Talk about a high profile gig—for the15th anniversary of the series, Harry Potter is getting new covers for the paperback versions by cartoonist Kazu Kibuishi. All seven books will be released in a boxed set in September. Mary Grand Pré’s iconic (and work for hire) covers will continue to be used on the hardcover and digest-sized paperback editions.
Kibuishi’s Amulet series is a strong seller for Scholastic so they’re keeping it in the family so to speak.
“The Harry Potter covers by Mary GrandPré are so fantastic and iconic,” said Kibuishi in a 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?’ 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.”
Kibuishi is also the editor of the fantasy-centric Flight anthologies, and you can see that sensibility in his cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.