“The Wire” Creator David Simon’s Latest Project Is in a New Medium: Comics

Artist Philippe Squarzoni has adapted his book "Homicide" as a graphic novel

David Simon
David Simon attends HBO's "The Plot Against America" premiere at Florence Gould Hall on March 04, 2020.
Dia Dipasupil/WireImage

For the last 30 years, David Simon has had a hand in some of the greatest shows to appear on television. That began with the NBC series Homicide, which was based on Simon’s book of the same name. His work creating television projects — including The Wire, Show Me a Hero, The Deuce and The Plot Against America — is one of the most impressive bodies of work in the medium.

Given his background as a reporter, it’s safe to say that Simon has always had footholds in multiple mediums. And that also might help explain what he’s doing working in a medium that, until recently, he hasn’t had much experience in: comic books.

Writing at Popverse, Zach Rabiroff has more details on a two-part adaptation of Homicide in graphic novel form, an adaptation by the French artist Philippe Squarzoni. Rabiroff’s interview with both Simon and Squarzoni offers plenty of details as to how the project came together — as well as Simon’s admission that, when it comes to comics, “I’m not averse to it, I just, you know, probably haven’t found it with the vigor that some people have.”

For his part, Squarzoni spoke of being inspired to adapt Homicide shortly after he began reading it. “At the time, the book had not been translated into French,” he told Popverse. “And on reading the first pages, comic strips began to appear to me spontaneously.”

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Simon found parallels between Squarzoni’s adaptation of his book and his own adaptation of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America. “Roth doesn’t have to live with these six hours of television. He already wrote the book, and it’s great,” he told Popverse. “So I’m sort of comfortable with the idea of this is Mr. Squarzoni’s own world, and I’m going to let him have it, and I’ll be a resource when I can.” (Squarzoni, in the same interview, referred to Simon as “a sort of technical advisor” for the project.)

The whole interview is well worth reading, as it goes into plenty of detail of how an already-influential book was translated into a very different medium. And if it leads you deeper into either Simon’s or Squarzoni’s bibliographies, consider that an added benefit.

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