Harry Potter Characters Get Full Makeover

Four new drawings of characters from the cult Harry Potter series have been released this week. Scholastic and Bloomsbury, who originally printed the books in 1997, are set to publish new editions of each of the seven stories, complete with color drawings by illustrator Jim Kay.

The newly-released images depict four of the best-loved characters: Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, and Hagrid.

In 2013, it was announced that Jim Kay was chosen to illustrate the new edition and that J.K. Rowling herself was involved in the selection process. Kay has been doing illustration for about seven years, having honed his skills at the University of Westminster before working at the Tate archives and at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, South West London. His breakthrough came when he won the Kate Greenaway medal for his work on the children’s book A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

When discussing his most recent commission, he admitted he felt a “huge responsibility” depicting the immensely popular series but was nonetheless “extremely excited” to be chosen. “The story is everything,” he told the Telegraph, “and so I want to bring what I can to really show the depth of Rowling’s stories, to their best.” When comparing the drawings to Rowling’s descriptions of the characters in the books, it is clear that Kay has indeed stuck very closely to how the author envisioned her famous witches and wizards.

Kay told the Guardian that although his favorite character is constantly changing, “visually” it has to be Hogwarts’ Gamekeeper Hagrid, describing his “wonderful heart, clothed in an enormous, shabby body.”

The first illustrated book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is due to be published on October 6, 2015.

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