The webcomics blog about webcomics


We told you a few weeks ago about Kazu Kibuishi and his commission to redo the covers for the Harry Potter books; he made the trip to New York for the final image unveiling (and to meet readers and fans). The cover images for the seven books, plus the slipcase and spine art, can be seen at the Scholastic website, alongside the original Mary GrandPré illustrations. They’re beautiful, choose iconic moments from the story to choose, and typically depict Harry in a state of acting rather than a state of being, if you take my meaning.

But it’s a picture in a tweet that makes me really appreciate the work that Kibuishi’s done.

You may recall from our discussion that he proposed doing back cover images as well as front covers, and Scholastic agreed; the back cover for Sorcerer’s Stone was shared a few hours ago and it took my breath away. The close up figures and faces of Harry and his parents could be neighbors to Emily and Navin, it’s so in line with his style; at the same time, it’s unmistakably Harry, Lily and James Potter, their postures and body language conveying all that the longtime (or first time, for that matter) reader knows (or will know) about that family.

As it turns out, I recently passed my hardcovers of the Potter books onto a niece and nephew who weren’t yet born when the books finished; I may need to pick up the boxed set when it releases just to have the visuals in my home.

Further recognition:

  • Jeph Jacques hit the Big Round Number (strip count) of 2500 on Monday, and today he hit the Big Round Number (years) of 10 today, in the midst of a story arc that I think he could spend a year or so on without it getting boring¹. It’s been a long, long journey for Jacques from strip number one, with the requisite drama and upheaval both in-strip and in real life. Here’s hoping for exactly as many more Big Round Numbers (strips and years) as he finds he has to share².
  • Speaking of Jacques, one of the things that impresses me about him is his desire to be creative in multiple media; while the comic is what gets the attention, I have the feeling he could happily compose and record music for Deathmøle pretty much forever. Likewise, the very funny Chris Hastings is never one to rest on his laurels, stretching out to the lighthearted side of comics writing for Marvel with Deadpool and the recently-announced Longshot miniseries³.

    He’s also, for most of the past year, been studying improv, which I feel has only sharpened his comedic instincts, and for the first time he feels he’s ready to share his new skills with the public at large. If you’re in Manhattan tonight, Hastings and his team will be in the improv competition known as INSPIRADO.

    It’s okay, I didn’t know that was either, but he explained it to me a while back. Two teams compete to perform comedy based around challenges taken from the letters I N S P I R A D and O, and it’s possibly — likely, even — that the word is not completed due to failures of one or both teams. If I recall his explanation correctly, the O stands for Oh shit as the challenge becomes impossibly hard, and it’s rare that a team reaches ultimate victory. We at Fleen join all right-thinking people in wishing Hastings and his team the best of luck, and we would totally be there if not for this stupid day job.

¹ Namely, the state of artificial intelligence in his world. Specifically, he’s dealing with the concept of robot offense and robot punishment, which is downright fascinating.

² Also butts.

³ Hastings shared with me some of what he’s doing in that miniseries, and even as a not-particularly-familiar-with-Marvel reader, it sounds frickin’ hilarious.

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