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My Friend Dahmer Hardcover – March 1, 2012
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About the Author
Derf Backderf has been nominated for two Eisner Awards and has received a host of honors, including the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for political cartooning. His weekly comic strip, The City, has appeared in more than 100 newspapers over the past 22 years. Backderf lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
Top Customer Reviews
I'm very careful recommending comics works to those that don't read many comics. This is an obvious pick. And if you do read comics regularly...why haven't you purchased this yet?
I've been reading Derf for ages, and he's one of my favorites. I love his comix. His other book Punk Rock and Trailer Parks is a boisterous remembering of the punk era in the 80s. My Friend Dahmer is not happy or uplifting. But it's a gripping story of alienation, neglect and everyday inattention.
All the characters you remember from high school are in this book. And also a serial killer.
Well, in that department, My Friend Dahmer delivers. There's plenty an anecdote to inspire nervous laughter, wide-eyed disbelief, and stunned disappointment at all the missed opportunities that might have prevented such a despicable spree of murder. Dahmer's antics in high school were odd, to say the least, and betrayed very early on a remarkable lack of empathy and capacity for manipulation, as well as the growth of the necrophiliac desires that would prompt his many murders.
But I think it's in Dahmer's capacity for manipulation that the book suffers. It seems to me that even with the benefit of hindsight, Backderf might be buy into Dahmer's story of himself a tad too much. Backderf (but he's not the only one) presents what he believes to be the motivation and psychological history that led to the man Dahmer became: a broken home, absent parents, strange and shameful desires. It's a story that inspires pity (but not necessarily compassion, as Backderf himself writes). But is it the truth? After all the reading I've done on psychopathy and character disorders, I highly doubt it.Read more ›
But before he was the `The Milwaukee Cannibal' and `The Milwaukee Monster', Jeffrey Dahmer attended Eastview Junior High and later Revere High School, with John Backderf (who illustrates under the pseudonym Derf and Derf Backderf). In fact, Backderf while not close friends with Dahmer, was part of the `Dahmer Fan Club'; a group of self-proclaimed `nerds' who were fringe-friends of Dahmer's, and in 1991 would be interviewed by detectives about Dahmer's first murder of a hitchhiker called Stephen Hicks.
It was John Backderf's bizarre pseudo-friendship with the man who would go on to become one of America's most infamous serial-killers that prompted him to first write a short comic anthology about growing up with Dahmer, published in 1997. From there, Backderf explains in the preface to `My Friend Dahmer', that he continued to muse on his high school memories of the boy, to the point that he released a self-published comic book version of what would later become the graphic novel `My Friend Dahmer', published this year by Abrams ComicArts.
The novel follows Dhamer's schooling from the moment that Backderf actually remembers noticing him in Junior High. Through to the days before graduation and his last encounters with the now adult Dhamer who would go on to commit his first murder shortly thereafter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well done, well researched, attractively drawn memoir about a serial killer and also about the darker realities of middle and high school.Published 10 days ago by John Melvin
My boyfriend bought me this book for our anniversary, knowing I was a serial killer junkie. This is honestly one of my favorite books ever! Read morePublished 15 days ago by Elizabeth Witthuhn
Riveting and sad, My Friend Dahmer does not paint the picture of the more widely known Jeffrey Dahmer who murdered several men in highly publicized killings during the early late... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Jacob Secrest
My Friend Dahmer... What a strange graphic novel. Personally I wouldn't buy this to keep in your collection, there's something unholy about the plot-line. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Melodious Diva
Very interesting graphic novel, also very intriguing because the author knew Jeffrey Dahmer throughout his school years. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Patrick Neeley
We all read and hear about people who do terrible things on the news. It is rare, however, to know one of those people during their adolescent years. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gino Griffin Sorcinelli
This graphic novel certainly took me on an emotional roller coaster, which wasn't terribly shocking considering the fact that Dahmer himself and the events of his life take you on... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Channyn Holvey-Bates