Monday, February 13, 2012

My Friend Dahmer documentary from 2002

This is a clip from a Brit documentary series, BORN TO KILL, about, you guessed it, serial killers. This episode examines Dahmer. This is also the only time I agreed to be interviewed on camera about Dahmer. The production company approached me right after I self-published my one-shot comic book in 2002. The producer wanted to include scenes from my stories. I figured, why not promote the comic book? And, since it was a UK show, no one was going to see it in the States anyways. If it was lousy– and I checked out some of their other programs before agreeing, and they looked pretty good- it would be mostly out of sight, out of mind.

They did a decent job with it. You can see the whole thing on Youtube, but here's the part with my interview. It also demonstrates why I don't do TV, as a general rule. Ugh. A face made for radio, that's for sure.

Whenever this broadcast in the UK over the years, I got a spike in online orders in my webstore for the MFD comic book. A year or two later, it popped up on other European networks and I'd get orders from those countries whenever it did. I could almost chart when and where it was showing, based on orders. Then about three years ago, it showed up on US cable. I don't have cable myself, so I'm not not sure what channel ran the thing, but I'd get a rush of orders whenever it broadcast. The power of the tube!

But check out the comments section on Youtube. Commenter after commenter bashing me! They flame me for "exploiting" Dahmer (obviously having never read my Dahmer stories)... they don't like my flip attitude as I'm being interviewed... some even accuse me of being one of the people who "bullied" Jeff in school! There are a LOT of Dahmer fans out there, deluded fools who have made him an anti-hero, a poor, shy kid who was ostracized and picked on by his peers and then "lashed out" at society in vengeance.

This is total crap for a number of reasons, and something I address directly in the book. I suspect the Dahmer fans aren't going to be happy with me for popping this particular bubble.

It did serve as a good lesson for interviews though. My default is set to "smartass" and since most of my work is satire or humor, that's fine. I'm also very effusive when discussing my work or comix in general. But I have to remember, always, that this is a story that affected a lot of people deeply. Out of respect for them, I have to play it very straight. You won't see me smiling in an interview again.

No comments:

Post a Comment