I was slow the get the news, but I tag-surfed across the graphic novel Fishtown (available online at act-i-vate.com here) by Kevin Colden. It is a fictional 100pg comic based on some news stories the kids involved in the Jason Sweeney murder in 2003, and for the past month available in hardcover.
I read it before I knew anything about it or heard any reactions. After reading, I saw that Fishtown.us had/has a great discussion going along with residents’ reactions here. I get the impression that residents aren’t that siked.
In an interview with The Daily Cross Hatch Colden writes:
“It’s inspired by a real-life incident, but I changed the names and the characters significantly, just for story purposes. It was more interesting to see where the characters would take it, as opposed to doing a more factual account. I figured I could get more to the truth of what their motivations were, and I thought the best way to do that would be to create these characters and see where they would go, rather than use what had happened and try to graft something else onto that, and to try to avoid the emotions of the people that were actually involved.”
I think the story has a few cool story telling devices. To me the characters are hard to tell apart, and it paints Fishtown to be pretty one-dimensional whilst being rather disrespectful to those affected by the situation. Can’t get over that one. The story is based on news articles and I’m doubtful that it’s based on any interviews with residents or people involved. Enough details were made up that it could bring out some aspects of the story that get focused on less, I suppose. Not enough details were made up to do that well, thought, and the lack of research was obvious to me. It also is like watching one of those gory quasi social commentary movies that doesn’t really have a point besides not really having a point.
Though I was very interested to read Fishtown, I didn’t really like it. It did get my blood pumping so I thought I’d share.