My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf


What would you think if you discovered that one of your high school classmates had murdered and dismembered seventeen men and boys? In this graphic novel, award winning cartoonist Derf recounts his high school years when he not only knew Jeffrey Dahmer but, at times, considered him a friend. In the seemingly harmless high school nerd that Dahmer appeared to be, were there hints of the monster that would emerge? How well do we truly know the people around us? A must read for true crime fans, the book gives insight into the troubled teenage years of one the most heinous killers in history. This is a chilling book about the beginnings of evil.

Fran @ Zablocki

For those interested in a little complementary audiovisual experience with their graphic novel, the documentary The Jeffrey Dahmer Files will be playing at the 2012 Milwaukee Film Festival.
"Jeffrey Dahmer's grisly murders of 17 people shook Milwaukee to its core, even more so because the man seemed so ordinary in person. In this critically acclaimed documentary that debuted at SXSW, filmmaker Chris Thompson gives a voice to a detective, a medical examiner, and a neighbor who came face-to-face with Dahmer and deftly intermingles their stories with archival footage and everyday scenes from Dahmer's life."

It will screen:

Tuesday, Oct 2; 7 pm Oriental Theatre
Sunday, Oct 7; 3 pm Oriental Theatre
Monday, Oct 8; 9 pm Fox-Bay Cinema
Wednesday, Oct 10; 6 pm Fox-Bay Cinema

For more information, see the documentary's website.

* * * * *

The author of My Friend Dahmer, a chilling graphic novel, recollects a teenage Jeffrey Dahmer in a series of vignettes pulled from memories and extensive research. Derf and his friends made up the "Dahmer Fan Club," treating the future serial killer as an oddball mascot. The author paints a somewhat sympathetic portrait of his former friend, but makes it clear that his sympathy ends with Dahmer's first murder.

Although much has been written about Dahmer, the graphic novel format makes this particular book unique. Derf's minimalistic drawings create a nightmarish atmosphere, and enhance the subject matter rather than trivializing it. Be sure not to skip the 22 pages of plain text the author includes towards the end of the volume. It summarizes the author's research and provides further insight and details to the stories presented earlier in the book. My Friend Dahmer is a quick and fascinating read for fans of true crime stories, and/or graphic novel enthusiasts.

Submitted by Jennifer P. @ Washington Park (5/27/2012)

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This page contains a single entry by Tim published on September 17, 2012 8:32 AM.

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