Jim Kay to Pass On Illustration Baton

Jim Kay the Kate Greenaway Medal winning illustrator of the Harry Potter series is to step down after the publication of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on 11th October. This latest edition will see Jim Kay joined by guest artist Neil Packer, winner of the Bologna Ragazzi Award 2021.

“When I received a phone call back in 2013 with an offer of an illustration job, I could never have anticipated the impact it would have upon my life. I am extremely lucky to have been involved in a franchise that has meant so much to so many people across the world. After 10 years of working with Bloomsbury, it is with great sadness that I have to step down from illustrating Harry Potter. I have been struggling with mental health illness for some time, and it would be wrong to try and continue when I can no longer give the fans and the series the full commitment and energy it deserves. 

“What comforts me is the knowledge that Bloomsbury will continue working with and supporting other artists to make the remaining books both beautiful and inspiring for a new generation of young readers. I would never have travelled this far through Harry’s journey without the constant support and patience of Bloomsbury and J K Rowling. I must thank them both for giving me 10 years of happy scribbling, and for the opportunity to meet so many Potter fans from all walks of life. We’ve all found inspiration between the pages of Jo’s books; for myself, it’s that intangible moment between reading words and creating pictures that I enjoyed, and shall miss, so much.”

Jim Kay The Bookseller 07 October 2022

Our friends at The Rowling Library are collecting supportive messages to send as a gift to Jim, which you can contribute to here. The illustrated editions have given fans of the series a valuable visual cue, unconnected to the films. I can imagine they are a much loved possession for new readers, sumptuously illustrated as they are, and it is to be hoped that any new illustrators continue in Jim’s tradition.

P Wayne Stauffer – Starting Harry Potter

P Wayne Stauffer, English Instructor at Southeast Houston Community College has written a Guest Post – his review of the new Wizarding World initiative to engage first time young readers in the stories. Today is the birthday of both Harry Potter and his creator, so what better time to refresh our memories on the series publishing history, and what this new initiative can bring for the young.

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Cursed Child Bailing Out BroadwayCon? Distancing New Version from Rowling?

It looks like the cast and producers leading the Broadway production of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is going to make an appearance at Mischief Management’s 8-10 July edition of BroadwayCon. This is news to note on several levels. BroadwayCon is the first Mischief Management gathering since the pandemic closed their popular LeakyCon and Con of Thrones as well. Is this last minute agreement for the most popular Broadway show in recent history to make a stage interview panel a la ComicCon with movie ensembles a life-saver to Melissa Anelli’s company? They are certainly more likely to sell out of Day Passes for the opening night of BroadwayCon now that the ‘Cursed Child’ cast will be there for a meet-and-greet.

The friends who sent me this news were more than a little surprised by the news, however. They know that LeakyCon has anathematized Rowling as a transphobe and bigot — so why would the Sonia Friedman Production decision makers reach out to help or just agree to participate in a venue whose Mischief Management owners libel Rowling left and right? They sent me this link to a Good Morning America interview on 19 May with the actors playing Scorpius and Albus in which Brady Dalton Richards explains why he is so excited about the new ‘Cursed Child’ one-part version that is opened in May (cf. 1:20 in this clip): [Read more…]

Take a Virtual Wizarding World Trip to Universal-Orlando with ResortTV1

With high gas prices and all the other challenges of travel these days, you may not be up for a trip to Central Florida and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so you may want to check out the YouTube channel of ResortTV1. This lovely channel has been around for over 13 years, with brother and sister team Josh and Jenna vlogging and regularly streaming from the Universal and Disney Parks.

If you can’t go out on a Friday night, go with Josh and Jenna (and sometimes their parents or Josh’s wife and son) on a stress-free visit to beautiful Orlando! I’ve enjoyed reliving my own days in that area, as Jenna and Josh wander around my old stomping grounds (the Disney World streams at Christmastime were my stress escape!). They are wonderful hosts, very family friendly and relaxed, taking viewers to the front of the line and to great views of the parades and fireworks with no crowds, high costs, or sweltering heat.

If you’ve never been to Universal Studio’s Wizarding World, check out this video from last fall, in which you can see some of the Wizarding World seasonal entertainment. You can also see some of the sites on other visits to the park. If you are hoping to visit the Wizarding World (or any other resort area park) in the future, this channel will whet your appetite. Enjoy!

All J. K. Rowling’s Twitter Headers

During the weekend I was talking with our friends, the hosts of the Strike Ellacott Podcast, and Beatrice Groves about the valuable hints that J. K. Rowling’s twitter headers can give us about what she is working on. It was clear that we did not have a single repository of her twitter headers, nor a reliable indication of when they were current.

The Wayback Machine is an internet archive that stores webpages, and allows researchers to see the page as it was when the archive was captured. Using this tool I have captured what I believe is a complete set of all the Rowling twitter headers.

I consider this a work in progress- there are lots of missing dates in the archive, so the dates are the date of the first captured page. If you spot any errors or omissions, please let me know in the comments down below, and I will correct.

I would also like to build links to articles discussing and analysing the more interesting headers, again please let me know in the comments.

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