In less than two days I’ll be sitting in a theater for my very last midnight showing of Harry Potter. And sobbing, I’m sure. I’m not one of those people who grew up reading J.K. Rowling’s saga of the boy wizard (I saw the first film in 2001 and then started reading) but the series still holds a very dear place in my heart. And I don’t want to see it go! So, I have a suggestion…
Make Harry Potter comic books.
Not the most original suggestion out there and I know I’m certainly not the first to talk about it but I, and every other Harry Potter fan, need this to happen. Why? Well, we don’t want a good thing to end for one but we also know there will be no more Harry Potter proper. Rowling has insisted she won’t be writing anything else about Harry, even going so far as to promise the film’s star Daniel Radcliffe that he won’t have to reprise his role in the future. And now that they’ve gotten all they could out of the film franchise, comic books just seem the logical way to go.
Champagne wishes and caviar dreams aside, Rowling is a savvy businesswoman who has yet to release the rights for such a project. Although there are some great parody comics of the series out there, one of my favorites by the delightful Lucy Knisley, I’m waiting with baited breath for the real deal. I’m not surprised Harry Potter hasn’t made it to comic books yet; after all, the book series ended not too long ago and the last film is just being released this week. It’s smart not to flood the market but it’s also just the next logical step. Here are a few ideas of how I can see it playing out over the next few years.
Publish the series as-is. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? With seven generously sized novels in the Harry Potter series, a comic book or graphic novel series could go on for years by simply adapting the work that’s already been published. Some people might not be into rehashing what we’ve already seen twice but this is the best bet we probably have for seeing a Harry Potter comic get made. Rowling isn’t writing any more and the chances of her allowing someone else to take liberties with her beloved work are slim at best. But how cool would it be to see the vivid images from the series come to life on the page? This would also be a great tool to get kids who aren’t so eager to read a 300-page book (I know adults who still refuse to pick one up) into reading. And in comic or graphic novel format, a creator would have the freedom to showcase some fan-favorite plot points that has to be glossed over in the films for lengths sake. S.P.E.W. anyone? Yes/no? Ok, but you know what I mean, if you’ve read the books you know how much fantastic stuff was left of the cutting room floor. Comics would be a great way to see that become closer to reality.
Now, what about publishing Harry Potter comics with the main characters having new adventures, but ones that take place within the timeframe of the books? This relies on Rowling giving permission to another writer of course but to me, it seems like an interesting way to approach the series. Think about how much time the characters spent at Hogwarts each year, how many common room conversations we weren’t privy to, how many lessons were skipped over. Sure, we know the big events that took place but who’s to say more things didn’t happen in between? It’s also a fun way to do more character work with not just the main trio but all the wacky personalities Rowling invented in her secondary characters. It’s a way to get to know them all and see even more day-to-day activities of the wizarding world.
Some might say Harry, Hermione and Ron have had enough time in the spotlight, so why not publisher stories about other characters from the book instead? Rowling has said she’ll no longer be writing about Harry but can we read into that that she could potentially write about someone else from the series? The possibilities are almost endless: teachers, parents, the Ministry, the bad guys, etc. I’ve said for years I’d love to see the entire series told from the perspective of Neville Longbottom and the secret adventures he had while Harry was off acting the hero. It would be great if Rowling herself would write stories for this particular scenario but it would be just as fun to see what someone else could come up with. Personally, I can’t wait for the Hagrid mini-series…
Besides me being a greedy fan who doesn’t want the fun to end, a Harry Potter comic book or graphic novel series would be one of the biggest booms this industry has ever had. Not to mention a veritable goldmine for the publisher that gets it. Warner Bros. were lucky enough to get the film rights, does that mean they’d be the frontrunners for the comic rights too? Not necessarily, Rowling could go with a smaller publisher instead, or go her Pottermore route and create her own comic publisher for the series. Rowling has kept the ebook sales in her own hands, the same could be done for Harry Potter digital comics but as long as they are printed at all, it’s an instant hit. Everyone is always brainstorming how to get new readers into the comic shops, can you imagine the amount this would bring in?
Besides re-reading the books and watching our DVDs until they skip, we have no more Harry Potter coming to us after this week (at least until they reboot the films in five years time) so I say bring on the Harry Potter comics! Pretty please, with Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans on top!!