Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cover VS Cover: Harry Potter Edition

I had decided to do a special edition of Cover VS Cover featuring the various covers and international editions of the Harry Potter series, in honor of the premiere of the final HP film.  However, the task at hand immediately proved to be intimidating to say the least!  The Harry Potter books have of course been translated into not dozens, but hundreds of languages, and published extensively around the world.  So instead I'm highlighting two very different, but very beautiful, sets of the seven books for your comparison and appreciation.  Both editions are published by Bloomsbury in the UK-- the adult set is also sold in the US and other English-speaking countries.

The Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone
Hey, I could have taken the pic of the quartz for the cover shot of the adult edition!  Kidding.  Seriously, there's something mystical in its simplicity, which is exactly how I always imagined the Philosopher's Stone.  The sword-wielding chess piece is simply enchanting on the children's cover. 

The Chamber of Secrets
The lettering for the Harry Potter logo on both of these sets is so different from the blocky US logo I'm used to seeing.  I do like the new fonts, though.  The entwined snakes on the adult-marketed edition of the Chamber of Secrets is really entrancing... like a knocker on the Gaunt House's front door.

The Prisoner of Azkaban
Azkaban looks somewhat like Alcatraz on the second cover-- very atmospheric and eerie.  I love the bright colors and the glow surrounding Harry's stag Patronus on the children's edition cover-- it might be my favorite of the set.

The Goblet of Fire
LOVE the Dark Mark!  It looks a bit like a Day of the Dead skull, and it's brightness prevents it from being as sinister as the real thing.  Again, I like the simplicity of the magic object featured on the adult edition, here the Goblet of Fire.

The Order of the Phoenix
Initially I was very puzzled by the orb on the first cover... then I smacked myself in the forehead.  It's the prophecy!  It's just that many people have probably come to think of it as being among shelves and shelves of others identical to it in the Department of Mysteries.  The adult cover reminds me a little of the Hunger Games, but I like it overall.

The Half-Blood Prince
Love the illustration of Harry and Dumbledore-- Dumby's looking very wizard-like indeed here.  The waves below the cliffs remind of that famous Japanese painting of the ocean.  Love the tattered quality of the Prince's textbook, too.  

The Deathly Hallows
Headstones on the front cover of a book, well that's kind of ominous to say the least!  I would've picked the dragon the trio ride to represent the last book, but I know another UK edition already used a similar illustration.  The amulet on the adult cover is very eerie and, again, perfect in its simplicity.

Both of these new editions were designed to attract new audiences to Harry Potter.  The illustrated editions are supposed to be for a new generation of young HP readers, and the adult editions are, duh, supposed to convince adults to find out what the Pottermania is all about.  In the end, I like each of the sets equally.  They are polar opposites as far as marketing goes, so it is impossible to really pit them against each other in Cover VS Cover fashion.  Hope you guys enjoyed seeing these covers, if you hadn't already.  :)


flanpnhfpnanfnFN said...

So many great editions! I bet J.K. must have a whole wall of shelves dedicated to Harry Potter :P


Anonymous said...

I love the illustrated versions. I'd buy them just to have them. Lol. The Goblet of Fire is my favorite, which also happens to be my favorite in the series. Also the gold cursive lettering is awesome.

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Okay seriously. Who thought it was a good idea to put a stone on a cover and call it quits. That was not okay!

Fantastic post :)

Morgan said...

Great post! But I actually like the original covers better

Nic @ Irresistible Reads said...

I like both these new editions. But my favourite is the adult set.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I hadn't seen these. I like them all. I think the third and and seventh of the children's edition are great, and I really enjoy the simplicity of the sixth adult version. It's just nice. The last one is cool too, with the amulet though.


Aylee said...

I adore the special edition set! If I had money to spare, I would definitely buy them. I've never been terribly fond of the adult covers so much though. I guess they're good for adults because of their simplicity. But I find some of them to be really tacky and cheap-looking. The locket, for instance, does not look in the least bit expensive, like something Salazar Slytherin would own. The jewels look plastic.

Alexa said...

I think I'll stick with the original US covers. Thanks for sharing your opinion on all of them though.

Katie (The Literary Files) said...

I love that they had more adult aimed covers and then ones for children too! I thought the same thing about Azkaban looking like Alcatraz! I didn't realize the orb was the prophecy until you said it lol! I love how the children's books have a scene or item from the book, so cool!

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