Derf Backderf’s is a renowned comix artist and graphic novelist who gives an honest, unapologetic voice to Midwest living. How to Remain Human features a sampling of hand-drawn pages from his upcoming book, Trashed. The garbage-collecting exploits serve as subtle metaphors for broader societal conditions: bar brawls (class); trash collecting blues (culture); government bureaucracy (democracy’s failings); foreclosed properties (capitalism’s failings), and trips to the cemetery (mortality). The ultimate symbol is, of course, all the garbage. Page after page, Derf portrays the relentless gluttony of consumer culture.
Derf Backderf (1959, Richfield, Ohio) received his BA from the Ohio State University in 1978. In 1999, the Akron Art Museum presented a retrospective of his work, Apocalyptic Giggles: The Industrial Cartoon Humor of Derf. His work has been published in many newspapers and magazines, including Playboy, The Wall Street Journal and The Progressive. His long-running comic strip, "The City" was featured in alternative and mainstream newspapers including Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer, from 1990–2014. He has published several graphic novels, including My Friend Dahmer (Abrams ComicArts, New York, 2012), Punk Rock and Trailer Parks (SLG Publishing, San Jose, CA, 2008). His upcoming novel Trashed will be released in 2015. He has twice been nominated for an Eisner Award, and was the recipient of a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 2006. In 2011, The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at the Ohio State University established a Derf Collection of original art and papers.