"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" covers. The classic, at left, and the new one, by artist Kazu Kibuishi of Alhambra, Calif., at right. Credit: ScholasticLink
Graphic novel artist Kazu Kibuishi of Alhambra, Calif., was chosen to remake the iconic "Harry Potter" covers. Credit: ScholasticLink
Here's a look at the remaining Harry Potter covers that will be remade, including Book 2 in the series: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (Credit: Scholastic)Link
"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (Credit: Scholastic)Link
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (Credit: Scholastic)Link
"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (Credit: Scholastic)Link
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (Credit: Scholastic)Link
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (Credit: Scholastic)Link
Harry Potter is getting a makeover — no magic wand necessary.
A new cover for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was unveiled Wednesday, the first of seven new Harry Potter book covers on the way. The new covers will appear on the U.S. paperback edition beginning in September, timed to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of the first in J.K. Rowling’s mega-successful series.
The artist behind the new covers is Kazu Kibuishi of Alhambra, Calif., known for the graphic novel series “Amulet.” Each of the seven covers will pluck a memorable moment from the book, and will also be available as a boxed set.
Kibuishi is a longtime Harry Potter fan who called this opportunity “more than a little surreal,” according to a statement posted on Scholastic’s website. The statement by the U.S. publisher of the Harry Potter series offered insight into how Kibuishi was selected — and how he plans to carry out his vision with the remaining six covers.
At first, Kibuishi said, he didn’t think the original covers by artist Mary GrandPré should be remade.
“The Harry Potter covers by Mary GrandPré are so fantastic and iconic,” Kibuishi said in the statement. “When I was asked to submit samples, I initially hesitated because I didn’t want to see them reinterpreted! However, I felt that if I were to handle the project, I could bring something to it that many other designers and illustrators probably couldn’t, and that was that I was also a writer of my own series of middle-grade fiction. As an author myself, I tried to answer the question, ‘If I were the author of the books — and they were like my own children — how would I want them to be seen years from now?'”
He added: “When illustrating the covers, I tried to think of classic perennial paperback editions of famous novels and how those illustrations tend to feel. In a way, the project became a tribute to both Harry Potter and the literary classics.”
Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade Publishing, called Kibuishi a “brilliant artist” whose “unique vision of the world of Harry Potter” will make each cover “an incredible adventure that will transport new readers just discovering Harry Potter for the first time directly into the rich world of J.K. Rowling’s imagination.”
The original art for the series will continue to be featured on the U.S. hardcover and digest paperback editions, according to Scholastic.
The statement said the company also will release a boxed set of the complete Hogwarts Library, which includes “Quidditch Through the Ages,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and “The Tales of Beedle the Bard.”
It’s hard to overstate the success and influence of Harry Potter and Rowling, who helped remake the young adult lit genre even as her series drew in more than its fair share of adult readers, and of course spun off into a blockbuster Hollywood movie franchise.
There are more than 150 million Harry Potter books in print in the United States alone. The seven Harry Potter books have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide.
What do you think about the new cover? Do you think the covers needed a makeover in the first place?
— Rene Lynch