Books Graphic Novel Reviews

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

January 17, 2019

As part of my Biannual Bibliothon TBR I had to pick a genre I wasn't a huge fan of but a format you loved. Hence, a non-fiction graphic novel.

I've always had an interest in serial killer case studies. I find it both terrifying and fascinating that one person can be capable of such devastation. Jeffrey Dahmer being a prime example. I knew very little about his time prior to committing crimes, I only knew vague details about the crimes themselves.

Reading Derf's account of Dahmer was in some ways surreal, it was like reading the making of a serial killer. Like Derf I have no sympathy for him when he begins to kill. However, as its reiterated throughout the entire graphic novel you can't help but ask where were the adults? Where were the people that could tell he had a drink problem at seventeen? There are so many things that you could say, well what if this happened, what if that happened? But you'll never know. It adds another perspective to such a well known and publicised narrative. A very sad one.

The way the graphic novel was constructed was very clever. With hindsight you could slowly see Dahmer's descent towards the path he ended up on. I really liked the illustration style. It bordered on the creepy but also would've suited an animated sit com like family guy... a perfect blend in my opinion!

I'm definitely going to be trying some more Non-Fiction graphic novels.


Name: My Friend Dahmer

Author: Derf Backderf

Publisher: Abrams ComicArts

Pages: 222

ISBN:  978-1-4197-0217-4

Rating: 4/5

Have you read My Friend Dahmer?

What did you think?

Thank-you for reading,

Katie x

  • Reply
    February 5, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    i haven’t read this but i watched the movie thats based on it and i agree its super surreal!

    • Reply
      Katie - A Novel Idea
      February 6, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      My boyfriend and I watched the film not long after I read it. It sticks so closely to the graphic novel in comparison to most adaptions. There’s still a bit of creative license used but it’s brilliant.

      Katie x

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