This is one of my favorite Meelo expressions.
Mike and I were having a conversation with my friend/former professor while his young son was crawling all over his back and head, slapping him in the face, tugging on his ears, etc. To our amazement, my friend calmly continued the conversation while simultaneously playfully wrestling with his rambunctious son. A year and a half later, when we were coming up with the Airbender kids, we thought he would be a fun, chaotic personality to throw in the mix and test Tenzin’s patience and fathering skills.
Ryu gravitated to this character right away and enthusiastically worked on his design. Mike and I originally envisioned Meelo as a cute kid, but Ryu insisted, “I want him to be ugly.” Ha! We pulled Ryu back a bit and ended up with the lumpy-headed kid we all love. (I have a bit of a Klingon ridge on the top of my skull, so I can personally relate his lumpy-headedness. Mike, on the other hand, as you all know, has a perfectly formed head.)