My Friend Dahmer is a staple after Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series

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Ryan Murphy has been responsible for several true-crime TV shows, the latest of which was Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. The already popular Netflix series delves into the heinous acts committed by notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Those who have been following the Dahmer case for a long time or those who just can’t get enough of true crime will certainly enjoy the series, but this is just one of many explorations into Dahmer’s crimes.


A rather interesting take on the life and crimes of the killer was the graphic novel My friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf. Ultimately inspiring an adaptation of its own, this book illustrates the potential of the comic book medium while showing insight into Dahmer that many had never seen. In doing so, it’s very different from what Murphy’s show touched on, making it a great companion for those who haven’t read it.

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My friend Dahmer controversially explored the killer’s childhood

Released in 2012, My friend Dahmer was an original graphic novel/memoir. This cartoonist was a friend of Dahmer’s in their youth, and the things they experienced shed new light on many of Dahmer’s adult actions. Events include the group’s time together in middle school and high school, where Dahmer exhibited several odd behaviors. These actions were encouraged by Dahmer’s friends, Derf and the others encouraging him to have fake seizures. Such acts were juxtaposed with Dahmer’s drinking and isolation, which led to his horrific career as a serial killer.

The series began as a fairly short reminiscence of Dahmer’s Derf, originally published in the zero zero alternative anthology comic. It is known for its suitably dark tone, with the artistic style and unflattering designs strongly reminiscent of sketches from a high school notebook. My friend Dahmer became incredibly controversial in many circles, with some critics seeing it as a glorification of the serial killer or an excuse for his actions. Backderf pushed back against these criticisms, viewing the book as a look at Dahmer’s downward spiral. Given its unique way of doing it, it offers insight and an angle on Dahmer that the new Netflix series doesn’t.

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My Friend Dahmer Should Be Read Before Ryan Murphy’s Netflix Show

In many ways, the My friend Dahmer book functions as an ominous prequel to Dahmer: Monster – The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. This series differs enormously, although it also deals with Dahmer as a subject. Whereas My friend Dahmer shows him as a troubled, deranged teenager, Dahmer: Monster is from the perspective of Jeffrey’s victims. Thus, the book depicts the terrifying experiences of those Dahmer encountered as adults.

My friend Dahmer is less of a true-crime story and more of a character drama, but it still complements what happens in the Netflix show. Beyond that, it’s also a well-received graphic novel that has won numerous awards for its inventive use of the graphic novel/comic book to tell the story of a young killer in an unconventional way. Even for those who rarely read graphic novels, My friend Dahmer is the perfect pre-Netflix read to get inside the mind of the killer and those who grew up with him.

Dahmer: Monster – The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is now streaming on Netflix. The My friend Dahmer the film adaptation can be streamed via Peacock, Pluto, Crackle and Tubi TV.

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