a look at them from the audience and then I'm gonna get them to turn around and introduce themselves to the panel 'cos these are the people that are going to judge them. And so, after you're done getting some photos, I think we have some time for that, yeah... We do. A little bit. Okay. And if you have your ticket, definitely let them know what number you are. So, you are numbered on a list- I hate to do that but that's how we can keep track of you better. Okay... Alright so I'm actually gonna start with Bolin on the end. What number are you?
(A female cosplayer dressed as Bolin with a stuffed Pabu toy on her shoulder lifts up her ticket to Avatar_Mom.)
Bolin cosplayer: Two.
Avatar_Mom: Number two. Okay so, this is a beautiful representation of Bolin complete with Pabu and then I think I actually see two chi blockers. (Mae interrupts and asks the Bolin cosplayer to turn around) Do a little turn, there we go.
Bolin cosplayer: I'm actually Bolan.
Avatar_Mom: Oh, Bolan. Cool.
Bolin cosplayer: Thank you. I love my bag. Do you know what this is?
(The bag is the shape of an earthbending disc from the probending arena and the audience say yes.)
Bolin cosplayer: Oh yeah.
Avatar_Mom: Okay, so then we have two chi blockers. Who's chi blocker one and two? (One of the chi blocker cosplayer shows their tickets) It's like thing one and thing two. Okay. So we have- What's your number? Seven and eight? Okay. And then we have full Pabu.
(The audience awws as a girl dress in big Pabu hoodie-like costume smiles.)
Avatar_Mom: Do you want to turn around so the panelists can see how cute you are?
(She does a turn, returns back to the front and then shows her ticket)
Pabu cosplayer: Number six.
Avatar_Mom: Number six. And then this is Sonia. And I've known Sonia for quite a while now. (A girl dressed as Korra waves to the audience) She is cosplaying as Katara and she is-
(Audience interrupts as they say "ohhh" and Avatar_Mom holds her face in embarrassment as she realizes her mistake.)
Avatar_Mom: She usually does a darn good Katara, that's why. I always see her as Katara in my eyes. Korra. So turn around Korra so everyone can see you. (The Korra cosplayer gives a turn) There you go.
(The Korra cosplayer shows off her ticket)
Korra cosplayer: Number nine.
Avatar_Mom: So then we have some Fire Ferrets. Do you want to turn around so you can introduce yourself and tell the number to the panelists? What number are you?
(The probender Korra cosplayer shows her ticket to Avatar_Mom)
Avatar_Mom: Eleven? And then your friend is...
Probender Bolin cosplayer: Fifteen.
Probender Mako cosplayer: I'm Fourteen.
Avatar_Mom: And then fourteen. And then complete with... Shall I tell them, do you want to show them what it is, Koizilla? Complete with... Who is that in your hand?
(Audience screams "Zhao!" as the cosplayer dressed up as Koizilla from the Ember Island play shows off a Zhao doll in her hand. The audience claps and cheers.)
Avatar_Mom: Can you turn around for us? (The Koizilla cosplayer gives a turn) There you go. What number were you?
(The Koizilla cosplayer turns around with some difficulty and asks Avatar_Mom a question.)
Avatar_Mom: What number were you?
Koizilla cosplayer: Oh, thirteen.
Avatar_Mom: Thirteen. Lucky number thirteen. Okay and then we have another Korra.
(The audience screams "Yay" and cheers)
Avatar_Mom: What number are you? (The second Korra cosplayer gestures a four with her fingers) Oh you have some fire too! Oh she has fire and water?
Second Korra cosplayer: I actually do spin fire and water [inaudible as she starts gesturing a spinning motion above her head]
Avatar_Mom: And she's a real firebender. You know what? If you can do it right here, like right here. We can't really see you. Can you see her?
(The Korra cosplayer starts to twirl two pieces of cloth, one red and one blue symbolizing fire and water, around her body.)
Avatar_Mom: That's awesome. Okay, and then are you Ikki? Oh right. What number are you?
[Ikki cosplayer replies but it is inaudible]
Avatar_Mom: Okay, if you want to walk over so they can see you because you're a little far behind. Can you guys make room for Ikki so she can come up front so the panelists can see her? (The Ikki cosplayer steps forward shyly) Aww, she's so cute, she has those little hair buns. And then, I think everybody knows who Toph is...
(The audience cheers and the Toph cosplayer who did a demonstration with Sifu Kisu earlier steps forward and does an earthbending move)
Avatar_Mom: Oh, look at that. Do your stand. What number are you, Toph?
Toph cosplayer: Three.
Avatar_Mom: Three. Okay, then we have Zuko, am I right?
(The Zuko cosplayer gives a peace sign as the audience cheers)
Zuko cosplayer: I came here at 5am to claim my honor for Dante.
(He points towards Dante seated at the panel table while the audience cheers loudly)
Avatar_Mom: Alright! And then... I'm not trying to put any bias on this but this is Lin Beifong people and she's my [inaudible as audience starts to cheer]
(The Lin cosplayer turns around to show off the metal spools on her back)
Avatar_Mom: Alright, now you all have a big photo opportunity.
One of the panelists: I don't like the way how young Lin is, she's [inaudible as the audience protests]
Avatar_Mom: No... I think... They're gonna [inaudible] So... there was a list on the panel table right now so what you're going to do is there are numbers and you just basically write a one, two or three and then pass it down. And one is first, two is second-
Mae Whitman: So we just [inaudible as she is away from the microphone]
Avatar_Mom: Yeah and then I'm gonna count up how many ones, how many twos, how many threes and then we'll award you with some really cool prizes.
(The audience starts to talk amongst themselves as the panelists cast their votes.)
Avatar_Mom: Cabbage Merchant does not qualify and neither does DJ. Did you see DJ's Amon, by the way?
(The audience cheers as Kevin Coppa starts talking into a microphone but it's switched off. He turns it on.)
Kevin Coppa: Hm, that's not on. We also forgot to mention DJ's booth number where you can check out his artwork at.
DJ Welch: A-04.
Kevin Coppa: Check out A-04.
Avatar_Mom: Okay. So we just have a few more minutes and then we'll announce who the winners are. I wanna tell you this though. I love cosplayers, it's the only art form that I know how to do and so, it's a really special part for me to see all of these amazing things but you guys blow me away with all of your ingenuity. I mean, I would never have known how to put on this together and look at your Pabu and chi-blockers, really? Oh my gosh. And you even have actual scripts in the show and you love them and you want to represent them in cosplay form. They really wanna [inaudible]
(Audience starts clapping)
Avatar_Mom: We're gonna start to run out of time here so I'm going to disappear for a second and let our emcee Cabbage take over. (Audience cheers) As I gather up the cosplay prizes.
Cabbage Merchant cosplayer: I'd like to thank you all for attending this conference today. There has been some negative press about the Cabbage Corp and I'm here to say, that we've been cleared of all charges.
(The audience cheers and applaud)
Cabbage Merchant cosplayer: Thank you, thank you. The guilty parties have been brought to justice. So we look forward to continue serving another fifty years as your leader in technology for Republic City.
(Audience cheers once more and claps. Some people of the audience chant 'Say it!')
Cabbage Merchant cosplayer: What?
(The audience continue to chant 'Say it!' and the cosplayer finally gets what they're asking and he smiles.)
Cabbage Merchant cosplayer: Say what? I... I think I caught a cold in the cell and my throat...
(Audience interrupts as they insist that the cosplayer "say it.")
Cabbage Merchant cosplayer: They even knocked off my little tuft thing.
Audience: SAY IT!
Cabbage Merchant cosplayer: (gives in) NOT MY CABBAGE CORP!
(The audience go wild and he sings into the microphone briefly. Kevin Coppa has a Zuko puppet on his arm and he leans forward into the microphone.)
Kevin Coppa: (in puppet Zuko's voice) Wasn't his first name Joseph?
Cabbage Merchant cosplayer: Do we know that? Are we privy to that information?
(The audience laughs)
Mae Whitman: Hey, can I ask a quick favor of you guys? (The audience say 'yeah') Do you think I could take a video of everybody on three saying "Hi Jack"? For Jack DeSena, our favorite- (Everyone cheers) So I can send it to him?
(The audience whoop extremely loudly)
Mae Whitman: I think that would really mean a lot. Alright, hold on, I'm going to get it rolling. And then I can count us all off.
(The audience starts talking)
Mae Whitman: Where is he? Stand up there. Come on.
(A Sokka cosplayer stands up)
Mae Whitman: Oh. What a beautiful look. He's got the hair and everything. That is the correct outfit. You singularly stand there for this video.
(The cosplayer does Sokka's "Water Tribe" pose from The Blind Bandit episode. Mae is amused as she lifts her phone up towards the audience.)
Mae Whitman: Ready now? One... two... three!
Audience: HI JACK!!!
(Everyone waves at Mae's phone and whoops)
Mae Whitman: Thank you, thank you.
(The audience talk amongst themselves once more as they continue to wait for the cosplay contest results. Avatar_Mom pops up from behind the panelists with the prizes in hand and heads towards the podium. She and Kevin read something on the podium.)
Kevin Coppa: Alright guys, we've been given a five minute warning so we're gonna get through this quick and I need you guys to clear off fast. Once we're done. Are there any Twilight fans in here waiting for the next panel?
(The audience boos)
Kevin Coppa: 'Kay, I hope they know better than to say something.
(The audience continue to talk as the camera shows Dante getting a poster of Zuko with a dragon behind him from The Firebending Masters)
Mae Whitman: Spencer?
Avatar_Mom: Are you still here? Is your name spelled differently?
Mae Whitman: Spencer is just the normal way of spelling Spencer, right?
Spencer: With a 'c'.
Mae Whitman: Oh yeah. With a 'c'. Great.
(The audience continue to chatter as Avatar_Mom grabs an autographed copy of The Promise, Part 1 from Mae and heads to the podium.)
Kevin Coppa: We have a third place winner. Okay? Our third place winner is... Young Madam Toph.
(The audience cheers as the Toph cosplayer received a Momo plushie and a scroll)
Kevin Coppa: We have our prizes for second place. Ready? Our prizes for second place go to... Miss Lin Beifong.
(The audience whoops as the Lin cosplayer receives an Appa plushie and what looks like a poster)
Kevin Coppa: Like mother, like daughter, they both receive some interesting delightful swag, including a plush Appa. Our grand prize first place winner. (Kevin makes drumroll sounds) Goes to our killer Koizilla.
(Audience cheers and claps. Avatar_Mom heads towards the Koizilla cosplayer and gives her prize.)
Kevin Coppa: She receives a whole bunch of swag. Including the artbook and a huge HUGE Appa.
Mae Whitman: You guys are all winners. You guys look amazing, all of you.
[Part of Avatar_Mom's announcement at the end gets cut off as GhostClone's recording ends so you have to refer to SiWongDesert's Avatar Fan Panel part 10 for the footage]
Avatar_Mom: Thank you everyone for coming out to support the Avatar Legacy fan panel and I definitely want to thank our panelists. The reason that these panels rock, first and foremost, are you guys. And the second is the support of the panelists that want to come out here and spend time with you and we can have this great, full interaction. So, definitely we're gonna try to come back here again next year. We have to make room for the Twilight people now. One more question? (Avatar_Mom laughs) Thank you. So we're gonna start clearing off and if you want to come up and talk to anybody, don't crowd... Waaait. Hold on. Because we only have ten minutes to get out of the room and I don't want it to be a crowd problem. And we also have to get our people out. Okay, everyone. I need everyone's attention. Okay, I get it, everybody wants to hang out with the cool people, I get it but if you've noticed, you've all moved forward and now there's no possiblity in getting out. So here's what we're gonna do. We will go outside and if there is time, we can meet them outside but if we do this, we will not get out in time. So... turn back around and just exit. I hate to do that to you but this will turn into a crowd control issue.
[Recording ends and the panel ends there]
Transcriber's note: Again, a huge thanks to both GhostClone and SiWongDesert for recording the panel.
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