My Friend Dahmer Hardcover – Mar 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Derf tells how he knew Dahmer in grade school, jr & sr high. They lived in the same small town but it wasn't until highschool that they started to hang out. Derf's group of friends were outsiders themselves geek band kids, not with the cool kids, and somehow they adopted Dahmer into their group, as a sort of mascot. Dahmer acted out in class putting on a "spaztic" routine that became the centre focus of Derf's Dahmer group. It was teen-age boy goofing around stuff, probably hurt a lot of feelings, but these kinds of kids didn't really care. Derf tries to make sense of that time looking back at it now as an adult who knows what Dahlmer became. Dalmer is portrayed as fifteen-year-old Derf Backderf knew and saw him. A regular kid, but one with probably more than his fair share of problems, parents who didn't seem to care, that were wrapped up in the anger of their ending marriage.Read more ›
This graphic novel takes places through Dahmer's junior high and senior high years. Although the book depicts a childhood filled with loneliness and a difficult family life, this was apparently one of the most enjoyable times of Dahmer's life.
The graphic novel was the perfect medium for this story. Backderf never gets inside Dahmer's head to understand the difficulties in dealing with his parents' divorce or the challenges with dealing with his desires. The drawings of Dahmer's homelife tells us more about the isolation and hurt that Dahmer felt, especially when contrasted against Backderf's normal and stable family life. Throughout the book, Backderf interjects stories and facts about schoollife in the 1970's at Revere High School. Young teachers talked openly about drug use and ignored Dahmer's obvious alcoholism throughout high school. When animal parts were found in the woods nailed to trees or clearly tortured, instead of looking at a troubled youth, the cult-focused culture of the 70's assumed that it was a satanic cult.Read more ›
MY FRIEND DAHMER brings to life the dark tale of Dahmer's adolescent years, as seen through the eyes of fellow classmate Derf Backderf. Through personal recollections, eye witness interviews, and public resources, Backderk traces a pivotal three year trajectory, from 1975 to the summer of 1978, in which Dahmer slowly morphed into the ghoul known the world over today.
Amazingly, Backderf successfully purveys a sense of empathy for the adolescent Dahmer. Throughout the book, Backderf gives the sense that, despite overt warning signs during those high school years, teachers and other prominent adults seemed oblivious to Dahmer's ever-worsening plight. As stated by Backderf in the preface, "[i]t's my belief that Dahmer didn't have to wind up a monster, that all those people didn't have to die horribly, if only the adults in his life hadn't been so inexplicably, unforgivably, incomprehensibly clueless and/or indifferent."
This is an engrossing graphic novel; once I stared reading, I didn't want to put in down. The creepiest part of all is the fact that, during my own developmental years, I saw similar instances of adult apathy and institutionalized student silence that allowed bad situations to flourish. Moreover, as is aptly pointed out on the front cover flap, most everyone comes to know at least one misfit adolescent who is similar to the young Jeffrey Dahmer; someone strange, oddly amusing, or even potentially dangerous. This is, in essence, a tragic story that could have happened anywhere in America.
Kudos to Mr. Backderf -- the painstaking research and the artistic endeavor that he collectively put forth in this book is impressive.
Most recent customer reviews
Such a fun comic to read, I enjoyed it! The drawings are funny as wellPublished 18 months ago by sabrimigna
my roommate love the gift ,it was a Christmas present and she had want it for years and she is happy with it.Published 19 months ago by Karla
The dustcover has a ringing endorsement, at the top, from the legendary Robert Crumb. That and my unquenchable interest in Crime/Serial Killers & Graphic Novels, was more than... Read morePublished on April 29 2012 by Mortimerman
First off, let me just say that I couldn't put this book down. It was both fascinating and disturbing and fulfilled that strange curiosity that comes up whenever you read an... Read morePublished on March 30 2012 by Harrison Koehli