BLOG • GRAPHIC NOVELSWEBCOMIXNEW CITY STRIP CITY ARCHIVESTOREINTERVIEWS ABOUT DERF

About Derf Backderf

Derf Backderf

Derf sold his first cartoon, a nude portrait of his sixth grade teacher, for $2 dollars to a classmate who used it for unspeakable purposes. Today he is one of the most widely-read indy comix creators.

The writer-artist, who works out of an unheated, attic studio in his Cleveland home, grew up in a rural, small town in Ohio, an experience that was the inspiration for his graphic novels TRASHED, PUNK ROCK & TRAILER PARKS and the international bestseller, MY FRIEND DAHMER.

An art school dropout, Derf worked on a garbage truck before deciding to give cartooning a try. He attended Ohio State University on a journalism scholarship, where he drew political cartoons for the school paper for three years and caused such controversy school officials put a 1-year limit on all future cartoonists. After graduation, he landed a similar position on a paper in South Florida but was fired after two years for, as the editor put it, "general tastelessness." He moved to Cleveland and THE CITY comic strip debuted in the now-defunct Cleveland Edition in 1990. A year later, he began selling it to other alternative papers. The strip has appeared in over 140 publications during it's 20-plus years, including The Village Voice, Chicago Reader and The Los Angeles Reader.

Derf's images have also graced t-shirts and cd covers. His manic illustrations have appeared in all manner of publications, ranging from Guitar Player magazine to the Wall St. Journal.

His work has been displayed in museums and galleries worldwide. He has been nominated for two Eisner Awards (the Oscars of comix), as well as Harvey, Ignatz and Rueben Awards. He was the recipient of a pretigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 2006.

hc