In 2003, the city of Philadelphia was shocked by an act of violence so brutal it almost defies description. The ensuing trial and intense media scrutiny unearthed the story of the murder of 16-year-old boy who was led into an empty lot in the city’s Fishtown section by his girlfriend and beaten to death by three boys he knew—one of them his best friend.

In IDW Publishing’s upcoming, fact-based, fictional hardcover graphic novel Fishtown, author and Philadelphia native Kevin Colden examines the motives of the murderers through loosely-based characters, imagined conversations and confessions directly aimed at the reader.


Inspired in 2005 by newspaper articles, television coverage, and snippets of trial testimony, Colden originally intended to create a more fact-based account of the story, but hit a roadblock due to inaccessible trial transcripts and ongoing litigation. Says the author, “At that point, I began to think about the reaction the public was having to the story and wrote the events how I imagined they occurred. When I finished the script I realized I had hit on a deeper emotional truth than the facts alone could have shown.”

In March 2007, the first chapter of Fishtown was awarded a self-publishing grant from the Xeric Foundation which Colden declined in order to publish the piece as a weekly webcomic at www.ACT-I-VATE.com, a web-based collective of established and up-and-coming cartoonists. “I mistakenly put Fishtown online before hearing from the Xeric committee. It turned out there was a conflict with their policy regarding simultaneous web and print release, so I chose to decline the grant money and take my chances with the limitless potential of the web.” The Xeric Foundation remained supportive of Fishtown, and in 2008, partly as a result of Colden’s decision, reversed their policy and now support concurrent web serialization for grant recipients.


Fishtown presents a chilling portrait of teenage angst gone horribly wrong by threading fact with fiction, reality with fantasy, and weaving a tapestry of connected vignettes that add up to a devastating treatise on the human condition. In its yearlong run at ACT-I-VATE, it garnered near universal praise for its confrontational and unflinching dramatization of the events leading seemingly average kids to turn into vicious killers.

Fishtown, a 120-page hardcover-with-dustjacket (ISBN 1-60010-273-8, Diamond order code SEP08 4143) will be in stores on November 12.

About IDW:

IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, Calif. As a leader in the horror, action, and sci-fi genres, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry including: television's #1 prime time series CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Paramount's Star Trek; Fox's Angel; Hasbro's The Transformers, and the BBC's Doctor Who. IDW's original horror series, 30 Days of Night, was launched as a major motion picture in October 2007 by Sony Pictures and was the #1 film in its first week of release. In April 2008, IDW released Michael Recycle, the first title from its new children's book imprint, Worthwhile Books. More information about the company can be found at http://www.idwpublishing.com.


About Kevin Colden:

Kevin Colden is the author and artist of numerous graphic short stories and novellas including Strangle/Switch at ZudaComics.com, Todt Hill at The Chemistry Set (with writer Neil Kleid), and RED (with writer Elizabeth Genco). His work has appeared in anthologies from Alternative Comics, Desperado Publishing, and SMITH Magazine, and is on display in the permanent collection at MoCCA. He lives in New York City.

Tags: idw publishing, kevin colden, fishtown

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