I recently read the full graphic novel My Friend Dahmer. I had read the original self-published floppy at APE, I think a year or two ago, and then regretted not buying immediately after the show ended. I found it a few weeks later somewhere and snatched it up. When I heard it had come out as a full graphic novel, I snatched that right up, too.
For a long time I’d been too entranced by pretty boy manga and pretty boy indie publishings of my peers to really get into a less aesthetically focused breed of indie comics. But in the past couple years, I’ve come around. The storytelling in this book is fantastic, and the art is skilled and consistent even if it is nothing like what I used to idolize and strive to recreate in my own work. I enjoyed that the artist stopped just short of going into the crimes Dahmer is really famous for – we all know the general story and the more gruesome details. No need to elaborate on that. I also liked how well he weaved hindsight with the limited perceptions of Dahmer’s problems back in their teenage years. As he says, no one back then understood alcoholism, and adults had little interest in spotting “troubled” kids or doing anything to help them (not that they do now, but the level of awareness that they should is higher.) My favorite moment, in both the floppy and the novel, is when Backderf and his friends get together years after high school and chat about people they used to know. Someone brings up Dahmer. Backderf exclaims, “He’s probably a serial killer!” They all laugh. I can’t even imagine how creepy it must be for him to look back on that after the news about Dahmer’s crimes broke.
So yeah, highly recommended.
I have an NDA on the project I’m working on now, but I figured at least I could talk about what I’ve been reading. :p