Bryan Konietzko has announced Threadworlds, a genre-bending graphic novel about Nova, a young scientist who sets off to travel her intricately-linked universe.
Konietzko, who along with Mike DiMartino is the co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, is writing and illustrating the graphic novel. Coming in 2017 from First Second Books, Threadworlds is set in a solar system in which five planets share a single orbit. The inquisitive central character — a young female scientist named Nova — sets off on an interplanetary journey to learn more about these different worlds.
Though Threadworlds is not connected to the Avatar universe, Konietzko says that the same ethos governs his graphic novel.
“This is a similarly ambitious, sweeping epic full of world building,” he says. “In those regards it feels like familiar territory to me.”
According to Konietzko, the idea for Threadworlds offers him the opportunity to blend science-fiction and fantasy — and to have a young female protagonist take charge of her own story.
“Once science became the focal point of the story I knew it was important to me to have a young girl as the main character,” he says. “This is basically Nova’s long origin story as scientific superhero. I hope she’ll be inspiring to readers of all genders and ages, but especially girls who are interested in studying and pursuing science.”
Having only recently come off of the wildly popular The Legend of Korra, Konietzko admits that he “always feel pressure” about future projects — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. With pressure, Konietzko mused, congress passion.
“I think it is what gets me up in the morning,” he says. “I’m just making Threadworlds out of the things I love and that I’m passionate about learning.”
And this too, has links to Konietzko’s roots in his two epic Nickelodeon series.
“When we created Avatar, Michael DiMartino and I did the same thing,” he says. “We poured in all the ingredients that felt closest to our hearts and tried to make the series live up to our own standards, first and foremost.”
Now, Konietzko says, “It’s 13 years later and I’m a different person whose interests and priorities have shifted somewhat. This graphic novel series reflects that… I try to keep the focus on [storytelling] and less on outside, abstract pressures.”
To that end, “I just follow what inspires me as an artist and a storyteller, and stay true to myself in my work,” the creator says. “I try to make the kinds of things I want to see out there in the world, and hope they end up resonating with other people too.”
And Konietzko has great hopes that, like Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, Threadworlds will succeed on this score.
“All I know for sure is the deeper I get into the story and characters, the more excited I am to make these books and share the,” he says. “Threadworlds has high stakes, relatable characters and a wide range of tones – similar to the work I co-created with Michael. And though the focus is on science there will be plenty of action and adventure. That’s definitely me being true to myself as a creator.”
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