That being said . . .
Sorry. Mitchell made me post that.
For serious, though, My Friend Dahmer was a fascinating read – and one of those books that will have your co-workers saying “it was weird enough when she started reading comics awhile back, but now she reads comics about SERIAL KILLERS?!?!?!?!?!” (*screaming and a mass exodus from my corner of the office commences*)
This story was absolutely fascinating to me. I think it’s nearly impossible to contribute any “human elements” to a mass murderer who you’ve only seen on television. We see them as monsters from our nightmares brought to life, plain and simple. Like a train wreck, I love getting the opportunity to discover a little about what lies beneath the completely benign appearance of someone like a Jeffrey Dahmer. I mean, really . . .
My Friend Dahmer is about Jeffrey Dahmer’s life before he began having his “dates over for dinner.” It tells of a sad, neglected, not-ever-quite-right kind of boy whose problems were ignored by his family, classmates, and teachers alike . . .
There are no excuses made for what Jeffrey Dahmer eventually became, just a sort of filling in the blanks of the timeline of his downward spiral into insanity . . .
Derf Backderf’s story is nearly hypnotizing and its graphic novel format makes it one that can be read in less than an hour. Backderf also did something in his story that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before. There were no moments of “oh, he was so normal” or “he always seemed so quiet.” Dahmer was weird and everyone knew it. In fact, near the end of this book the author admits while he was visiting his hometown/having a mini-reunion with some old high school buddies there were jokes exchanged about “Dahmer probably being a serial killer by now” . . .
They just didn’t realize while they were joking, Dahmer had already begun doing exactly what they were laughing about . . .