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New 'Harry Potter' covers commissioned for 15th anniversary

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Feb. 13, 2013 at 4:44 PM   |   Comments

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- American Muggles raised on "Harry Potter" books brought to life by Mary GrandPre's iconic illustrations might balk at the suggestion that any other art deserves to grace the series' covers.

Nevertheless, Scholastic announced Wednesday that it had commissioned Kazu Kibuishi, best known for the "Amulet" series of graphic novels, to design seven new "Harry Potter" covers for the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of J.K. Rowling's beloved books.

Though you won't see the new editions in stores until September, Scholastic released Kibuishi's version of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Unlike GrandPre's design, which shows Harry straddling a broomstick in pursuit of the Snitch, Kibuishi drew Harry and Hagrid walking through Diagon Alley.

In a press release, Kibuishi said he "hestitated" to take on the project and didn't want to see GrandPre's "fantastic" covers "reinterpreted."

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 an interview with "Good Morning America," Kibuishi said he felt like he was doing "Harry Potter" fan art, but "in the style of classic literature.

"I was thinking of 'Great Expectations' or 'A Christmas Carol,'" he said.

What do you think of the new design?

Follow @KateStan and @UPI on Twitter.
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