No graphic violence

Backderf, D. (2012). My friend Dahmer. New York: Abrams ComicArts.

Genre: Graphic nonfiction

Intended audience:

Personal reaction to the book: A detailed examination of the banality of evil (like The complete maus in dahmerthat regard), and a singular read.

A lot of negative reviews on focus on whether Backderf and his friends in high school could / should have done more to befriend Jeffrey Dahmer before he started killing and eating people, with the implication being that having real friends might have turned him off his later path. It’s hard to imagine a 17-year-old with the interpersonal skills to help save Dahmer / his victims from himself.

The art is distinctive … the story one of a kind. I felt like I was watching a beheading video or something similarly real and macabre while I was reading it.

Author facts: Derf (born John) Backderf is an Ohio native. He sold his first comic for $2 to a sixth-grade classmate – it was a nude picture of their teacher. At the other end of the scale, he won a 2006 Robert F. Kennedy award for journalism.

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