Artist Fred Fordham will adapt Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird into a graphic novel, HarperCollins announced this week.
“Adapting a story that means so much to so many, and finding the appropriate art style to give it life in a long-form visual medium, is a great honor and responsibility, and, mercifully, also a great pleasure,” Fordham said in a statement.
London-based Fordham recently worked with another prose author, Philip Pullman, on The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship, which was released in May by Scholastic’s Graphix imprint. He also worked on the Nightfall series by French publisher Delcourt.
The Estate of Harper Lee released a statement on the announcement: “The Estate is very happy to be working with Fred Fordham on this wonderful project. Fred’s work has a quality that surpasses time, just like the novel he will bring to life in a new way. We can’t wait to hear the reaction from old and new fans.”
To Kill a Mockingbird was first published in 1960. Set in the rural Southern United States during the 1930s, it tells the story of a lawyer, Atticus Finch, who is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. The story is told through the eyes of Scout, his daughter, and is based on experiences Lee had growing up. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, and Lee was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. It was Lee’s only published book until 2015, when Go Set a Watchmen was released, which was based on an earlier draft of To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee passed away in 2016.