Congrats to Ben Wallis, winner of the Harry Potter Re-Covered Books contest

Ben Wallis' cover for Harry Potter

With the Harry Potter Re-Covered Books contest I asked entrants to “create a cover that defines what Harry Potter is.” We all have an idea of what the character and his friends are like, from either reading the books or watching the films or a mixture of both. Harry is now a pop icon who resides alongside Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. So how do you take that core idea of what a character is and remake it? Well, I think I found the answer. With the help of some friends and loved ones I decided on the cover created by Ben Wallis. There were so many amazing entries this time around, I seriously had to narrow my list of 8 great entries down to one. Here’s why I think Ben’s is the best.

First their’s the illustration style. Ben’s interpretation of Harry is spot-on, with a giant head of messy hair. There’s also something about the illustrations that feel British to me. Not sure if people will agree with me on that, but the style is slightly sketchy and is similar to folks like Luke Pearson and Lizzy Stewart. There’s also the way he drew the Hogwart House mascots, which are silly and rather fun, and the giant pile of magical detritus on the back is a perfect touch.

The layout is also really interseting as it seems that Ben has thought this out to be a series of books, rather than just a one off. This was something I hadn’t considered whe I started the contest, but I’m glad he did. I’d love to see how the magical pile changes and shifts as the series goes on. Perhaps the last book would simply have the horcruxes? Perhaps it’s a box under a bench? There’s a ton of potential there.

Most of all, I think if you handed this to a child their eyes would light up. I remember reading Dr. Dredd’s Wagon of Wonders, a tale from the Coven Trees series that I loved as a kid. But what really sold me was the illustration on the cover of the insidious ringmaster. Every time I read the book I’d look at him and it sealed the deal that this was a real place, a real universe. Ben’s cover has that same feeling to me.

A huge cognrats to Ben for such a wonderful job. I’ll be sure to do a round-up of the runners-up for tomorrow, so be sure to check that out as well.

May 2, 2012