Before my week gets all-out crazy (it’s Book Fair week, after all), I’m channeling Zen mode right now and blogging about one of my favorite topics — Harry Potter!
It’s a significant time for Harry Potter fans, as September marks the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter, and Scholastic is celebrating it with the release of a new set of covers by critically acclaimed artist Kazu Kibuishi, best known for his #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series, Amulet.
Kazu Kibuishi is in fact a Harry Potter fan (hooray!) and each of the covers he illustrated depicts a specific, memorable moment from the book, as well as a quote on the back cover.
“The Harry Potter covers by Mary GrandPré are so fantastic and iconic,” said Kibuishi. “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?’ 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.”
In the Philippines, the official launch is this Sunday, at the National Book Store booth at the Manila International Book Fair. I have some participation in the activity, but I’m keeping that under wraps (for now), so come celebrate with us!
Let’s take a closer look at the boxed set and its special features:
The box art depicts a Hogsmeade scene, with our favorite trio (plus Hedwig)
in the center, in front of Honeydukes.
But wait, it looks like it’s not just Harry, Ron, and Hermione on the box! Let me show you some of the details (and if you still haven’t figured it out, these are the kind of things I like obsessing about:
Left panel: The Hogwarts express in the background, an adorable Luna Lovegood (far left),
Minerva McGonagall (far right), and what looks like two Hufflepuffs, 2 Ravenclaws (one possibly Cho Chang),
and a Gryffindor.
One of the best features of this edition: the spines of the seven books form an image of Hogwarts castle!
Here are the individual covers (front and back) and the scenes depicted on them. The feel is matte, but J.K. Rowling’s name, the embossed Harry Potter header, and the title, are a glossy white. I love how compact the set is; these volumes will come in handy for a rereading (I have to schedule mine, perhaps next year?).
Book 1: Diagon Alley / Mirror of Erised
I like how Kibuishi’s fandom shows in the artwork, in the detail of the illustrations and his choice of scenes from the whole series. I’ll always be partial to Mary Grandpre’s work, but I like how Kibuishi’s set gives the series a new flavor and a more modern feel for a whole new set of readers.
Mary Grandpre fans will not be disappointed as her wonderful interior illustrations remain intact. It appears the text block is also the same, with the Lumos headings and the Garamond body font.
And, of course, it’s still the same story that the world has grown to love.
The Harry Potter (2013 Edition) paperback boxed set retails for P3,395 at National Book Store.
Official photos courtesy of Scholastic Media Room.