Fans, young and old, bristled with excitement as they gathered at the Scholastic Store in New York City on Harry Potter’s birthday for the unveiling of the new cover of The Deathly Hallows, the final cover illustration by Kazu Kibuishi.
Fans draped themselves in costumes and formed a line that ran out the door of the Scholastic Store and onto Broadway. Attire ranged from the traditional robes of a Hogwarts student to a Sirius Black costume with a “Wanted” poster and all.
Fans of all ages lined up early to get a sneak peak at the final cover by Kazu, including a trio dressed as Hermione Granger, Professor Sybill Trelawney, and a Gryffindor student.
While the three friends loved the classic covers, they’re also excited for Kazu’s final illustration. They believe since the books are so well known, the covers can delve deeper into the story of each book. As Jessica put it, who was dressed as Hermione, “It’s just a good excuse to get dressed up.”
Still, many new fans turned out to see the latest Harry Potter cover, including Cameron, a 7-year-old boy from New York. Cameron just finished reading The Sorcerer’s Stone this summer and came dressed as a Slytherin student with the hopes of seeing the latest book cover. His favorite character? Harry Potter, of course.
Before long, the crowd was allowed into the store and gathered around the spot where the book unveiling was to take place. However, those in attendance were greeted with several surprises, including Kazu Kibuishi himself!
Kibuishi spoke to his fans and shared his favorite memory about creating the Harry Potter covers.
“It was actually painting The Goblet of Fire. It was one of the hardest covers to paint actually. I was finishing it right around the time of the Academy Awards and everyone else was at home watching the awards show. I’ve never missed it once, you know, I’m just a film fan. And I was working that night on the cover, and it was a late night and I was on my own, and it was just me and Harry and the world. And it felt really special to be able to be there in that place when the rest of the world was somewhere so far away.”
Then Kazu spoke about his inspiration for The Deathly Hallows book cover.
“I felt the final cover should be about the main, the core friends within the story and I sort of saw it as the last ride they would have. So I was looking for a moment where it felt kind of felt like that. So that is why I chose the scene that you can see here. And it’s also a tribute to the original cover. I actually wanted to maintain some of the same color palette, the color palette that Mary GrandPré had decided to use and so it was a tribute to her work as well as to the story itself.”
Kazu and the Harry Potter team had one last surprise about the spines of the new book covers. When all seven of the new books are placed side by side, the bindings will reveal the following image.
It’s Hogwarts, as painted by Kazu himself! Kazu then described his inspiration for this amazing painting.
“It’s meant to depict them actually going there for the first time. And I thought if you’re going to look at the books from the spine, then I want to replicate the feeling of being in the boat and journeying out into that world.”
After the unveiling, fans who stuck around could build wands . . .
. . . or spend time with some live magical creatures!
All in all, what a magical day and a beautiful cover for The Deathly Hallows. What do you think? Do you love the latest Harry Potter cover? Leave your thoughts in the Comments below!