CLE’s Internationally Famous Graphic Novelist – Derf Backderf


Cleveland Stories Dinner Parties

  • Venue:Supper Club
  • Showtime:7:00 pm
  • Doors open:5:00 pm
  • All Ages, Free Admission, Table Reservations Required
  • Free Entry



Doors open at 5:00pm, with the storytelling beginning promptly at 7:00pm

  • Weekly series combining great food with great stories about Cleveland’s past
  • Prix Fixe 3-course dinner option just $20
  • Check back for this week’s menu


Story topic this week…

CLE’s Internationally Famous Graphic Novelist

Award winning, acclaimed novelist Derf Backderf, known for My Friend Dahmer and Trashed is here to share his true experiences as both a garbage man and a classmate of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Busy creating since the 1990s, Derf can’t wait to explore the influence behind his work and more!

Derf Backderf Bio

Comics creator John Derf Backderf was born and raised in a small Ohio town outside of Akron, the son of a chemist and a homemaker. At age 8, he discovered comic books at the town’s corner drug store and fell in love with the art form.

Derf’s most famous graphic novel is My Friend Dahmer, a haunting account of his teenage friendship with the future serial killer. It has been hailed as one of the finest graphic novels in recent memory by Slate, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, Le Monde, El Mundo, The Guardian and many more. Time magazine listed it as one of the five best non-fiction books of the year. It received an Alex Award from the American Library Association, one of only ten books honored. It has been translated into 17 languages and was awarded an Angoulême Prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in France, as well as the Priz du Polar and Prix Litararie, the top scholastic book award, both in France. The film adaptation of My Friend Dahmer premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and played in cinemas in the US and abroad throughout 2017 and 2018.

His next graphic novel, Trashed, inspired by his garbage truck career, won an Eisner Award and was named book-of-the-year by the Green Party of France. Trashed is also in development as a film project.

His latest book is the Eisner Award winning Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio. The Library Journal calls it “Incendiary. Required reading for all Americans.” It was named book-of-the-year by Publisher’s Weekly, Forbes magazine, and The Herald of Scotland. Kent State was also awarded the French Critic’s Prize and Derf’s second Alex Award from the ALA,.

Backderf has also been nominated for multiple Eisner and Ignatz Awards, as well as Harvey and Reuben Awards. The Derf Collection, comprised of 34 years of original art and papers, was established in The Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum at Ohio State University in 2009.

The goal of the Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is to bring to life some of the fun, interesting stories about Cleveland’s past – from sports, to rock ‘n roll, to Millionaire’s Row, — the series will focus on tidbits from Cleveland’s past that will really thrill the audience. The Music Box is presenting this series in partnership with the Western Reserve Historical Society’s new Cleveland History Center. We think the Cleveland History Center is one of the most important museums in Cleveland. An unknown gem that Clevelanders should know more about, and support. It is the only museum in Cleveland dedicated to preserving and documenting the history of Cleveland. The Cleveland History Center includes two mansions, the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum, Chisholm Halle Costume Wing, Research Library, Kidzibits Hands-On Gallery, rotating exhibitions, and the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel.

See all Cleveland Stories dates here.


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