And then there's the dark side of the midwestern experience. When Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested for the murder of seventeen young men and teenage boys on July 22, 1991, Derf – along with the rest of the world – discovered that his high school classmate and friend (after a fashion) had transformed into a monster since graduating in 1978, and he knew almost immediately that he would have to share his story. Not wanting to partake in the media feeding frenzy that was precipitated in the wake of the startling revelations, Derf bided his time, taking copious notes and slowly putting his story together. He published a short excerpt in the Fantagraphics anthology ZeroZero in 1997, and then managed to self-publish a 24 page excerpt of this graphic novel as a stand alone comic book in 2002, which made quite an impact (we remember it well) at the time and was widely acclaimed – even being adapted for a stage play – but it took another ten years for the full graphic to finally be published, courtesy Abrams ComicArts. This 224 page graphic memoir of Derf's and Dahmer's days at Revere High School in Akron, Ohio in the mid 1970s gives both the big picture of high school life and the details of Derf and Dahmer's own days; how each blended in and how, specifically, Dahmer stood out. Imagine Black Hole
instead done by Joe Sacco
and you will begin to have a vague idea of what's in store. Sad and creepy in equal measure, My Friend Dahmer will haunt you long after putting in down.