Harry Potter's 20th anniversary is going to go on for the next ten years. The original Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone came out in the UK in 1997. The final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, came out in 2007. In between, the other books all came out, including the US edition of the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in 1998. That means this year, 2018, is the 20th anniversary of the novels arriving on U.S. shores. To celebrate, Scholastic is releasing new Harry Potter 20th anniversary book editions covers for collectors to drool over.
The books, which are available starting June 26, feature cover artwork by artist Brian Selznick. An award-winning children's book illustrator, Selznick is best known for his illustrations in 2008's The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which he won the Caldecott Medal that year. This is his first chance at illustrating the Harry Potter series.
Unlike some of the other cover art creations of the Harry Potter novels over the years, these stand out in a couple of different ways. First of all, they're black and white drawings. Second of all, they're crowded. Like seriously intensely detailed crowded, with references to the events inside each of the stories.
Check out this video of the cover art:
According to Scholastic's announcement along with the above video:
Scholastic has unveiled new covers for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as part of its year-long campaign to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Illustrated by worldwide bestselling author and Caldecott Medal-winning artist Brian Selznick, the new paperback editions will be published in the U.S. on June 26, 2018.
Each of the individual copies of the books is available for purchase now, through Amazon and other retailers listed on the Scholastic site. There will also be a full box set edition which is currently available for pre-order but will not arrive until August, just ahead of the US 20th anniversary's official date of Sept. 1, 2018.
This is not Selznick's only connection to the Potterverse, now he's part of the artistic team. According to The Leaky Cauldron:
Selznick’s art will be displayed at the History of Magic exhibition (beginning this October) at the New York Historical Society Museum and Library, tickets for which are currently on sale.
Selznick, who is apparently a proud Hufflepuff, was also on Good Morning America this week to talk about the book covers' release.
Speaking to GMA, he said:
I knew this project came with so much responsibility to the stories, as well as to the readers. I revisited the books and was especially moved by the relationships between the characters in J.K. Rowling's magical world, so I wanted these covers to reflect that.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in the UK, which was published in July of 1998. It was once again delayed by a year in traveling to the US, arriving in June of 1999, so the 20th anniversary for Chamber of Secrets in this country will be 2019.
Next year also marks the 20th-anniversary release of Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, which was released in both the UK and the US (July 1999 for the UK, September 1999 for the US.) From there on out, the 20th anniversary years will line up in both countries for the rest of the books in 2020, 2023, 2025, and 2027 respectively.
Meanwhile, this year also sees the release of the next chapter of the Fantastic Beasts story, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The screenplay, written by J.K. Rowling, will be published by Scholastic this coming November in conjunction with the film's release worldwide and is also available for pre-order on their site.