Kazu Kibuishi’s Harry Potter Covers

By The Savvy Team
August 8, 2013

Japanese-American illustrator Kazu Kibuishi has been tapped by Scholastic to design a new series of covers for the American versions of the Harry Potter books. The new series will be available in the U.S. from August 27 and will include paperbacks of each volume, as well as a newly designed box set. They should start to make their way into international bookstores in Japan sometime this autumn.

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It’s hard to believe that 15 years have passed since J.K. Rowling’s first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” was first released in the U.S. To celebrate the anniversary, Scholastic has decided to redesign the cover artwork. As much as we loved the original covers, we have to say that the new ones are just as great—if not slightly better.

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“The Harry Potter covers by Mary GrandPré are so fantastic and iconic,” said Kibuishi in the Scholastic press release. “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.”

Mary GrandPré’s original art will continue to be featured on the hardcover and digest paperback editions of the books.

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Kibuishi was born in Tokyo, but moved to the United States at an early age. He is the author and illustrator of the Amulet series of graphic novels. He has in the past cited Japanese pop culture as influencing his work, which we think is evidenced in his rendition of Hogwarts, which will appear on the spines of the books (see above). Maybe it’s just us, but there is something very ninja-castle-esque about this drawing. In any case, we can’t wait to get our hands on these beautifully designed books!

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