Ki Hyun Ryu (supervising producer) is another major pillar of the Korra production. I first met him in 2003 when I was living in Seoul, working on the pilot of Avatar. A year later, he took the lion’s share of key animation on the premiere episodes, bringing to life some of the series’ most memorable scenes. I’ll never forget when Mike and I first saw the pencil test of Aang sliding down the iceberg and floating up to hug Appa’s head… we were completely blown away. Ryu can make the most mundane scene shine, like Aang’s marble trick and the now-legendary “Foaming Mouth Guy” bit (the latter of which was 100% his crazy idea). After his involvement in those early episodes (including designing Jet and his gang), Ryu moved on to other projects, and eventually moved the U.S., where he’s been working for several years now.
We are incredibly lucky to work with him again and to have him be such a fundamental contributor to the new series Korra and its style. I can comfortably say that he is the most talented artist I’ve ever known, and it is humbling and inspiring to work with him every day. And though he is a kind, hilarious, and humble guy, he draws the meanest caricatures. Of me. And everyone else on the crew. I’m sure I’ll share plenty of those scathing and wicked sketches in time, but for now, let’s enjoy some of his beautiful and seemingly effortless storyboard panels.