|I inadvertently left this rather demonic photo of Dahmer looming over the crowd during the Q&A.|
Thanks to everyone who turned out for my lone event in Akron, Ohio, at the Akron Main Library. It was a terrific venue and great crowd of several hundred and everyone seemed to enjoy my talk and presentation very much. And, wow, did the library sell a ton of books! They were, in fact, caught unawares and had only one guy frantically working the sale table. But I stuck around and made sure everyone got their book signed. These library types need to attend a comicon or two. Comix fans buy stuff!
The Rubber City is, of course, more or less Dahmer's hometown. He grew up in the sleepy, rural town of Bath, which is a bedroom suburb of the Rubber City. So I thought this talk, more than any other, had the potential for theater. I was prepared for someone with a vested interest in the Dahmer story to show up and possibly make trouble. I wasn't sweating it out or anything, just mentally ready just in case. Happily, that didn't occur.
However, it was an interesting evening nonetheless. There were three members of the Dahmer Fan Club, the small group of band nerds who befriended Jeff at Revere High School, in attendance, along with about a dozen other contemporaries. If you were in the auditorium last night, you were guaranteed to be sitting 10 feet from someone who knew Dahmer.
There were several other "characters" from the book. One of the kids in the creepy opening scene in Dahmer's playhouse was there. I open my presentation, which is less about Dahmer himself and more about the process of pulling this book together over 20 long years, with a deconstruction of that scene to demonstrate how I conceive and execute graphic narrative. I asked him afterwards if I got that scene right. "Yeah, you pretty well nailed it," was his response.
One of the cops who pulled Dahmer over with the body of his first victim in the trunk of his car, and then let him go without noticing the corpse, also attended. A couple of the Fan Club recognized him (hey, it was a small town). He didn't stick around for the signing afterwards or talk to me.
So all in all, a unique evening.
Here's some media coverage of this event.
From the Akron Beacon Journal HERE
From NPR outlet WKSU HERE