Derf talk at OSU’s Wexner Center for the Arts

Indie cartoonist John “Derf” Backderf will give a free talk Tuesday, May 15, 7:00 pm, at OSU’s Wexner Center film/video theater. His latest graphic novel, My Friend Dahmer, was just published by Abrams ComicArts.

“Ohio State grad and Cleveland-based cartoonist Derf Backderf visits to discuss his new graphic novel, My Friend Dahmer, an account of growing up in the same small Ohio town as notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Best known for his strip The City, Derf is a two-time Eisner Award nominee and received a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award in 2006. Join us following the event for a book signing in the Wexner Center Store.”

The talk is free and open to the public, so if you have the time, I highly recommend it. I interviewed Derf for the OSU Alumni Magazine several years ago, and he’s a very interesting artist. Cynical, but socially conscious, his work touches upon politics, religion, and the human condition as a whole. I’ve read the original, single-issue comic book version of My Friend Dahmer, but not the expanded graphic novel (yet). Looking forward to hearing him speak.

Indie Cover Spotlight: My Friend Dahmer #1

In honor of indie cartoonist John “Derf” Backderf’s upcoming talk at OSU’s Wexner Center for the Arts, this week I’ll feature 3 covers from his comics. First up, his self-published one-shot, My Friend Dahmer.

Published in 2002, this comic is a memoir of Derf’s high school years, where he was classmates and friends with Jeffrey Dahmer, who grew up to become one of America’s most infamous serial killers. Far from being a sensationalist piece of storytelling, the book is actually a very honest look at a troubled kid, and even explores Derf’s feelings of guilt many years later for not recognizing the warning signs or doing more to help out his classmate.

Just this month, Derf came out with a graphic novel of the same name, published by Abrams ComicArts, which is a much more detailed and comprehensive look at the material originally found in his one-shot. Here’s the cover to the GN: