You may have heard this news already but I thought it worth posting and thinking about. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the start of the Harry Potter series, Scholastic, the U.S. publisher, will release all seven books with new cover art. Kazu Kibuishi, a graphic novelist, will be doing the new artwork. This will only be on the trade paperback editions. The artwork of Mary GrandPre, who did the original U.S. covers, will still appear on the hardback and digest paperback editions. Scholastic will also release the boxed set of the “school” books, namely Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
As to why Scholastic is releasing the books with new artwork, Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade Publishing says, “In the last year, we’d been thinking of how to make Harry Potter accessible and relevant to a new audience of eight- and nine-year-olds…We started the Harry Potter Book Club as a way to bring kids, some of whom maybe only knew the movies, back to the books, and introduce this wonderful world to them. Mary’s covers are so iconic to all of us, and they will remain on the U.S. hardcover and digest paperback editions. But we were trying to figure out a new look, with new appeal, and with the 15th anniversary coming up, it seemed like a good idea to hook into that.”
And, she might have said, to continue to cash in on the Harry Potter phenomenon. Nothing wrong with that, though. Scholastic is, after all, in the business to make money. Anyway, you can find the image of the new cover of Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone here.
So, what do you think of the new artwork? What about Ms. Berger’s stated reasons for it? Think it will get new readers into Harry Potter? Will you, if you have a full set of books already, still buy the new versions just for the artwork? Feel free to share all your thoughts here.
One last thought: 15 years since Potter started, Wow! I didn’t start reading the books until 2005, around the tender age of 39, and I didn’t get involved in the fandom until around 2006-2007. As a quick poll, who was reading the books from the very beginning? Thanks for sharing!