Derf Backderf on censorship, counterculture & ‘My Friend Dahmer’

John “Derf” Backderf — the graphic novelist who wrote My Friend DahmerTrashed and the comic strip, The City — visited us earlier this month.

Derf also allowed us to interview him. He discussed:

  • getting fired from his first job “for general tastelessness.”
  • counterculture (In Derf’s words: “I don’t know if there is a counterculture anymore, frankly… The mainstream just erased that gap because they thought they could exploit it and they did.
  • comics (In Derf’s words: “Right now, it’s the golden era of comics. I’m not talking about the superdude stuff. That’s boring corporate product.”)
  • telling the autobiographical story of going to high school with serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. (“Vigilance — if there’s a lesson at all, that would be one. Pay attention, especially the adults.”)

Visit our YouTube channel for more author interviews


Our author series will continue with the rock ‘n’ roll authors of Cleveland at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, at our Main Branch.

cleveland-rock-and-roll-memories-scCarlo Wolff, author of Cleveland Rock and Roll Memories and Mike Belkin: Socks, Sports, Rock and Art, and Mike and Jan Olszewski, authors of Radio Daze, WIXY 1260 and Cleveland Radio Tales, will entertain with rollicking tales and rare footage from Cleveland’s rock ‘n’ roll heyday.

Both Wolff’s and the Olszewskis’ books will be available for sale and signing.

The program is free and open to all. We only ask that you sign up beforehand. You can RSVP online or call us at (440) 255-8811 ext. 247.

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