Alhambra artist to design new Harry Potter covers

Harry Potter is getting a fresh new look from an Alhambra artist. Scholastic Publishing is releasing new book covers for J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter series to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the first book's publication in the United States. The iconic original book art was designed by artist Mary GrandPre, local artist Kazu Kibuishi will bring the magical world of wizards and witches to life.

Kazu Kibuishi with his son Juni in 2011 at his Alhambra studio.Scholastic selected Kibuishi to attract a new generation of readers who have not been introduced to the corridors of Hogwarts yet. Kibuishi approached the project like an historian studying art. “When I was creating the first cover, my goal was to try and fuse the high concepts and modern fantasy of Harry Potter with imagery that might remind someone of classic literature.  So while painting, I tried to recall 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens and 'Treasure Island' by Robert Louis Stevenson,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “I tried to approach this project like a historian looking back at the series as a perennial classic, and I painted the images accordingly.

Kibuishi in his Alhambra studio. Photo by Nathan Solis. The Alhambra artist’s new cover of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" features Harry’s first time walking into Diagon Alley. Kibuishi says that he chose this scene because as a reader, it was his first introduction to the magical world of the book. “It was a fitting portrait for the feeling of the first book, and it provided me with a great composition to work from,” he told WSJ.

All seven new covers will be for sale in stores this September.

Kibuishi also created "Amulet", a graphic novel series for Scholastic about two siblings who discover an alternate version of Earth. We caught up with Kibuishi in his Alhambra studio in 2011 to talk about his art process and work.

“I want this series to be something that makes you want to reread it again,” Kibuishi said of Amulet. “So as a child you’ll enjoy it and as an adult you’ll come back for more.”

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