| .: Discover the covers – Again! :.|
In the last edition of Harry Potter Around the World, I spoke of some very interesting covers of the books from around the world. I showed you how artists visualize our cherished trio, sometimes way too different from what we’re used to. I received some e-mails from people who wanted to discuss those covers or to just affirm how non-sense some of them really were (a special kiss to Moira from Italy!). Also, I may confess that I felt a little bit upset by not including several great illustrations in the previous editorial. Hence, I have decided that the covers needed to be explored again. They’re just too interesting to be left aside!
Okay, explanations made, let’s go straight to our main subject. I’d like to start with one more Italian cover. In the previous editorial, I showed you a picture of the Philosopher / Sorcerer’s Stone that depicts an intrigued Harry Potter wearing a weird rat-like hat. What seems really amusing to me is that Serena Riglietti - the artist who made the images of the covers - has a kind of obsession for strange hats. For the second book, Harry Potter e la Camera dei Segreti, she drew a stunning picture of Harry Potter flying on a giant diary over the moonlight (the Portuguese version has a very similar design). It would be just right, unless for the atypical hat that she made Harry wear. This time is not a rat, but a snake-like one (although it looks like a crocodile, too). What she’s got on her head?? (This was a pun, folks!) Check the picture:
Once I’m speaking of covers form countries that I’ve already cited, you must remember the caricatural one from Finland, don’t you? It showed a very ugly trio, with big teeth and noses and horrible clothes. Well, apparently this is the style of the artist who makes the covers. If you enter the website of the Finnish Publishing House, Tammi, you’ll come across a Harry Potter that looks more like a bad-dressed Pinocchio trying to use a wand, than like Daniel Radcliffe. You can have an idea by the illustration of “Harry Potter Ja Feenisksin Kilta” (the fifth book). Not only does Harry have a huge nose, but so does the other boy who’s beside him. By the way, who’s that boy? It’s not Ron, because he’s not red-haired. Neither is he Sirius. It looks more like a Harry Potter clone, childishly happy this time. And to top it all off, there’s a kind of frog-like being, which is holding the “angry Harry’s” shoulder. He seems happy with his right eye looking towards the opposite side which his left one is pointing to. Very funny:
It’s not just the older covers that are funny or odd. The illustration of the German version of the seventh book, Harry Potter und die Heiligtümer des Todes, is already available on Internet and it is quite interesting! We can see an image of the fight between Harry and Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest with a big audience of green shadows of Death Eaters. Voldemort, however, is extremely skinny, looking more like a raised ant than a powerful wizard. His body is so thin that you need to stare carefully at his wand to avoid confusing it with his left arm. Also, Nagini – that is above him – appears to me much more well-fed than him. In front of this scene, there’s an impervious Harry Potter with tiny glasses and dark-green hair – a design used in all the seven covers. It is striking in all senses of the word:
Now, tell me: have you ever thought of a Harry Potter cover which does not depict Harry Potter? It may sound weird for you, but in the Dutch and the Japanese versions of all the books, the Boy-Who-Lived doesn’t appear! I mean, in the Harry Potter en de gevangene van Azkaban (the Dutch third book) he shows up flying on Buckbeak. Nonetheless, he’s hiding his face on Buckbeak’s neck, like he’s ashamed of being on such a well-sold book (I understand, it may be hard to be in all bookstores around the country). Or maybe the artist who drew it didn’t want the trouble of immortalizing Harry’s face into the Dutch minds, so he simply hid it. Despite this fact, the cover is gorgeous with its mix of colors and its delicate painting:
There aren’t just comical covers, though. The Japanese ones, for instance, were drawn in the Japanese style of art, with beautiful landscapes and some elements of the oriental culture. Each cover brings new important characters and/or places of the book, but none of them shows the major ones, such as the trio or Dumbledore. Perhaps, adding them would spoil the scenery. A great example of it is the illustration of the fifth book. In the middle of the scene there is a big black dog – Sirius, although you may not know it before reading, which adds a sense of mystery. He sits in front of Grimmauld Place, and there are some shadows far behind him. A piece of an English phone booth can be seen, a subtle symbol to the Ministry of Magic. The sky is delightfully red, creating a beautiful color combination. Fascinating, in my opinion:
Well, folks, I finish here. There are plenty of other beautiful and weird covers around the world. If you ever have the time, do search for them all. You’ll meet a great diversification of ideas and arts, some of them quite odd for us. It’s worth seeing it!
Thanks a lot for reading this editorial! I hope you’ve liked it. Remember: if you’ve got any story that you think would be cool to tell the people, please, don’t be ashamed of sending me an e-mail: bruno at thesnitch dot co dot uk. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
P.S. Swagata from India sent me an e-mail explaining the Finnish cover art. Apparently, that Harry clone was his Father, James, because "you can see Snape upside down in the background and James is supposed to be almost identical to Harry" (I'm quoting her). So, it was really a clone! The girl in front of them might be Lily (or one of the marauders). Also, the frog-like being is Umbridge, once "she’s described in the book as toad-like". I wouldn’t guess it even if I were Finnish and had just finished the book! Thanks a million, Swagata!
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