At Alternative Press Expo, I met author and artist Derf Backderf (check out his website at www.derfcity.com). Derf has been in the comic story business for decades. He is even-keeled and a nice guy. I talked with him and learned from him. Some of his advice for writers: younger girls are a big audience, and floppies (that’s what he called comic books) are not a great market so do graphic novels.
I bought two of Derf’s books, which I read… no, I devoured! My Friend Dahmer is about Derf going to high school with Jeffrey Dahmer. Yes, THAT Jeffery Dahmer. It was creepy, fascinating, touching, unflinching truthful, and horrifying: Dahmer’s path from troubled teen to serial killer, ending with him picking up his first victim, a hitchhiker. That death is not shown, but you know. Derf drew a Super Holly sketch in the book I bought. That was nice of him, that was outside his usual subject matter.
Trashed is about Derf’s former job as a garbage man. I read this yesterday when I was at a Toyota service center having a strut repaired. I laughed out loud at and with the working stiffs toughing out the most gut-churning grossest job in the world. (I did not look around to see if anyone was looking at me funny when I laughed.) This book has the best barroom insult ever thrown by a liberal. This book is well-researched, and you will never look at a garbage bin the same way ever again.
I also got a sketch from Joel Stokes (facebook and twitter). I bought Joel’s Daily Diary and Rogues. Fun reads, but I wish I could find a link where to buy them! Joel, if you know, let me know and I will post a link.