Self portraitI am the co-creator and executive producer of Nickelodeon’s animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. I’ve been on a quest to figure out how to tell stories more effectively and learning about what kind of stories I want to tell.  I hope this blog will inspire you to see stories in a new light.


78 thoughts on “About

  1. I want to say I’ve been fan of ATLA and LOK since almost two or three years. When I first saw ATLA I was very little. I remember I was with my sister at home watching Wan of my favorite episodes “The Boiling rock part 1”. When I grew up and Korra was announced on TV, I searched for ATLA again… Wow… Now that Korra won’t be aired I’m sad and I want to say I’m sorry. #tearbending .We, Korra fans, waited more less nine months to get this incredible season 3, but noooooooo! I really apreciate your work, how this show is symply perfect. The animation, the feelings, the creativity, the characters, the plots, everything! Thanks for giving us this little piece of imagination and awesomeness. Now, I have to regain my honor, so see ya later! ^_{^

    1. I did not find another way to send this letter, so I am trying out to do so for this media

      To whom may concern:

      I am the Bachelor Jose Omar Alejandro Ortiz Renteria, and I’m writing this message regarding your work in Avatar animated series, and I will really appreciate if you can take your time to read this message. First of all, I was considered myself a follower of the series from the beginning with The Legend of Aang, where both me and my family loved them. We shared the opinion that the series were one of the best works made in Nickelodeon studios, because it was funny, and brought a healthy option of entertainment for the young ones due his moral lessons and how handled the significance of different issues in the society and the troubles that people sometimes faced in their lives, and how effectively overcome them, mostly through a goodwill and sense of humor; pretty rare things in the majority of the shows that can be seen these days. I am also a writer and I published my own book, and I found great sympathy towards Avatar due it uses a light and humorous tone to show moral lessons pretty similar the kind I use in my works since 2003. After some years we started to watch the Legend of Korra, expected it could maintain the same standards of its predecessor; it’s easy to notice that there are some differences, because the show has a more serious tone and treat the politics, ethics and social issues in a deeper way than The Legend of Aang did, we understand that because the show is aimed mostly to a bit older audience ever since whom watched the original Avatar show already grew up, and that it’s clearly represented by the fact the main characters are young adults instead of kids and teenagers; but nothing prepared me for what was about to come.

      I live in Mexico, and the airing of the last book of the Legend of Korra just begun here. Sometimes I go further looking for reviews about films and shows, I’m one of those few people whom don’t mind of spoilers because I like to know if something is worth to watch/get or not, so I decided to look about the episodes, just to get the very unsettling surprise that the new Avatar, Korra, is declared homosexual at the very end of the series. I know you thought it was “original” move to give a twist to the plot, and quite “clever” enough to do it subtlety giving the approach to the relationship between Korra and Asami as close friends, where they ended to want to be something more without showing on screen anything explicit. Yes, there’s nothing on screen, but the intentions were pretty clear and can be easily interpreted in that way; and if even it wasn’t enough, it was declared to the public that they can be considered a couple from now. Maybe you think that writing this message is quite out of date; but as I said the show just begun to be aired here in Mexico and never thought in look for information until now.

      I know the show, even with that ending, received great praises from media, where it’s being said that it clear the boundaries of certain taboo themes in animated series; but the reality is that everything is wrong. It’s being said that one of the goals in Avatar series, both in Aang and Korra shows, is to teach the respect and tolerance to others and how to overcome differences; but it’s something totally different to encourage certain IMMORAL practices, and it’s what you are doing with Korra, because you are presenting this situation like something, natural, legal and good because she, being the protagonist, is finding happiness anyway; maybe could be legal especially in some places where the LGBTQ community gained more rights, but that doesn’t mean is natural nor good. To clarify my point of view I need to mention I am not just professional, I’m a religious person and defender of good mores, and the content exposed in the Legend of Korra diametrically differs from what can be truly considered moral, and what I have learned is that the moral principles remain the same for all Eras, if the society is not following them is a different matter. My professor in Laws, the honorable Doctor Hector Alvaro Dominguez, was agree with this when described the definition of law as “the lowest standard” of moral to live in peace in this society, and he tended to remark to his students that what could be considered legal not necessarily go according with goodwill and good mores. Maybe you wanted to appeal to “mature” public, especially to LGBTQ community, showing that the series could be open to the all kind of audiences and you are agree with wrong called “the progress of Society”; but being honest, the show is still being watched by young audience, especially kids, and at least in my opinion that’s not the kind of example I would put in a familiar show. Maybe you want to recall other shows like Modern family or documentaries like A Family still is a Family, but they are just doing the same as you in different levels, that doesn’t mean it is something morally acceptable. Let’s put another example: if a series try to give moral lessons shows a hero whom is addict to alcohol or drugs, and still is praised and accepted because had done good deeds and in the end is happy with all his vices, do you think is suitable and good example for young ones? We know there could be characters like that in media; but still is it appropriated?, a role model giving a good example? Is something that you will allow your children to watch it? Probably not. You may justify your decision that the homosexuality is a reality and there’s a sector in this society that go with that, so all the family should be aware of it; but the drugs also are a reality, and even some considered illegal here in America are now legal in various places in Europe, why not portray it in a “family friendly” show? Considering what you have done with Korra, is it really the example you want to give to your own children? You already will be remembered for that, by them and everyone.

      Accept these matters by the law is not progress, and oppose them isn’t retrogression, those are just degeneration and decadence of the acceptable values in society.

      Don’t judge me wrong, I am not an intolerant nor a religious fanatic, indeed, my church teaches that people of LGBTQ community are still our brothers and sisters and still deserve certain respect; but still doesn’t approve those practices and tells to whom have those preferences that must refrain because still is a sin. We cannot force to anyone to become straight in that sense, but anyway there are consequences if they go with those practices. I don’t know if yourselves are considered religious people, but the Commandements in the Holy Scriptures are still in effect; I won’t extend in a biblical explanation about sin and punishment, but I want to point that according to my beliefs, Our Lord totally finds unacceptable the sin, and won’t accept it even in the most minimal grade of tolerance, specially if you spread it. Jesus Christ tells the following advice: “He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.…” (Luke 17: 1-2) The meaning of this is we can commit terrible errors through our actions, but whom had the responsibility to propitiate the conditions of deviate someone from the right path will have such fate that could be preferable for them to live any other situation, even terrible hardships, instead of face the consequences, and it seems is what you already are doing. From one way or other we are responsible of the consequences of our actions, and even though this can be sound dreadful, isn’t me whom is saying it, is Our Lord Himself.

      Maybe my opinion is not the most popular right now, but it’s a fact that with the decadence of this society it won’t. I have my doubts if you ever take in consideration this letter, specially when the damage is already done and the characters are now branded, but still I wanted to express my opinion and feelings about this situation. If you ever make another Avatar related show, I cannot consider the idea of watch it or allowing to the young members of my family to do so, because after Korra’s ending it could be expected even lower moral standards. Ironically I introduced my 10-year cousin to the Legend of Aang quite recently, now the only worth show of the series, but I think he may feel uncomfortable if I try to explain why he won’t be allowed to watch the Legend of Korra. I know you tried to be subtle with her at the end, but as we know the message is pretty clear and is nothing I want he should watch. I won’t encourage those matters like you did. Enjoy your success while you can, because every action has its consequence and maybe there’s another “plot twist” around the corner.

      Thank you for your attention

  2. Hi Mr. Dimartino,

    I would just like to take the time to thank you and Mr. Konietzko for producing an amazing series. I used to watch Avatar the Last Airbender when I was a kid and now I’m watching Korra. I am lost for words, Korra is more than AMAZING. Book 3 was tremendous, I was touched when I saw the finale and I am excited for book 4. The father-daughter relationship between Tenzin and Jinora, side by side throughout it reminded me of myself and my dad. I am studying science, but my father is a graphic designer and he taught me everything I know (sort of trained me in a way, much like the way Tenzin did) and graphics is a passion I could never let go. Also, the metallic poison, I truly enjoyed the medicine and science background in the show. I hope to be a doctor some day. The side effects, and properties of the metallic poison were spot on with what I was taught about mercury in university. The animation was beyond amazing, the properties of mercury were depicted beautifully. I truly admire the work, animation and music.

    You and Mr. Konietzko are one of my heroes, this show pushes me more and more to accomplish my goals. I am so sorry if I used up some of your time.
    Looking forward to watching your podcast on nerdist!

    Thank you so much,
    Samera Khan

    1. Hi, I just wanted to ask u something. After you and Bryan have decided not to make any more avatar series’, I thought that I would like to make an earthbending avatar one, however as it is yours and Bryan’s show I wanted to ask for permission to do this and for permission to use copyrighted features such as ba sing se and character names and information. Thanks and I look forward to your response. John

      1. Hi, I just wanted to ask u something. After you and Bryan have decides not to make any more avatar series’, I thought that I would like to make an earthbending avatar one, however as it is yours and Bryan’s show I wanted to ask for permission to do this and for permission to use copyrighted features such as ba sing se and character names and information. Thanks and I look forward to your response. John

  3. I would be great to see another Aang series! I used to watch the series when i was younger. Yesterday I saw the final episode, and now i need another series about Aang;)
    Thank you for the great Series

  4. Any chance you would create a kickstarter in order to continue the avatar universe? I think you might be surprised by what the fans might be able to collectively contribute. I know we all let you guys down with the low views on nick’s website and on tv but we are watching.

  5. Hi!

    Thank-you for writing/producing the A:TLA and LoK. I can’t express to you the joy and awesome you have brought to my life with these stories. As a young woman ready to start her life and a career; I really love Korra. She’s fierce, strong, and ready to go even when she is scared. However, it sucks when you want to be a Korra in a Kadashian kind of world. I think I’ve been waiting for this kind of role model for a while and she couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve struggled with my own sort of recovery and Korra has been such an inspiration to me.

    P.S. I’m sad it’s over but I’m looking forward to your next works and adventures! Fan for life!

  6. Hi Mr. Dimartino,

    Thank you and the staff/crew for creating and developing both Avatar series and especially for starting this blog. After I finished Korra I wanted to know more about the things that go on behind the scenes and that’s when I found this blog. As a historian I’ve mainly done research writing, but I’ve always had an interest for fictional and fantasy writing, so I’m truly happy that I found this blog, it has inspired me to learn more about it. I was actually wondering what a person has to do to become involved as a staff writer for such an amazing project as this (for example, internships/courses/etc.). Whenever I see any behind the scenes footage I feel like I want to be a part of this amazing group of people who created the series. Especially working together and brainstorming about new ideas seems like hard and fun work.

    I hope you read this message and also hope you keep sharing your insights in writing with us. Thanks for doing it and I am looking forward to your next story (after a well-deserved break ofcourse!).

  7. Sorry I don´t found email address for you, so I copy the text here..

    Good day

    This email is for Mr Bryan Konietzko and Mr Michael Dante DiMartino and others, who create Avatar universe.

    I would love to huge thank you for Aang and Korra words can’t express my feeling.. When I feel bad, I imagining, that I driking tea with Iroh from teapot, where was Raava. Or I Watch Avatar Wan story. Or I try open all Chakra like Aang with Guru Pathik…

    I want to request in the name of all fans on earth and for spirit Raava please continue with the Avatar universe. May 10 000 years aftrer Korra (The Number isn´t random:-D).

    And if is problem with money, please say, Vaatu (money) cannot win.

    Some good things should do it regardless of profit. And continue with the Avatar universe is one of them.

    Sorry for my English I´m from Czech.

    Huge Thank you again and DO THE THING. ( And For Nickelodeon publish the soundtrack from Korra and Aang.)

    Antonín Horčička
    Czech republic

  8. First & foremost, Avatar is one of my absolute, all time favorite shows, and I’ve watched it from start to finish probably 20 times over. It is absolutely brilliant… the depth, the heavy eastern influence, the spirituality, the incredible characters… It really is mind blowing.

    With that said, I just wanted tu put this out there… I would give anything to see Aang’s story reborn into something like the next Naruto. That show has been airing for EVER, and one of the things I appreciate the most is how, for example, his training in a particular method will last for several episodes sometimes. I understand you had a lot of limitations with Avatar, but man, how awesome would it be to retell the story where Bitter Work (for example… Aang learning earth bending) lasted 3 or 4 episodes, and SO much detail could be added.

    Plus (or, as an alternative), the story could most definitely continue from where it left off. Zuko could go in search of his mother, and the rest of the gAang could find plenty to do/plenty of conflict & story arcs in rehabilitating the world after the war. The possibilities are endless, and this time, it should be Naruto or Simpsons style, and be an ongoing story for as long as it’s supported. Man, what I would give to have a continuation or even retelling of the original Avatar story!! Please consider it…. You guys are so incredibly talented!

  9. Dear Mr. Dimartino,

    I wanted to take the time to thank you for the two incredible series you and your partner created. ATLA has been my favorite show every since it aired and when I heard there was going to be a new series (Korra) I was so excited jumping up and down and calling everyone I knew. The struggles of each character in both shows have touched my heart and I have even related to some of them on a very personal level. These shows have been more to me than just a show to watch on television, but stories and characters that have made me feel close to them even after watching the show millions of times.

    I know you must get a lot of requests to make a new show or even continue with either Korra or the story of Aang and I know I wont be any different. I just wanted to say that with your talent and gift, you have touched so many peoples lives and it would mean so much to so many people if the stories could continue. There is so much more that I want know and see happen like Zuko finding his mother and Katara and Aangs continuing relationship. Even Korra and Asami’s relationship would be fantastic to see blossom. I feel so connected with these characters, they grew beautifully in my heart I would be crushed to see them go away.

    I will always be an Avatar fan. I hope that either show continues or will be created into a new show. I hope the Avatar cycle does not die. Please consider the possibility of continuing Korra or building off of ATLA. I would love to know what happened with the boomeraang squad =]

    Please please please please please please consider

    all my love ❤

    forever a fan

  10. Sir I would like to watch avatar and korra serial now I have watched all the season’s all u released in avatar but I am waiting for more avatar serials I am waiting for it please release more serials of avatar and I am a greatest fan of u please release more serials sir by ur serious fan

  11. I’m a fan of Avatar, I always have been. While I always wish that the original series could go on forever, I found solace with Korra. I watched the series, got nostalgic, and loved the characters but what really hit me was in season 4 episode Korra Alone, when she was in a wheelchair. I had a major surgery my senior year of high school that damaged my sciatic nerve. My entire right leg didn’t work, and the pain from the surgery on my pelvis I can’t even put into words. It was unbearable and recovery was torturous. That episode of Korra captured perfectly what it was like for me to recover from that right down to staring down my toe trying to will it to move. It also captured the frustration I felt with my own body for not healing faster. That physical therapy with Katara is so spot on I actually laughed, and the aftermath was also so similar. Though I was walking again my body still wasn’t the same. I was weak and I couldn’t get through a simple day walking so my entire life felt like it was being controlled by this injury that had supposedly healed. I wasn’t myself for probably two years after that. I’m still physically not myself but mentally I have finally moved on and accepted the hand I’ve been dealt and am finding ways to keep feeling alive. I’ve never felt like anyone understands what it was like, they see that I look normal again and they think it’s all over, but Korra’s character went through it too. It may seem like just another obstacle for the Avatar to most people, but it meant so much more to me. I’ve never related to a character so much, it seems like that particular struggle is never captured on TV and I never really thought it was something I needed but I really did so thank you for making that moment possible.

  12. Hello Mike (if you ever read this or respectfully consider replying),
    I’m an older guy who really enjoyed Avatar Last Airbender, specifically because I was in a dark time of my life, and given up on dogmatic religions, and the series helped to teach me about spirituality. Much of what religions leave out. I also think this was insightful for younger generations to possibly look back into, the old ways, before dogmatic practice. With an adventure story to keep the kids interested as well. I also really love the correctly choreographed animated martial arts, and how they linked into the spirituality…as its supposed to be.
    To be honest (as with most sequels to an original story), I enjoyed Korra very much, but not as much as the original series. It didnt have as much of the spirituality as the first series, but more “current events and cultures”. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great series and still watch repeatedly. But its missing something that is only found in Last Airbender.
    However, I would like to point out the fact that I enjoyed Korra’s story having eco-friendly resources of fuel, and energy.
    I didnt just write to say this.
    I recently heard a buzz on the web about “another story” coming. Something about twin avatars. Now theres a whole can of worms on top of that, like the separation of Rava (??), and I also read in another blog about it being in the industrial age of machines. What? Wasnt that already the case with Korra? Machines using alternative fuel sources and such? At the end, the series already delved into the future with giant mecha robots.
    Here’s my feedback or opinion, ‘IF’ you do decide to do another series…. go to space.
    The Korra series already brought us to and equivelent of modern times. So, (no pun or plug intended), lets go to the next frontier.
    I can already imagine more advanced technologies with fire/lightning benders working together with water benders to create hydrogen rocket boosters to leave the atmosphere, earth benders and fire/lightning benders manipulating electromagnetic propulsion drives, air benders attempting to bend immobile space, exploration of their solar system, or possibly another planet in their solar system that is habitable or already occupied by another race or species (maybe the lion-turtles home, or where the spirits came from. Better yet, a twin spirit world with all new [or more ancient] spirits). One could also try to imagine the difficulty of all benders trying to bend on other planets that are a different chemical and mineral structure than “Earth” and/or meeting benders from that native planet, battling for dominance, and then eventually making peace to the end of the series.
    These are just a few examples of what my imagination has come up with.
    Again, if there is a serious interest from you to make another series, this is my suggestion.
    Thanks for reading this.

  13. Hey mike can you pleas email me I’m in desperate need of assistance pleas help.
    BTW this is not about avatar or anything like that I just really need to talk to you about some matters. Thanks for your time, hand hopefully you will get back to me, thanks again Mike!

  14. Michael Dante DiMartino,

    Hello, my name is Aaron Williams, host of Comics Manifest, a ~30-minute podcast that interviews amazing and influential creators in comics. The show aims to inspire the aspiring creator, giving them the insight and inspiration to take their comics projects to the next level. I recently had an inspirational conversation with Jake Parker and after the show, he recommended that I reach out to you for an interview.

    I apologize for reaching out to you this way, I scoured the internet but failed to find your contact information. If you are interested in joining me for an interview, let me know and I’ll give you the details. Thank you for taking the time and I hope to hear from you soon.

    With Gratitude,
    Aaron M Williams

  15. Hello Mr. Dimartino! Is there a fan mail address to which I can send you and your fellow co creator of avatar a thank you letter? To say the least, Avatar the Last Airbender has completely changed my life in more ways than you can imagine, and it would mean so much for me to be able to thank both of you properly (in a letter). If this wouldn’t work, I could also write it in email! Whatever works. Thank you! I would really appreciate a response!

  16. Thank you so much for making “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Legend of Korra” such a beautiful, awesome, profound, and intelligent series for all ages. As someone is Asian, it actually makes me really happy to have a series made in the Western Animation series incorporating Chinese, Japanese, and many other culture, like the Inuit and Tibetan cultures, into a series that tackles meaningful themes and social and political issues with such a diverse cast of wonderfully crafted characters and displays incredible animation and action. 😀

    With the new “Korra” comics coming out soon, I want to ask a question, though I know you’re probably too busy to answer it: Will Eska and Desna appear in the comics? Ever since their appearance in Season 2, my twin sister and I have been in love with them! 🙂 They weren’t shown that much in the Seasons 3 and 4, and most of their appearances in Season 2 is being their father’s henchmen. It’d be amazing to see them again in the comics and flesh their characters out more. I’d love to see them actually interact with Korra, since most of their interactions involved fighting one another. ^_^; They’re such a powerful and cool duo, and it’d be cool to see them rule the Northern Water Tribe. I really hope we can see them in the comics.

  17. Hi,
    I understand that you’re busy working on an animated series, but I and a lot of people are wondering if it was possible to release “ATLA” on Blu ray one day? There are many dedicated fans who have found ways to upscale the original series, but I was wondering if it was possible to do it properly and professionally? I’m pretty sure that people would go out of their way to buy one of their favorite animated series in full HD. I don’t demand that everything should be on blue ray, though it would be nice, but for the impact that this show has spawned and how people are still talking about it to this day, I think that’s an accomplishment.
    Thanks, and have a good day

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