Wednesday, August 29, 2012

a compassionate look at jeffrey dahmer...

I've been an idiot. I've never even considered reading a graphic novel because it just didn't seem like my kind of thing. I've never understood comic books. I've never even understood cartoons (except for Scooby Doo and Muppet Babies, obviously). So for years, I have considered graphic novels the USA Today of books.

No longer!

My father joined Tara, Kate, and I to watch Rear Window at the Top of the Mark last night. And not only was he dressed in a suit with a red pocket hanker chief, AND paid for the drinks of a bunch of 30-year old women, he brought me a present. Both of my parents have taken to very generously buying me books when they see something I'd like. And now even my uncle Ted is in on the action.

One of the best books I've ever read was "Popular Crime" by Bill James, which just arrived at my door for no reason. My folks rule with their free book program. Also, please read Popular Crime.

Last night, dad handed over "My Friend Dahmer", a gift from my Uncle Ted. Turns out, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer went to high school with artist and writer, Derf Backderf. (That can't be his real name.) Halfway though (just tonight) and my whole perception on graphic novels is flipped. Maybe it's the author, but I suddenly get why people love books like these. It's not a comic or cartoon, nor is it a regular book. It's ... art. Anyway, I'm really enjoying this book and feel like an asshole because I spent years rolling my eyes at my brother and my cousins for reading books with pictures on family vacations.

I stand corrected...

2 comments:

grundoon said...

Well, Backderf is in fact his surname, and I once had a housemate whose given name actually was Derf (I have witnesses). So, not entirely out of the realm of possibility, I suppose...

Mark M. said...

I just read "Popular Crime" based on your recommendation. It was a nice summary, a "greatest hits" of crime and prosecution, sort of. It got me to read the Caryl Chessman book that he wrote on death row. Amazing story so far! The depth of his storytelling surprised me (esp. considering when it was written) and has me locked in its grip! Thanks for the good reads, Beth!!!