By Emil Ferris. Published by Fantagraphics.
Softcover, 416 pages, Colour, 2017.
In this debut, which takes the form of a fictional graphic diary, a 10-year-old girl tries to solve a murder.
Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late '60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen's investigation takes us back to Anka's life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.
"Drawn with Bic pen on lined notebook paper, this moody and ravishing graphic novel takes the form of a sketchbook diary. Growing up in Chicago in the 1960s, 10-year-old Karen Reyes investigates the suspicious death of her glamorous neighbor and finds troubling clues lurking close to her own home. … An eerie masterpiece of the monsters around and within us." — The New York Times — Critics' Pick
"My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is not only Ferris's first graphic novel but also her first published work. ... Yet her mastery of comics, her pyrotechnic drawings, and her nested narratives are already placing her among the greatest practitioners of the form." — The New Yorker
"This extraordinary book has instantly rocketed Ferris into the graphic novel elite alongside Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel and Chris Ware. You see, she's produced something rare, a page-turning story whose pages are so brilliantly drawn you don't want to turn them." — Terry Gross - NPR: Fresh Air
"A thrilling and surprisingly profound novel ... The book is a fine balance of stunning artwork and terrific writing." — Chicago Tribune
"One of the most profound, ambitious and accomplished creative works to appear in any medium this decade. ... Rarely have words and pictures worked together so seamlessly in service of such a complex narrative." — Forbes