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Dumping Zhao

...or would that be a Huge Zhao Dump?
No, that just sounds wrong. Very wrong.

This is it. I've finished throwing down ideas for Water Tribe.
Am I happy with it? I'm never happy with what I write, it could always be better. At least, it's out of my system. If I could, I'd go back and redraw\rewrite almost everything.
But I don't have the time to make it better, gotta move on.

Since it's been a long time, here's a short resume of what happened before:

After escaping a Fire Nation prison, a fugitive Zhao learns that he is linked to the Ocean and Moon spirits. If he doesn't bring them to a new hiding place, he could die from the psychical pressure of their presence.
In his roaming, he runs into Nauja's children. They don't travel together at first, but their paths keep converging.
After various adventures, they run into Azula who is still slightly insane and looking for spirits, so she can also learn how to defeat the Avatar or learn how to take away her opponent's bending (perhaps learn how to restore her father's power?).

I'll be posting a few pages for reminders, but first!
As I was making it up as I went along, I started realising a few things would work better with some changes that would have needed to have been made earlier on.
A bit too late for that, but if you read on you'll notice I comment about those changes.

Here's about where we were last time, months ago...

So there you go. Not quite a perfect ending.
Come on, it's Zhao. He can be making a few steps in the right direction, but he also stayed back and you can bet he's going to screw up and make more trouble in the world.
Still lacks some big finale...

One of the books that inspired me into finishing this was Pluto, by Urasawa (based on Tezuka's work). I don't know what it was, it just trigerred something in my head. I think some of its more melodramatic influence corrupted me a bit, ha ha!

I think there was something else I needed to say, but I forgot.
So there we go. You can expect a lot less Zhao from now on. He'll make some appearances because of the live action movie, you can be sure.
He's pretty much invaded my LJ: I have over 700 tags for him in my scrapbook!
If you want to re-read all the notes again from this portion, the gallery is here:


Oh yeah, one last thing.
I may have said it before, but I...just can't make Zhao and Nauja work together, ha ha! Nope, I fail at making lovey story. Can't do it. These two are incompatible.
I did try one evening, and that's all that came up.

That's as good a place as any to stop.
Thank you for reading all this insane musing of a what if story.
I may one day destroy it all from sheer horror. Give me a few years.


( 73 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 26th, 2010 05:51 am (UTC)
Augh, I do so LOVE all of your mad drawing skills. The movement of Aang and Zhao on page 16 is simply wonderful.

Speaking of which, I love your older version on Aang. Awesome age-up!

I cannot wait to see what you come up with next.
Apr. 26th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
I see a million problems with my drawings, ha ha!
I kept slightly older Aang fairly simple. He's not that much older so it helps.
Now, to draw 50 year old Aang could be interesting. I wonder if he'd have facial hair...
(no subject) - muffins_of_god - Apr. 26th, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 26th, 2010 06:13 am (UTC)
you know? I have wondering what kind of voice you imagine to grown up Aang, and it's sad what happen to him and his friends, but hey at least there's still hope!
Apr. 26th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
I have a big blank when it comes to grown up Aang's voice.
As for the bit of difficulties between him and his friends, no worries about that. Their bonds run deep. Give them enough time, they'll be up together again fighting the good fights.
Apr. 26th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC)
"Momo! Get out!" LMAO!

Page 112, Pakku and Kana, priceless.

As for Azula, she opens a cooking school and plots to take over the world with food, since an army travels on its stomach. Pursuant to it, she oepns up a restaurant. Then she has to negotiate for tea, so.....
Apr. 26th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
For Momo: hey, it was warm under there.
Azula cooking? You mean she's trying to poison the world? I could see her trying to do that.
(no subject) - snapes_angel - Apr. 27th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 26th, 2010 06:38 am (UTC)
the exchange between Pakku and Kana was fun.

Still loling over that last sketch...
Apr. 26th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
A short moment of Pakku and Kana, but I just couldn't get it out of my head. Had to draw it.
Apr. 26th, 2010 07:08 am (UTC)
Bringing back that image of Zuko reaching up was a nice touch :3 Ahh, WT stories <3 I'm glad that Nauja and Zhao don't get together, I think he's crossed that line a few too many times...

I am sad that we won't see much more of these guys, but I loved every bit that you put up!
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
The little Zuko flashback was definitely inspired by too much reading of Pluto, where memories were very predominant for one character.It's just this, as hinted, may not have been Zhao's memories. The man's brains are still fried, ha ha!
As for Nauja- yeah, Zhao has pretty much burned all his bridges when it comes to get any closer to her. She may allow him a hug one day, but that's it. Besides, Zhao is more comfortable burning shit up.
(He might regret it a little...)
Who knows, all these guys are kicking and screaming to have more drawing time allowed on them. They might appear every once in a while.
Apr. 26th, 2010 07:25 am (UTC)
That last drawing made me laugh so hard that I scared my cat. XD

I love your Zhao so much, he may be paranoid, twisted, and slightly mental (being generous here), but you put him through one hell of an adventure. I'm glad you've finished this in some form and even though it's still a rough first draft, the story is extremely compelling and you've told it beautifully. Major props!

(btw, submitted my portfolio on Friday and requested a test. I love tests! Hopefully, I'll get one!)
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
Zhao is flawed, imperfect, and a bastard at the core. And yet, because of his time in the Water Tribe, he has changed. It is hard to balance the two sometimes. I may have failed here and there. The rule I tried to set up was that he has great attachment to the tribe and its people. It conflicts with his own inflated ego and his ambitions. If I can remember that at all time...

Best of success with your portfolio, may they send you a test!
(no subject) - bluejeans07 - Apr. 26th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 26th, 2010 08:26 am (UTC)
So much awesome!

I liked Objection!Iroh.
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
It is little moments of insanity like Objection!Iroh that are the most fun to doodle. Go figure.
Apr. 26th, 2010 08:46 am (UTC)
Wonderful! Despite your self-criticism I loved every bit of your Zhao story. Thanks for sharing! <3
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Zhao demands perfection!
Which I can't offer, so he'll have to live with this substandard story about him.
Thanks for taking the time to read it!
(no subject) - pretty_angel - Apr. 27th, 2010 07:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 26th, 2010 09:22 am (UTC)
Sad to see it end!
Thank you for finishing this. I really enjoyed it.

Water Tribe remains perhaps the only piece of fan fiction I have ever really enjoyed and admired.

Your artwork is superb and your extrapolation from the show plausible and fun.

For my part, I find myself wishing for more Azula! Ah well...
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Sad to see it end!
Many thanks!
I also wish for more Azula. That's why I just couldn't let her go either.
Apr. 26th, 2010 09:35 am (UTC)
I wish I was the one in Nauja's place /shot

Objection!Iroh hahahahah! Adorable. XDDDD

Good ol' Zhao still has that spunk we all love. >D

Apr. 26th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
You only want the view Nauja has. I'm not too sure you want to be exactly in her spot.
Or maybe you do. I don't know, ha ha!

Can't keep Zhao down. He wouldn't want anyone to see him as weak, so he'll keep up fighting 'til the end.
Apr. 26th, 2010 12:23 pm (UTC)
hey, delurking to say read water tribe, loved it, sad that you're not writing more, anticipating next project.
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
Many thanks, glad you've enjoyed!
Next project should be wildly different.
(though I may drop in a little Dragon interim thing in there for the heck of it).
Apr. 26th, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
;.; This is sad, but what a ride. I liked the idea of Zhao/Nauja but your right it wouldn't work Besides Arluk/Zhao has more potential

The exchange with Kanna/Pakku totally made me LOL hard. I want to see you try to explain a bit on the other characters do more mini vignettes with in the WT universe. I loved how you aged up Aang. This has been a wonderful read Johanne, will you be submitting your porfolio again for the new Avatar Series?
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
Arluk is very happy you consider him as slashable material.
Zhao completely disapproves!!!!
I don't think I'll really be returning to the WT universe. I don't say absolutely no because I know these idea bricks do hit me once in a while.

Oh Arluk <3 - teacup_werewolf - Apr. 26th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 26th, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC)
Aaah, Pluto is awesome. That's a pretty good influence to have, in my opinion!
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
It was pretty interesting to compare Pluto to the original Tezuka story. I could enjoy both on different levels. Urasawa weaves a great tale. A bit too melodramatics in some points, but he does it so darn well I really don't mind it.
(no subject) - wodhaund - Apr. 26th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:29 pm (UTC)
I was considering ending Zhao at the new Spirit's place, but I wanted to give Nauja's kids a role to play in the grander scheme of things. Or else, why even bring them along for the ride.
Ah well, I like the idea that while Zhao is alive, he'll create more trouble for the world and himself, ha ha!
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - rufftoon - Apr. 26th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 26th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
Don't destroy it! Don't destroy it! There is much COOL here! Kwon! Grownup Aang (ooooo!). MOMO! *cackle* Spirit stuff! Eeeeeheeheehee! UST that makes so much sense! Azula being crazy but not frothy!

And this was just sketches to get it out of your head??? Good gods.

...Iroh going "OBJECTION!" at nearly the right size for an icon... >_>
Apr. 26th, 2010 05:31 pm (UTC)
I couldn't help it if I destroy it one day. I get to the point where I can't look at my past work anymore without seeing all the horrible mistakes or the lameness of some ideas. Blaugh! It always happens.
(no subject) - archangelbeth - Apr. 26th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teacup_werewolf - Apr. 26th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 73 comments — Leave a comment )

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