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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Harry Potter And The Apprenticeship At Entertainment Weekly Magazine

Entertainment Weekly Magazine, like the Harry Potter films, is owned by Warner Brothers, so putting the two together was a nice bit of synergy. Tucked inside many issues of the magazine were special artistic treats, like this wonderful illustration of Harry Potter and author J.K. Rowling by artist Kirsten Ulve in 2003. J.K. Rowling created one of the most imaginative collections of stories ever written, and her own personal story of bringing her dreams to life and doing what she loved when she had no money at all is nothing short of inspirational.

Entertainment Weekly's coverage of Harry Potter goes back to the casting of the film in the year 2000. Back then, there was buzz about Haley Joel Osment possibly playing Harry. Really?! A blonde American kid?

Luckily, director Chris Columbus chose Daniel Radcliffe to play Harry Potter. Here, Harry is drawn by artist Jonathan Carlson.

Just as movie audiences watched the actors in the Harry Potter films grow up, Entertainment Weekly readers watched the cartoon versions grow up.

Here, young Harry is drawn by artist Tom Bachtell.

Just like the books, the films were a hit, and Daniel Radcliffe could be found on talk shows to promote the movies.
David Cowles has done some very creative caricatures of celebrities for Entertainment Weekly for many years. This is Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in 2004.

There was always a good chance that Entertainment Weekly readers could find Harry Potter in any section of the magazine.

Here, Harry Potter creates some magical book sales thanks to artist Stephen Savage.

Entertainment Weekly often added their own creative casting suggestions.

Here, artist Thomas Fuchs takes Harry Potter on a wild ride.

Are you a Harry Potter Expert? Prove it by taking The Wiz Quiz, found in Entertainment Weekly on April 6, 2007.

This Harry Potter illustration is by Kirsten Ulve, and it is my favorite cartoon version of Harry.

This quiz is thorough!

You can cheat using the Internet, that is fine.

Here we have a cartoon version of Diagon Alley, with the famous Gringotts Bank.

How did you do on the quiz?

This Magical Mystery Tour illustration by Ronald Kurniawan is stunning.

I would love to see a new dark ride at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal (in Florida, Japan, or California) that looked like this. It could be a potion-induced trip through Hogwarts.

Here we have some fantastic Creatures drawn by Dugald Stermer.

I would also like to see an attraction at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter where you would encounter animatronic versions of these characters.

In Orlando, I think it would be easy for The Forbidden Forest to take over Jurassic Park (which is next door to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) at Universal's Islands of Adventure, and re-theme the flume ride there to feature these creatures. Jurassic Park fans, hold back your venom for a second.

In this scenario, Jurassic Park could be reborn as a water park elsewhere on property. I'm not sure where, exactly. Just imagine floating on a Lazy River raft ride past the T-Rex!

Entertainment Weekly readers got the chance to see Harry Potter's Junior Yearbook.

Look back at the Hogwarts Students and Faculty circa August 3, 2007.

Everyone has changed in just a few short years.

I don't think anyone changed more than Neville, who now looks like he could play the hero in a blockbuster movie.

Lots of colorful characters have worked at Hogwarts. Well, they aren't in color here.

Check out all the activities at Hogwarts. One proposed thing for the movies (that was NOT in the books) that never made it was a cheerleading squad. I'm guessing this is the version of the movie that would have starred Haley Joel Osment as Harry and Hilary Duff as Hermoine (that bit of casting is something I just came up with, and probably wasn't real. Though maybe it was real, and it was a good guess on my part).

Author Stephen King is one Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling's biggest fans.

This great, eerie illustration was done by artist Jesse Lefkowitz.

Entertainment Weekly also frequently featured ads for Harry Potter products.

You can re-create your visit to Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter on your book shelf!

By July of 2011, Harry Potter appeared as the cover story on 16 issues of Entertainment Weekly. Harry Potter got a special issue to celebrate Ten Years of Magic at Entertainment Weekly.

Featured in this issue was this illustration by Zohar Lazar, which looks like it could easily be concept art for a Harry Potter animated series (that I would watch every episode of!).

I know J.K. Rowling is not done with Hogwarts, and I cannot wait to see what is next.


  1. Super post Dan! I really liked the Daniel Radcliffe caricatures, especially the blue face.
    The Junior Yearbook looks cool too. And now I want Universal's Wizarding World of Harry Potter on MY book shelf!

  2. Thanks, Snow White Sanctum! There are some very creative folks at Entertainment Weekly.

    The Roller Coaster Tycoon player strategist side of me thinks Universal and Warner Brothers would make a ton of money by letting Harry Potter take over not only Jurassic Park but also Toon Lagoon, too. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter section of Islands of Adventure at Universal in Orlando is already advertised as a "Harry Potter Theme Park" in so many ads---why not make it a reality? It would be a money machine.

    Imagine the World of Harry Potter you could put on your book shelf then.

  3. I forgot all about those abstract portraits in E.W. (the David Cowles artwork). Does he still do those portraits for the magazine today?

    I'm curious to see how the Harry Potter area at Universal Studios Hollywood will be compared to Orlando's. I like your ideas for Islands of Adventure!

  4. Thanks, TokyoMagic! I haven't seen an issue of Entertainment Weekly in a while, but I bet David Cowles still does artwork for the magazine. Very creative! I bet Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Hollywood will be on a bigger scale than we think, as they have mentioned they do have plenty of expansion room to work with. I can't wait to see what they build there...