Fishtown by Kevin Colden

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Fishtown
By Kevin Colden
IDW

kevincoldenfishtowncoverWhen I first reviewed Fishtown, back in January, the artist was using Act-i-vate to publish a page a week of the book, which is based on a true story and follows four Philadelphia teens who brutally murder and rob their friend Jesse (the character’s name in the book). Now Fishtown is out in hardcover, courtesy of IDW, which means that readers can take in the rest of what began as an emotionally charged, upsetting, and incredibly well executed comic.

In the latter part of the book, Colden maintains the same narrative distance with which he starts. He reserves passing judgment on the kids, focusing instead on fleshing out the characters and approaching the tale as something of a question or a puzzle. This feat is particularly impressive given that this section of the book includes a reenactment of the murder. Colden’s drawings–whether they show the run-down Philly neighborhood of Fishtown all in inky yellow and blue and black or the horrifying scene of Jason’s slain body, stained in pink blood–are haunting. But the most affecting panels are the ones depicting the four teens—Adrian, Keith, Justin, and Angelica—committing the act of murder.

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