The Serial Killer Drama You Likely Didn’t Know Was Based On A Graphic Novel

In 2017, former Disney Channel star Ross Lynch caused a stir with his performance in My Friend Dahmer. The film chronicled Jeffrey Dahmer’s (Lynch) high school years before he became a notorious serial killer. The source material for one such story was the offbeat graphic novel memoir/nonfiction account of the same name by John “Derf” Backderf, a newspaper cartoonist.

Released in 2012, the graphic novel is told from the real-life perspective of Backderf, who was a classmate of Dahmer’s when the couple attended high school in Bath, Township, Ohio. The story in both the film and novel versions leads to Dahmer’s first murder – that of hitchhiker Steven Hicks in 1978. Instead, the story focuses on Dahmer’s teenage years as he deals with his parents’ divorce, self-isolation, alcoholism and his Fascination for anatomy. “My Friend Dahmer” is less of a horror film or a serial killer thriller; it is presented as a slow-burning psychological drama.

Alex Wolff, himself a former Nickelodeon star similar to Lynch, plays Backderf. The cast also includes Anne Heche and Dallas Roberts as Dahmer’s parents, Joyce and Lionel, respectively. The film was written and directed by Marc Meyers, and Backderf was mostly not involved in the adaptation (via IMDb).

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