“This debut graphic novel from a 55-year-old Chicago artist is a revelation: a deeply textured tale of dark histories framed as a girl’s diary and told through riveting art that is an homage to midcentury horror comics and film.”
Featured in Washington Post’s Best 10 Graphic Novels of 2017.
“On page after page, Ferris’ painstaking yet emotionally fraught drawings add up to a kind of controlled explosion of self-expression.”
Featured in NPR’s Book Concierge Great Reads of 2017.
“Most Extraordinary Debut prize goes to Emil Ferris for the crazily weird My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, the fictional diary of a 10-year-old girl in late 60s Chicago.”
Featured in The Guardian’s Best Graphic Novels of 2017.
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the gripping debut fictional graphic novel by Emil Ferris. This novel is the diary of a ten year old girl, Karen Reyes. This story is the narrative of the journey she takes trying to solve a murder of her mysterious upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor.
This magnificent literary piece is set in the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago and is filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen’s journey takes readers back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany and the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge of the woman’s life. This is all done in full-color illustrations.
As fascinating as this novel’s storyline is, the story behind the author’s journey to bring it before readers’ eyes is just as so. Ferris started working on the graphic novel after becoming paralyzed at age 40 due to contracting the West Nile virus. The author was determined to rise above her circumstances though and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for writing, where she began the graphic novel to help her recover in 2010.
She took six years to create the 700-page book and drew on her own childhood experiences growing up in Chicago, and her love of monsters and horror media.
Her hard work was well worth is as the novel became critically acclaimed and the reviews were highly recommending
Douglas Wolk of The New York Times praised My Favorite Thing Is Monsters as a “portraitist’s skill with tiny subtleties of expression and lighting and a New Objectivist’s eye for the raw grotesquerie of bodies and their surroundings”