Thursday, March 30, 2017
My Favorite Thing is Monsters
My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a huge book, about 400 pages long, and still only the first half of the whole narrative. The plot is set in the late 1960s. The main character is 10-year-old Karen Reyes, a curious, budding artist who lives in an apartment building with her mother and older brother Deeze in Chicago. Everything in this book is meant to be entries from her spiral-bound journal, and the artwork is exquisite. There are so many threads to follow in this book, but one of the main ones is an inquiry into the mysterious death of their upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, who was a Holocaust survivor:
This book's creator is Emil Ferris, who has had a long and varied career in the arts. She has designed toys and worked in animation, and she has been working on this book for about 6 years because of a variety of circumstances. She speaks extensively about her career and work on MFTIM in this interview, and I highly recommend learning more about her.
There has been an avalanche of well-deserved praise following this graphic novel. Oliver Sava wrote, "It’s hard to think of a debut graphic novel in recent memory that has the visual splendor, narrative ingenuity, and emotional impact of this 413-page tome, and with this book, Ferris immediately establishes herself as one of the most exciting, provocative talents in the comics industry." Calvin Reid opined, "She’s found new ways to tell a powerfully literary visual story." John Powers raved that "this extraordinary book has instantly rocketed Ferris into the graphic novel elite." And I agree with Paul Tumey who summed up his review, "Currently, my favorite thing is My Favorite Thing is Monsters."
My Favorite Thing is Monsters was published by Fantagraphics Books, and they have lots more info about it here.