To Kill a Mockingbird will be getting the graphic novel treatment, it was announced Tuesday morning.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee will be drawn and adapted by artist Fred Fordham, who most recently illustrated Philip Pullman’s graphic novel, The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship.
“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,” said Fordham in a statement. You can see an illustration from the upcoming graphic novel below.
Lee’s first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, sells more than a million copies worldwide each year, and has since been translated into more than 40 languages. The book, which has since been cited as an American classic, tells the story of Scout, a young girl, as she grows up in Maycomb, Alabama, with her brother Jem and lawyer father, Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck in the Academy Award-winning film adaptation). Atticus is called upon to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of sexually assaulting Mayella Ewell, a young white woman, in court. The book has been praised for its exploration of race in small town America.
“To Kill a Mockingbird regularly tops polls as the nation’s most loved book and we are delighted that readers will be able to revisit it, or discover it for the first time, in graphic novel form,” Jason Arthur of William Heinemann Publisher said in a statement. “The art I’ve seen so far from Fred is stunning and his adaptation storyboard is utterly true to the original novel.”
Adds the Estate of Harper Lee: “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.”
Harper Lee is also the author of the recent release, Go Set a Watchman. The To Kill a Mockingbird graphic novel will be released November 2018.