To whom do we owe the original illustrations of the Harry Potter books?
Paris, April 21, 1963 … born Jean-Claude Götting, who will become an illustrator, painter and comic strip author. After graduating from the Dupéré School of Applied Arts, he published his first comics in the fanzine PLG (short for “Plein La Gueule Pour Pas Un Rond”…). With heartbreaker, which appears in the X collection of Futuropolis, he receives the prize for the best debut album in Angoulême in 1986. He then turned away from comics and dedicated his successes to press illustration and publishing. His illustrations include several children’s books from 1999 (Dad’s tie, mother’s birthday, What beautiful couples!) or in the 2000s (The parrot that understands everything, The Secret of the Snake King,anansi…), drawing collections (faces, duel…).
And he notably also produced the covers of the French edition of the Harry Potter series…
Illustrations of the covers of the French edition of the saga Harry Potter
Jean-Claude Götting is the one who designed all the cover art for the seven books of the saga from the beginning Harry Potter. Harry Potter is the best-selling saga to date, with more than 500,000,000 copies sold worldwide. In particular, it is an emblematic illustration of the first volume entitled Harry Potter at the Philosopher’s Stonethat Jean-Claude Götting introduces Harry Potter himself: a little boy with black hair, a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead and round glasses that give him an unmistakable look. He is dressed in a black wizard’s robe. He is shown standing, holding a magic wand in his right hand. At his side are Ron and Hermione, his faithful companions.
Jean-Claude Götting then takes care of the illustrations for the individual volumes that follow.
New guidelines and challenges for illustrators
Illustrations have to be created, which sometimes presented the author with challenges, as a colleague from BFMTV was able to get to know on January 19th. For the first two volumes, the illustrator was free to choose the illustrations. From the third volume, however, the conditions change. Author JK Rowling wants a “Hippogriff” on the cover. As for the fourth volume, the manuscripts are locked pending publication in England, forcing the illustrator to read in English without having the French translation:
“For the first three, I had access to the text in French before anyone else (…) From The Goblet of Fire, the English agent blocked the manuscripts completely, and the translator himself only had access to them when the English books came out (…) I speak reasonably good English, but reading 800 pages… is something else! »
Then, in 2011, the famous illustrations by Jean-Claude Götting were replaced by new visuals produced by the English graphic designer Jonathan Gray, between photography and illustration, to give it a new visual identity Harry Potter. And in 2016, it’s graphic designer Olly Moss’ illustrations.
January 2023: The collector’s box with theS iconic illustrations by J.-Cl. Goetting
A collector’s box containing the adventures of Harry Potter, which fueled the success of its author, JK Rowling, is out January 19, 2023. A return of the seven books with the original pocket-sized covers! Thus, for the 25th anniversary of the saga, the iconic illustrations by Jean-Claude Götting have returned after their replacement. 25,000 collector’s boxes, with a new illustration on the box by Jean-Claude Götting, who painted an unprecedented fresco of all the main characters of the saga.
The illustrations of the saga Harry Potter but not only …
Jean-Claude Götting has now returned to comics. In 2004 came the return to comics Sanderson Mall published by Delcourt, selected in Angoulême, Tours and Monaco and awarded in Geneva and Tours: it receives the International Prize of the City of Geneva (2004) and in Tours the Lanterna Magica prize, the best comic book adaptable the cinema (2005). He also published the comic in early 2016 Watertown, and receives the Mor Vran 2017 award at the Goëland Mask Festival in Penmarc’h. In 2021 he will publish a new comic strip with New detours. Also return to the illustrations of children’s books (Robin HoodIn 2013 ; The wild prince and the vixen, in 2017) and drawing collections. With cross the nightpublished in June 2019, 39 drawings are reproduced: the night, the darkness, the light that penetrates it, but also the doubt, the unknown, the dream and the hope of dawn …
In 2017 he made his first animated short film: night tapas.