Happy Birthday, Harry Potter! (Part Two: Book cover edition)

Posted: July 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

The final new book cover by Kazu Kibuishi has been revealed! A comparison, taken from Mashable, with commentary, taken from my brain.

At first I was inclined toward the old covers, mostly for nostalgia’s sake I think. Then the new ones grew on my pretty quickly: I think they do a better job of showing the scale of the world contained inside. But for the first cover I’m still partial to Mary GrandPré’s. I love the star-studded sky, the castle, the unicorn, Fluffy, Quidditch… This is a great snapshot of the book’s adventures.

This one is nearly neck-and-neck. But I’m going to go with the old one: I love Fawkes on the cover, and the shadow cast by the chamber.

The crossed patronus and Death Eater win me over completely. Plus I’m a sucker for atmosphere, which the new covers have in abundance.

How striking are the colors on the new Goblet of Fire? I love the golden egg the more I stare at it – the reflections on it are top-notch. Really, the lighting in all the new covers is just mesmerizing. Plus that dragon is pants-wettingly scary.

Love, love, love the new cover here. I like the idea that all readers can now “see” thestrals after the events of the fourth book. Plus the candles in the old one never did it for me. Are they smoking? Are they about to extinguish? I know they’re supposed to be whirling around, but I don’t get that impression from the cover.

Again with the atmosphere and the vastness of the world in the new cover. Kudos to Dumbledore’s withered hand as well. The old covers stopped cramming in details on every square inch as the series went on; look at all that empty space at the top.

It occurs to me that GrandPré may have stopped putting in pieces of the story in the final covers because to do so would have given too much away. At this point as the books were coming out there was so much rampant speculation about how things were going to end that to add more detail would have lead to outcries, wild theories, and Internet explosions. That being said, I love the new cover, but wish the dragon could have looked a little more abused from the goblins, and the kids more ragged from spending the entire book scrounging in the woods and living hand-to-mouth. The tattered robes aren’t enough for me. I think I’m going to call this one for the old cover.


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