Gweek 040: My Friend Dahmer

Gweek is a weekly podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps, and other neat stuff.

My hosts on episode 40 are are cartoonist Ruben Bolling, whose comic, Tom the Dancing Bug premieres weekly on Boing Boing, and Dean Putney, Boing Boing’s coding and development wizard. Our guest this week is two-time Eisner Award winning cartoonist Derf Backderf, creator of the amazing comic The City, which has been running in alternative weekly newspapers for 22 years. He’s the author of the graphic novel Punk Rock and Trailer Parks, which was selected for The Best American Comics 2010. He’s got a new autobiographical graphic novel out about his high-school friendship with the infamous serial murder and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer, called My Friend Dahmer. Robert Crumb, who rarely gives endorsements for anyone or anything, says My Friend Dahmer is 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.”

Below is a list of the things we talked about in Gweek episode 40. (Sure, you could just click on the links below to learn about them without listening to the podcast, but then you will miss out on our discussion about whether or not Terry Richardson owns more than one flannel shirt.)

If you enjoy Gweek, please rate it in the iTunes Store -- thanks!

201202171527Most of this episode of Gweek is a fascinating discussion with Derf about his high school pal Jeffrey Dahmer, and Derf's new graphic novel My Friend Dahmer.

Screen Shot 2012-02-17 At 3.32.21 Pm Dean turned us on to Maddie on Things, a blog of photos of a coonhound named Maddie who likes to stand on things that dogs don't normally stand on. What will Maddie stand on next?

201202171534 Dean gives a thumbs up to fashion photographer Terry Richardson’s Diary

Screen Shot 2012-02-17 At 3.36.42 PmMark likes Comic Viewer, an iPad app for reading digital comics.

201202171544And once you've installed Comic Viewer, head over to The Big Blog of Kids' Comics! and fill your iPad with mid-century four-color wonder.

201202171546Ruben likes Sugar & Spike comics so much that he's willing to pay $59.99 for this archive edition. But who can blame him? This is one of the best kids' comics of all time!

201202171550 The Toon Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly is a massive anthology of old comic book stories for kids, and is a big hit around Mark's house. The oversize format and 350 pages make for a delightful reading experience.

201202171552 I'm so happy that lots of old comic book stories that otherwise would have been forgotten are being reprinted in fat, inexpensive anthologies like this one: The Golden Treasury of Krazy Kool Klassic Kids' Komics, edited by Craig Yoe. My daughter and I are having a wonderful time reading these funny and deeply weird children's comic book stories from the 1940s and 1950s, featuring art by some of the tops names in the field: Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Carl Barks, Walt Kelly, Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, and other cartoon giants. At 304 pages, we'll get many nights of entertainment out of this collection.



  1. I look forward to listening to this later. The Dahmer thing looks great.
    As far as the recommendations, Terry Richardson seems like a sleazebag from what I’ve read (and seen). How he stays so popular within the fashion industry is beyond me, although said industry doesn’t exist for the welfare of the models. That’s for sure.

    1. Ugh, yes, this. I don’t get the whole Terry Richardson thing, either.  Is he supposed to be some sort of ironic ‘sleazy nudie photog?’ Are we still doing ironic? File under “Why do people like American Apparel and other coked-up Williamsburg douchebag crap.”
      BUT! I will listen to the episode with an open mind.

      1.  Some of the clothes are ridiculous (though hot, in a sleazy way, on the right girl) but the more basic stuff American Apparel makes is pretty good. Good quality, made in LA, good style (if very hipster-LA).

        Terry Richardson is definitely a major douchey sleazebag, no argument there, but while it may help with marketing the sleazy photography (which is not as easy as it looks, I’ll have you know as an amateur photographer) is not the reason people like their clothes.

        1. Idk, I think you might have a higher tolerance for sleaze and fad than I. I wouldn’t give money to Dov Charney to perpetuate his personal and business sleaze steamroller no matter how comfy that American-made shirt is.

    2. I don’t get his popularity, or why his “diary” is so great. It’s pretty much his photos of half-naked young models (something that is available in abundance everywhere) and photos of himself with his Super Famous Friends making their sexy pose face. 

  2. something about those comic book pictures triggered a memory in me of a cartoon I used to see at my cousins house. I think it was called CAR toons or something like that…had to do with cars and california car culture…ring any bells?

    1. Yep.  From DC comics even.  There were two comics as I recall.  CarToons and another on drag racing, too.

      That’s where we had the sagas of the MOPARs vs. the FOMOCOs.  

      I remember one with a Charger or somesuch that was rigged with a high suspension. The dramatic conclusion was as the car went out of control in the race as it became airborne.

  3. I have to say: Terry Richardson is a scumbag. His photos are derivative and have only celebrity cameos and shock appeal to go on. Plus he’s probably the skeeziest person in the world.

  4. Not that Maddie isn’t cool (she is very cool) but I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug my wife’s site here:

    Just to say that this pets-on-things isn’t exactly new but it’s surprisingly still a lot of fun. =:D

    (Edit for grammar)

  5.  I’ve been looking forward to the Dahmer book since it was mentioned on Gweek a while back (I think Ruben had an advance copy?). I don’t read many comics (though listening to Gweek has resulted in a big wish list) but will definitely be picking up a copy of this as it sounds fascinating.

  6. Mark:  Listening to this episode was particularly frustrating.  Not having anything to do with the content, but with the form–specifically, Ruben Bolling’s feed.  As he was speaking to Derf, every few seconds his voice would drop out for a few seconds so as to make it really difficult to catch all that he was saying, because big chunks of his speech are just not there.  It wasn’t just this episode; it seems to be almost every episode he’s been on, and it’s consistently/almost exclusively Ruben’s feed.   It’s jarring and it has the potential to make me give up on this podcast.  What is the deal?  His equipment?  His provider?  I gotta believe that you have noticed this and are not happy with it.  But I can’t believe that nothing can be done about this.

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