A true story by Derf
Published by Derfcity Comics

Spoilers follow.

This comic is about Jeffrey Dahmer before he became a serial killer. This is a comic about what he was like in high school, written in the first person by someone who knew him.

The comics were written over a long period of time, with Derf eventually publishing this book ten years after Dahmer’s capture. He self-published the book because none of the presses would touch it.

His introduction to the book is personal and painful, a warning to pay attention to what they failed to see at Revere high school in Ohio, where Dahmer ceased to function as a human being. He talks about Dahmer as a tragic figure, the one among thousands of kids who are bullied and picked on who is driven over the edge.

Derf chronicles Dahmer’s evolution from a picked-on child to a lonely geek to a substance-abusing adolescent ignored by everyone around him. He talks about watching Dahmer’s increasing obsession with death and dismemberment in a way that makes you share his shock and discomfort, but that also shows how easily his behavior was dismissed. His perspective is that of one of the geeks who encouraged Dahmer to act out, taking him to public places to freak out for money as a strange form of performance art, about one of his friends running into Dahmer around the time he made his first human kill. Along with his retrospective on the guilty pleasures of getting Dahmer to freak out, he talks about his own wariness around Dahmer, and makes it plain that Dahmer could probably have been helped, with his substance abuse problems, with his socialization problems, with the possibility of trouble at home, if someone had been paying attention. The comic makes clear that the real horror is not the monster but the negligence that created the monster, a theme made more real by Derf’s own guilt and disappointment.

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