My Friend Dahmer Analysis

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Death, rape, murder, psychopath: words that vehemently cry for horror and taboo yet carry a mystique and fascination to not only the criminally obsessed, but also to the average person. As a result, authors and directors tend to capitalize on the viewing public’s urges for crime and thriller, often recreating stories of the world’s most tragic, sadistic serial killers in history through biographies, documentaries, television shows, and movie adaptations. Unfortunately, these dramatizations can sometimes overshadow the impact of these crimes, exploiting the violence for entertainment rather than the tragedies itself. However, in 2012, illustrator Derf Backderf revolutionized a new medium to portray the true crime genre with his graphic novel My Friend Dahmer. This comic book style memoir details of …show more content…

Because of this unique characteristic, the audience can connect with characters on a more personal level, witnessing the development of characters throughout the story, or rather, a coming of age. Backderf, having experienced this coming of age with the serial killer, knows Jeffrey Dahmer was more than a monster; he was a shy, disturbed young man whose thoughts coerced him into madness. As a result, Backderf conveys the timeline of Dahmer’s downfall through panels and subtle narration that allow the audience to feel sympathy for the demonized Dahmer. For example, Backderf utilizes a common comic strip technique known as a “splash page” with great regularity. These pages contain a single image that convey a dramatic emphasis on certain scenes. For instance, Backderf depicts Dahmer being knocked down by

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