Did a Professor at Bard Create Harry Potter 7 Years Before Rowling?
A Hudson Valley professor came up with a character and story very similar to Harry Potter almost 7 years earlier. How did this happen and did he get credit?
Everyone knows about Harry Potter. I'm personally not a big fan. I've never read one Harry Potter book or even seen any of the movies, but the series is such a big part of pop culture that it's almost impossible to not know something about it. A kid with glasses becomes a wizard and goes to a school to hone his magical powers. Does that sound about right? If you've never read a Harry Potter book you could still describe what he looks like.
I may not be a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, but I am still a pretty avid reader. I love collecting comic books. One of my favorite writers is Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is an art professor at Bard College but he's best known for writing Coraline, American Gods, and DC's dark hit, The Sandman which will soon be a show on Netflix.
I recently stumbled on a lesser-known book from Gaiman that made me do a double-take. Gaiman has several comic book writing credits and one of his most obscure ones is strangely enough so recognizable because of its bizarre similarity to Harry Potter.
In 1990, DC Comics published a 4 part mini-series called The Books of Magic. Books of Magic is about a young boy named Timothy Hunter who has the potential to be the greatest magician in the world and his journey to harness his powers. The first Harry Potter book was published in 1997.
Look at the kid on the cover of the book. Notice some familiar things?
Timothy resembles the image we have of Harry Potter. He even has a pet owl!
Did J.K. Rowling draw inspiration for Harry Potter from this series? It's possible. The Harry Potter series is not short on legal controversies. However, in the list of lawsuits surrounding the book, DC VERTIGO's The Books of Magic doesn't appear to be mentioned.
What do you think?