September 4, 2014
This Graphic Novel Replaced The Magic In 'Harry Potter' With Computer Programming

It may be a long while off before hardcore Harry Potter fans get their hands on an official graphic novel penned by J.K. Rowling, but the next best thing may have just been written. A graphic novel called Secret Coders takes the familiar concept of the Harry Potter books and brings it into the modern age, while cutting out the supernatural bits.

Wired reported on the graphic novel written by Gene Luen Yang, describing it as Harry Potter with computers. The plot is essentially the same as Harry's introduction to the world of wizardy. Two young students, Hopper and Eni, stumble upon a secret school, hidden from the rest of the world underneath their strict and stifling prep school. The underground institution contains an incredible source of knowledge and power: modern technology.

The students of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series learn spells and potions, while the students in the graphic novel learn computer coding. As Wired says, fans of Secret Coders will have one distinct advantage over fans of Harry Potter, they'll actually be able to learn the fantastic lessons taught in the book and apply them to real life.

Secret Coders

The author, Gene Luen Yang, explained that computers in Secret Coders took on the same kind of magical mystery as the wizarding world in Harry Potter. The capabilities of computer code hold immense power in the modern age, and it serves as a metaphor in the graphic novel for Gene Luen Yang's introduction to it as a child:

"There's something magic about coding, especially old-school coding," said Yang. "When you type these words into this machine, something kind of magic, something kind of crazy happens."
Gene Luen Yang is a computer programming instructor and an award-winning artist and comic book author. Other graphic novels of his include American Born Chinese and Boxers and Saints. His newest work, Secret Coders, is aimed at middle school students, hoping to capture their imaginations and inspire them to venture into the world of computer programming like so many young fans of Harry Potter were captivated by the fictional magic of J.K. Rowling's world.

The Outhousers previewed the graphic novel, claiming that the first book of Secret Coders will be released on September 29. The graphic novel will not only feed readers' craving for another Harry Potter, it will also teach basic computer programming fundamentals and the Logo programming language.

For more news on Harry Potter, check out the recent news about the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off film.