TIME TO CONJURE YOUR PATRONUS – FIRST LOOK AT THE NEW ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX BY J.K. ROWLING, REVEALING SPECTACULAR COVER ART BY JIM KAY, AS HE INVITES GUEST ILLUSTRATOR NEIL PACKER TO JOIN HIM IN AN EXCITING CREATIVE COLLABORATION.
Jim Kay’s Illustrated Editions of the Harry Potter novels have been eagerly collected by readers across the world since the first publication of the illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2015. Jim has shown himself to be an artist of astonishing versatility and talent, channelling his love for J.K. Rowling’s magical stories into the most incredible body of illustrative work.
Harry Potter’s fifth adventure, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, will be published on 11 October 2022 in the UK, a beautiful hardback featuring an incredible jacket illustration showing the students in Dumbledore’s Army practising their Patronus magic. Harry watches in delight as Cho Chang’s swan soars above the Room of Requirement, while Hermione summons her otter Patronus in a shimmer of silvery-blue light. It’s a mesmerising Hogwarts moment that could only come from the world of Harry Potter, and the paintbrush of Jim Kay. An exclusive first-look of the Illustrated Edition is now available to view on Wizarding World Digital and to see Jim’s cover come to life before your very eyes, watch the YouTube video below:
The book is an enormous commission that Jim has been working on for over two years. As progress unfolded on the project, it gradually became apparent to Jim that the time was right to invite a guest collaborator to come and play in the wizarding world. That guest is Neil Packer – an established and versatile illustrator, and also Jim’s dear friend.
Jim Kay says: ‘Illustrating Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was always going to be a challenge; the scale of the book meant for a huge variety of characters and locations to choose from. It was a great privilege to have Neil Packer helping with this daunting task. As a fan of his work it was wonderful to see his illustrations appear in the text, and so nice to be working with him in the team. He is perfect for Potter.’
Neil is an important artist in his own right, working in his own eclectic style to create beautiful, complementary artwork that is skilfully woven into the heart of the book. This differentiation is conscious and deliberate, and Jim is excited to see his readers embrace Neil’s guest role on the project. Neil has created approximately a quarter of the imagery for The Order of the Phoenix. Neil’s decorative illustrations include an astonishing cutaway of the Ministry of Magic and an exquisite interpretation of centaur Firenze’s Divination classroom, along with other magical artefacts and favourite locations from the wizarding world. Each piece is totally original – complementing Jim’s painterly narrative scenes whilst remaining uniquely Neil Packer.
Neil Packer adds: ‘As both a friend and a colleague it was an honour to be asked to work alongside Jim Kay on this book. Jim has invested so much in this series already and I was very conscious of not wanting to encroach on the stunning work which only he can do. The sheer scale of this book and the wonderful richness of imagination within the writing perhaps left space for a second approach and it has been a great joy and a challenge to try and work in harmony with Jim’s pictures and to visualise some of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world.’
Jim continues to be the creative essence for the imagery and the emotional heart of the book, visualising beloved characters, pivotal scenes and narrative moments. Highlights include new portraits of the toady professor Dolores Umbridge and loyal friend Luna Lovegood, incredible views of 12 Grimmauld Place, and spine-tingling scenes as good forces battle evil inside the Department of Mysteries.
Anticipation mounts for the October publication of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, a classic in the making supported by an exciting and wide-reaching sales, marketing and PR campaign running from publication through to Christmas 2022. A gorgeous, cloth-bound Deluxe Illustrated Edition will publish simultaneously with a foiled slipcase, gilt-edges and an exclusive pull-out extra poster inside.