2013 ALA/YALSA Alex Award
2014 Revelation Award at Angoulême
2015 ALA/YALSA Alex Award (Excellence in Narrative Nonfiction)
You only think you know this story. In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer—the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper—seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, "Jeff" was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides. In My Friend Dahmer, a haunting and original graphic novel, writer-artist Backderf creates a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young man struggling against the morbid urges emanating from the deep recesses of his psyche—a shy kid, a teenage alcoholic, and a goofball who never quite fit in with his classmates. With profound insight, what emerges is a Jeffrey Dahmer that few ever really knew, and one readers will never forget.
Also available by Derf Backderf, Trashed.
Praise for My Friend Dahmer:
"The tone is sympathetic and enraged (‘Where were the damn adults?’), while not excusing or making the story unduly fascinating. Backderf’s writing is impeccably honest in not exculpating his own misdeeds . . . and quietly horrifying. A small, dark classic." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)?
"One of the best graphic novels I've read this year." -- USA Today's PopCandy
"One of the most thought-provoking comics released in a long time." -- Slate.com?
"Carefully researched and sourced with ample back matter, Backderf’s tragic chronicle of what shouldn’t have been is a real butt-kicker for educators and youth counselors as well as peers of other potential Dahmers. Highly recommended for professionals as well as true crime readers." —Library Journal
"This isnt a cautionary tale. Its insight sharedinsight arriving too late to save Dahmers victims, let alone Jeff himself, but perhaps soon enough to remind both teens and their caretakers that questioning peculiar behavior might be a better tack than ignoring or exploiting it." -- School Library Journal?
"Fortunately, cartoonist Derf Backderf isn't one to avoid the troubling, even terrifying, truths that lurk in the dark recesses of that notorious serial killer's early lifeand modern American life itself." -- Foreword Reviews
"A powerful, unsettling use of the graphic medium to share a profoundly disturbing story. . . . An exemplary demonstration of the transformative possibilities of graphic narrative." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Masterful. . . a rich tale full of complexity and sensitivity . . . There's something about Dahmer's life and crimes that seems almost crafted for treatment in the murky world of comix. Yet it's empathy and nuance, not gore, that put My Friend Dahmer alongside Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and David Small's Stitches in the annals of illustrated literature." —Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A new classic of the graphic novel genre. . . . A moving book that qualifies as one of the great graphic novels, a work of art." —Creative Loafing
"A well-told, powerful story. Backderf is quite skilled in using comics to tell this tale of a truly weird and sinister 1970s adolescent world."?—R. Crumb?
"Anyone who opens My Friend Dahmer to satisfy a morbid curiosity, and likewise anyone who expects to find no more than a cynical publishing venture here, is bound for disappointment. It is a horrifying read, yes, not so much for what it reveals about the sad early (and inevitably terrible) life of Jeffrey Dahmer, but because of what it reveals about the bland emotional landscape of Middle America, in this vision a petri dish for psychoses in many degrees and forms.?Backderf’s odd stylization, with figures that look like organic robots, is a perfect vehicle for this conception. His graphic approach is grotesque, droll, and it rags on reality as masses of kids knew and still know it.?Lots of books exist about the agonies and cruelty of the adolescent high school experience, but few so compellingly bring us straight into that soulless environment, showing the ways it can shelter, allow to burgeon, and, at the same time, be completely blind to real madness.?It wasn’t easy reading this book, but I’m glad I did."?—David Small, author and illustrator of Stitches, a National Book Award finalist and #1 New York Times bestseller
"Stunning. Horrifying. Beautifully done."?—Alison Bechdel, author and illustrator of Fun Home, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist
"My Friend Dahmer is a brilliant graphic novel and surely ranks among the very best of the form. Like Alison Bechdel’sFun Home, the book plumbs a dark autobiographical mystery, trying in retrospect to understand actions and motivations to piece together the makings of a tragedy. Like Charles Burns’s Black Hole, it’s a starkly etched portrait of the horror of high school in the 1970s. Comparisons aside, My Friend Dahmer is entirely original, boldly and beautifully drawn, and full of nuance and complexity and even a strange tenderness. Out of the sordid and grotesque details of Dahmer’s life, Derf has fashioned a moving and complex literary work of art."?—Dan Chaon, award-winning author of Among the Missing and You Remind Me of Me
"Just when you think you know all there is to know about Jeffrey Dahmer— one of the most notorious criminals of the past century—along comes My Friend Dahmer, which adds significantly to our understanding of this rare form of psychopathology. The graphic novel format helps the reader appreciate the adolescent mind-set of Dahmer’s high school classmates. Although none of those who grew up with Dahmer expected to hear what they learned on July 22, 1991, when he was caught, no one was really surprised, either.?This unique book allows the reader to listen in on the fascinating reminiscences of those who watched the developing mind of a future serial killer."?—Louis B. Schlesinger, PhD, Professor of Forensic Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
"It’d be so easy to pigeonhole and think that the reason you can’t stop reading My Friend Dahmer is because it offers a voyeuristic peek inside the monster. And it does. But as it turns its self-aware eye on the boy who doesn’t belong, the real magic trick is how equally hateful and sad you feel for the monster himself. This one’s still haunting me."?—Brad Meltzer, author of Identity Crisis and The Inner Circle, a #1 New York Times bestseller??
"As someone who walked the halls of Revere High School with both Backderf and Dahmer and was there from the beginning, I am astounded by the accuracy and truthfulness of this portrait. I know of no other work that so clearly shows the teenage days of an American monster, long before the rest of the world heard of him. Mesmerizing."?—Mike Kukral, PhD, Revere High School class of 1978, Professor of Geography, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, author of Prague 1989: Theater of Revolution
"If you want to read a heavy story about a disturbing teenager, My Friend Dahmer will certainly quench your dark little desires. But this book is about a lot of other things that matter much, much more: the institutionalized weirdness of the suburban seventies, what it means to be friends with someone you don’t really like, a cogent explanation as to why terrible things happen, and a means for feeling sympathy toward those who don’t seem to deserve it."?—Chuck Klosterman, author of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto?and The Visible Man
"A solid job. Putrid serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s origins are explored in this fine book. Dig it—it’ll hang you out to dry."?—James Ellroy, author of My Dark Places and L.A. Confidential
Stimulus plans: good or bad? Free markets: How free are they? Jobs: Can we afford them? Occupy Wall Street . . . worldwide!
Everybody’s talking about the economy, but how can we, the people, understand what Wall Street or Washington knows—or say they know? Read Economix.
With clear, witty writing and quirky, accessible art, this important and timely graphic novel transforms “the dismal science” of economics into a fun, fact-filled story about human nature and our attempts to make the most of what we’ve got . . . and sometimes what our neighbors have got. Economix explains it all, from the beginning of Western economic thought, to markets free and otherwise, to economic failures, successes, limitations, and future possibilities. It’s the essential, accessible guide to understanding the economy and economic practices. A must-read for every citizen and every voter.
PRAISE FOR ECONOMIX
“Goodwin brilliantly contextualizes economic theories with historical narrative, while Burr’s simple but elegant illustration employs classical techniques like caricaturing politicians and symbolizing big businesses (as a gleeful factory) to help the reader visualize difficult concepts.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“[Economix] brings a lively visual sensibility to this intensely abstruse subject matter without condescending to the reader or dumbing the ideas down.” —MotherJones.com
“Flat-out awesome!” —Wired.com
“This witty and elegant volume takes on a number of complex issues—in this case, economics, history and finance—and makes them comprehensible for mere mortals.” —Miami Herald
“After reading Economix I felt like I understood many fundamental aspects about the way the world works that I had been too lazy to learn about before . . . Economix is a book I’m going to buy and give to people.” —Boing Boing
“Having never taken economics in college, I find the world of high finance needlessly complicated and confusing. Thankfully Michael Goodwin saw the need for a basic primary on how the economy currently works and how we got here. A text like this would certainly help high school and college students gain their first taste of financial literacy and it comes recommended for the rest of us.” —ComicMix.com
“Just when the world seems to have fallen apart thanks to the economy, Goodwin and Burr’s Economix comes along to give us some understanding of the immense, yet still ‘delicate machine’ that controls our world so that we can be the rulers with our votes and not the uninformed (or disinformed) ruled.” —BigThink.com
“Michael Goodwin hasn’t just written a great graphic novel—he’s written one that should be required for every school, newsroom and library in the United States.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“It’s simply phenomenal. You could read ten books on the subject and not glean as much information.”
— David Bach founder of FinishRich Media; author of nine New York Times bestsellers, including Debt Free for Life and The Automatic Millionaire
“Goodwin has done the seemingly impossible—he has made economics comprehensible and funny.”
— Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power
“An amazing lesson in true-world economics! Delightfully presented, powerful, insightful, and important information! What a fun way to fathom a deep and often dark subject!”
— John Perkins, author of Hoodwinked and the New York Times bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
“Smart, insightful, clear, and as close to the truth as economics can get. The bonus: Who would have guessed that economics could be fun, and—here's the joy—really accessible? Goodwin roots us in history and fills us with common sense understanding. As he puts it early on, economics seems horribly complicated mostly because we're looking at it all at once. Broken down into its component pieces, it's relatively easy to understand. And a good understanding of economics is critical to maneuvering in the world today. If I were compiling a list of the 100 most important books you can read in a lifetime, this would be on it.”
—Stephen Petranek, editor-in-chief, Weider History magazines, former editor-in-chief of Discover magazine
“Through a potent mix of comics and punchy, concise, accessible prose, Goodwin takes us on a provocative, exhaustively researched, and exceedingly engaging trip through our history and present day, creating an alternately hilarious and scary picture of where we are today as an economy— and what it all means. More than that, Goodwin makes the arcane, understandable. If your mind either spins or slumbers at the thought of economics, read Goodwin's Economix and all will become clear.
—Nomi Prins, author of It Takes a Pillage: An Epic Tale of Power, Deceit, and Untold Trillions
“Economix is a lively, cheerfully opinionated romp through the historical and intellectual foundations of our current economy and our current economic problems. Goodwin has a knack for distilling complex ideas and events in ways that invite the reader to follow the big picture without losing track of what actually happened. Any reader wondering how our economy got to where it is today will find this a refreshing overview.”
—Timothy W. Guinnane, Philip Golden Bartlett Professor of Economic History, Yale University
Tracing the emergence of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism in the 1940s to her present-day influence, Darryl Cunningham’s latest work of graphic-nonfiction investigation leads readers to the heart of the global financial crisis of 2008. Cunningham uses Rand’s biography to illuminate the policies that led to the economic crash in the U.S. and in Europe, and how her philosophy continues to affect today’s politics and policies, starting with her most noted disciple, economist Alan Greenspan (former chairman of the Federal Reserve). Cunningham also shows how right-wing conservatives, libertarians, and the Tea Party movement have co-opted Rand’s teachings (and inherent contradictions) to promote personal gain and profit at the expense of the middle class. Tackling the complexities of economics by distilling them down to a series of concepts accessible to all age groups, Cunningham ultimately delivers a devastating analysis of our current economic world.
Praise for Darryl Cunningham:
“It takes other authors whole books to say what Darryl Cunningham can say in a single illustration.” —Jon Ronson, author of The Men Who Stare at Goats
“Cunningham’s art has clean lines and a continuity that is often graceful, charming, and endearing. He speaks with quiet authority on his subjects, but is careful to cite a whole range of sources and research papers.” —Independent
“It’s good to see the arguments presented so well, clearly, and concisely . . . Cunningham delivers his message with style, great art, even moments of outright comedy."—Forbidden Planet
Dinosaurs roamed the earth but massive,
prehistoric sharks owned the seas! Enjoy this graphic novel's unique blast from
the past as the ancestors of today's shark are brought to life again. See what
types of shark used to inhabit the prehistoric world of dinosaurs and just how
they survived in such a dangerous place. Find out what types of prehistoric
creatures they hunted, and which ones hunted them!
The true story of Charles Chiniquy, a former Roman Catholic priest.
Before Charles Chiniquy was born, his dad studied to become a Roman Catholic priest in Canada. But he saw something happen in the Church which upset him so much, that he quit. He studied law and became a notary. As Chiniquy’s father was leaving the priesthood he was given a going-away present by a close friend. . . a beautiful French and Latin Bible.
When Charles was 5 years old his mother taught little Charles to read from that Bible because there were no schools. Little did she know the profound influence that book would have on her sons' life.
Charles Chiniquy wanted to obey and serve his church, but as he studied the scriptures, he became tormented as he learned that his church was wrong. It will break your heart as you learn how Catholics are being deceived into following a false religion. Chiniquy also reveals how Abraham Lincoln's legal assistance against the Jesuits set him up for his murder. Chiniquy's story was originally published in book form (50 Years in the Church of Rome) and is now available in comic book format.
Florent Chavouet, a young graphic artist, spent six months exploring Tokyo while his girlfriend interned at a company there. Each day he would set forth with a pouch full of color pencils and a sketchpad, and visit different neighborhoods. This stunning book records the city that he got to know during his adventures. It isn't the Tokyo of packaged tours and glossy guidebooks, but a grittier, vibrant place, full of ordinary people going about their daily lives and the scenes and activities that unfold on the streets of a bustling metropolis.
Here you find business men and women, hipsters, students, grandmothers, shopkeepers, policemen, and other urban types and tribes in all manner of dress and hairstyles. A temple nestles among skyscrapers; the corner grocery anchors a diverse assortment of dwellings, cafes, and shops—often tangled in electric lines.
The artist mixes styles and tags his pictures with wry comments and observations. Realistically rendered advertisements or posters of pop stars contrast with cartoon sketches of iconic objects or droll vignettes, like a housewife walking her pet pig, a Godzilla statue in a local park, and an urban fishing pond that charges 400 yen per half hour.
This very personal guide to Tokyo is organized by neighborhood with hand-drawn maps that provide an overview of each neighborhood, but what really defines them is what caught the artist's eye and attracted his formidable drawing talent. Florent Chavouet begins his introduction by observing that, "Tokyo is said to be the most beautiful of ugly cities." With wit, a playful sense of humor, and the multicolor pencils of his kit, he sets aside the question of urban ugliness or beauty and captures the Japanese essence of a great city in this truly vital portrait.
On June 23rd, 1914, the legendary División del Norte, commanded by General Francisco “Pancho” Villa, defeated the forces of then-president Victoriano Huerta and took the city of Zacatecas. After the decisive battle, the federales were unable to recover. The path to Mexico City—and ultimate victory—was clear for Villa and the revolutionaries. As Colonel Montejo, the narrator of Paco Taibo’s epic tale, says, “We broke their spine in Zacatecas. The rest was just a march south.”
In this remarkable graphic novel, Paco Ignacio Taibo II (a.k.a. PIT)—the prolific historian, biographer of Che Guevara and Pancho Villa, as well as the founder of Mexican neopolicial fiction—brings his tremendous storytelling skills to bear, united with stunning illustrations by the artist Eko that evoke traditional Day of the Dead imagery and the etchings of legendary Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. Pancho Villa Takes Zacatecas not only depicts one of the most decisive moments of the revolution, it also profiles, in glorified action, one of the most beloved heroes of contemporary Mexico.
Now translated into English and seamlessly adapted to ebook format, Pancho Villa Takes Zacatecas is an unforgettable paean to the dramatic story of the Mexican Revolution that will fascinate history buffs, avid readers, and graphic novel enthusiasts alike.
Praise for Pancho Villa Takes Zacatecas
"Like never before, maverick Mexican novelist, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, and visual virtuoso, Eko, bring to kinetic life a pivotal moment in Villa’s against-the-odds, David-Goliath battles with sitting oppressors—one that returned the power to the Mexican people. Extraordinarily energetic woodcut-art and a nimble narrative voice make this history showing and telling at its best!"—Frederick Luis Aldama, author of Your Brain on Latino Comics.
“It’s impossible to review [Taibo II’s] literary work without painting an ideological portrait. He’s probably the writer on the left with the proudest lineage of all those I’ve read.”—Christopher Domínguez Michael, Letras Libres
“Eko is in many ways a Renaissance artist who through archetypical characters and his work showing them to us recovers the essence (and drives) of humanity, and he shows them without objection.”—Jorge Rueda, Replicante
Paco Ignacio Taibo II, or PIT, was born in Gijón, Spain in 1949, before fleeing Franco’s dictatorship with his family in 1958. He has resided in Mexico City ever since, where he’s built a career as a writer, journalist, historian, biographer of Pancho Villa and Che Guevara, and, perhaps most crucially, a founder of the neopolicial fiction genre in Latin America. His books have been published in 29 countries and translated into nearly as many languages. In addition to being a prolific writer, he is an active member of the international crime writing community and organizes Semana Negra or “Noir Week” in his native Gijón. He has won the Latin American Dashiell Hammett Prize three times, as well as the Mexican Premio Planeta, and several other awards for international crime fiction.
Eko, born in Mexico in 1958, is a cartoonist, engraver, and painter. His wood etchings, often erotic in nature and the focus of controversial discussion, are part of a broader tradition in Mexican folk art popularized by José Guadalupe Posada. He has collaborated on projects for The New York Times, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Spanish daily El País, in addition to having published numerous books in Mexico and Spain.
Nina Arazoza is a recent graduate of Tufts University’s International Relations Program and an aspiring translator and publishing professional. Her enthusiasm for Latin American culture, history, and politics led her to Restless Books and Pancho Villa Takes Zacatecas.
Alecos Papadatos and Annie DiDonna, artists behind the international phenomenon Logicomix, together with writer Abraham Kawa, deliver a graphic novel bursting with extraordinary characters and vibrant color, one that also offers fresh insight into how this greatest of civic inventions came to be.
English mathematician and scientist Alan Turing (1912–1954) is credited with many of the foundational principles of contemporary computer science. The Imitation Game presents a historically accurate graphic novel biography of Turing’s life, including his groundbreaking work on the fundamentals of cryptography and artificial intelligence. His code breaking efforts led to the cracking of the German Enigma during World War II, work that saved countless lives and accelerated the Allied defeat of the Nazis. While Turing’s achievements remain relevant decades after his death, the story of his life in post-war Europe continues to fascinate audiences today.
Award-winning duo Jim Ottaviani (the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Feynman and Primates) and artist Leland Purvis (an Eisner and Ignatz Award nominee and occasional reviewer for the Comics Journal) present a factually detailed account of Turing’s life and groundbreaking research—as an unconventional genius who was arrested, tried, convicted, and punished for being openly gay, and whose innovative work still fuels the computing and communication systems that define our modern world. Computer science buffs, comics fans, and history aficionados will be captivated by this riveting and tragic story of one of the 20th century’s most unsung heroes.