Pottermore revealed

Well, as I mentioned the other day, J. K. Rowling is rolling out a new Harry Potter-themed project called “Pottermore.” I had speculated that it was going to be the long-awaited official encyclopedia of the Potterverse. Sadly, in my view at least, Pottermore has turned out to be nothing quite that exciting. As it turns out, Pottermore is essentially a proprietary eBook sales site, with some background notes on the setting thrown in to create an online community and ensure that diehard Harry Potter fans keep coming back to the site. That’s fine, nothing wrong with any of that, but I had just been hoping for something more.

eBook editions of all seven books will be out in October, and if you’ve ever wanted to read 18,000 words of notes on Professor McGonagal’s backstory, you’ll be able to do that too.

Pottermore

Haven’t heard much from J. K. Rowling lately, but she has resurfaced with a big new surprise for fans of Harry Potter: there is now a mysterious new website called Pottermore. No real content there, but if you click on the that provides an owl-themed countdown toward some announcement in a few days time.

I expect that rather than new Potterverse fiction, this is the long-awaited official Harry Potter encyclopedia. Rowling has been quoted in the past saying “I might do an eighth book for charity, a kind of encyclopedia of the world so that I could use all the extra material that’s not in the books … we’ll see!” You will also recall that Rowling sued the author and publisher of a proposed Harry Potter Lexicon, stating that she intended to one day undertake such a project herself. This may be it. If so, my concern is that Rowling will insert more silliness about the characters and setting that doesn’t actually appear in the novels, like the absurd “Dumbledore is gay” concept.

In any case, should be interesting to see what Pottermore turns out to be.

Harry Potter comics

Sadly, I am unable to announce that J. K. has authorized graphic novel editions of the Harry Potter series (but wouldn’t it be cool if she did?). Instead, I can announce that a talented and clever illustrator named Lucy Knisley has created condensed comic versions of the first five books in the series. Her work reminds me vaguely of Herge’s Tintin artwork. There are obviously plot spoilers in all the comics, so readers beware.

Here’s the first one, but check out all five of them here.