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Last updated: December 28th, 2002
Books of Magic

Is Harry Potter a copy-cat?
He is a loner wearing spectacles and a black hair. Because his family doesn't understand him he is drifting around on his own. One day he meets some strange people that asks whether he believes in magic. He is told that he has the potential to become the greatest human wizard.

This is the beginning of the comic series Books of Magic that was first published in the US in 1990. (It is sometimes being published in Denmark, usually under the title "Magic Fantasy"). The series describes Tim's adventures among wizards of all kinds, both good and evil. He slowly learns to master spells, but in the mean time he realizes that he is not just another wizard, but has been chosen by the higher powers to fight the evil.

Now, before you say cheep imitation you ought to look at the copyright notice. That's right the first story featuring Timothy Hunter was published by DC Comics in 1990. Since then more than 75 issues have followed. He is, in other words, quite a bit older than the world famous Harry Potter, even though the stories share a remarkably number of simmilarities. In that way it is interesting to ask wether Tim Hunter was a model for Harry Potter. Did JKR know about Timothy Hunter? Is it a unique coinsidence that the stories share not only a similar universe, but also a similar main character? I don't know, and because DC Comics is a part of the Warner-business we will definitely not see a lawsuit.

But back then, who cared about the univers of Tim Hunter? Who took it seriously when you talked about the magic universe, the owl, the spells? And it's not that the series is poor, it is actually really good. Not only the artistics, but the story itself is much more complex than a great many books. For instance, Tim's relationship to magic is much less clarified and more sophisticated than in the world of Harry Potter. Tim doesn't use magic like Harry when he waves the wand, plays Quidditch or travels by flo powder. And the school is not just a wierd British bordingschool where the stairs and pictures are moving. In Tim's world the training takes place in a parallel universe that seems like a dream, where only fragments make sense - until the puzzle, slowly, is put together and it turns out that Tim has to face evil itself.