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Although beans were spilled when this year’s Free Comic Book Day comics were announced, Dark Horse officially announced yesterday that it is collaborating with Nickelodeon to publish a series of comics and graphic novels based on the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series will launch with a 240-page graphic novel collecting the Avatar stories that ran in Nickelodeon Magazine as well as 70 pages of new material. The stories are set in the Airbender universe but outside the continuity of the series, and some of the creators also worked on the cartoon.
Dark Horse will follow up, starting in 2012, with a line of digest-sized graphic novels about the Airbender characters that will pick up where the animated series left off. It’s a logical program for Dark Horse, which has several lines based on popular movies and television series, and produced the Avatar: The Last Airbender art book, but it’s also interesting that the Avatar franchise seems to have moved away from Del Rey, which published a prequel to and a novelization of the movie last year.
The new series kicks off on Free Comic BOOK Day with a free comic featuring two stories, the unpublished “Relics” and the already-seen “Dirty Is Only Skin Deep…” The Airbender comic will be packaged as a flipbook with a Star Wars: The Clone Wars comic, giving readers plenty of licensed goodness in a single hit.