Jim Kay has officially begun work on the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and that’s good news that would make even Madam Pince rejoice!
After previously announcing on his website Creepy Scrawlers Ltd. about the completion of his work on Goblet of Fire, Kay went on to inform readers that he aims to “try and make [Order of the Phoenix] a bit more ‘me’.” Promising to hopefully pursue more “expressive” visuals and a “darker direction,” Kay believes the fifth (and longest) book in the series is perhaps “a bleak story to match our bleak times.”
But never-minding that pesky dementor we like to refer to as “current events,” Kay has treated us to early glimpses of concept models for his Kreacher and Thestral illustrations on his Instagram @creepy_scrawlers. See below:
While Kay is off researching and traversing Great Dixter and Ightham Mote in the South of England, Hypable predicts that the Order of the Phoenix‘s release date “will be no earlier than Fall 2021.” This projection comes after citing how Goblet of Fire‘s release date, which is set for Oct. 8, 2019, falls two years after Prisoner of Azkaban‘s release–a skew from the previously anticipated yearly release cycle.
Naturally, as the books in the series begin to grow in length and deepen in content, this means a greater responsibility for Kay and more work for him to tackle. But given Kay’s excellent track record for delivering utterly stunning artwork with the last four books, we can all afford to be patient.
So if this means Hypable is correct when they further assume “that [Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows] will be published in Fall 2023 and Fall 2025 respectively,” it’s a wait that’s worthwhile.
Pre-orders for the illustrated edition of Goblet of Fire can now be placed on Bloomsbury’s official website or via Scholastic for all US-based orders. Leaky reported that a deluxe edition of the long-awaited version is available as well!
Don’t forget to also check out the illustrated editions of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Bloomsbury, Scholastic)–now available in paperback!–and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Bloomsbury, Scholastic). Leaky shared Bloomsbury’s sneak peek of Chris Riddell’s interior art last year–take a look, and you’ll definitely want to add this one to your collection.
And keep an eye out for the illustrated edition of Quidditch Through the Ages. The companion book from award-winning illustrator Emily Gravett is set to be released in October 2020. Start building that extra set of shelves now, Potter fans!