My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Book One

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
11
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"Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late 1960s Chicago, and narrated by 10-year-old Karen Reyes, Monsters is told through a fictional graphic diary employing the iconography of B-movie horror imagery and pulp monster magazines. As the precocious Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her beautiful and enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, we watch the interconnected and fascinating stories of those around her unfold"--Front cover flap.
Publisher: Seattle, Washington :, Fantagraphics Books,, 2016.
Edition: First Fantagraphics books edition.
ISBN: 9781606999592
1606999591
Characteristics: 386 pages : chiefly illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm

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AL_ANDREW Dec 11, 2017

The illustration is drop-dead UNREAL. There is no beauty in the world like in this book. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration but not by much. The story is fine but wasn't my cup of tea.

spl_merley Nov 27, 2017

There are so many layers to this story and they are each as deep and compelling as the next. Gripping and magical.

m
MelissaBee
Oct 23, 2017

Emil Ferris' "My Favorite Thing is Monsters" is a vividly illustrated murder mystery narrated by a precocious, artistic child who inhabits a world populated by monsters.

In her loving but secretive home in the basement of a cheap Chicago apartment building, which she shares will her ill mother and her protective older brother, Karen tries to summons the hidden, misshapen monsters that appear in her comics, her movies, and her dreams. She pictures herself as one of them while also feeling sorely dispossessed of their imagined powers--immortality, the freedom to express dark emotions, and their knowledge of the deeply held secrets hidden at the core of other beings.

In Karen's outside world, the volatile days of the late sixties, there are many monsters who freely roam the streets disguised as humans, though they are sorely lacking in humanity. While Karen draws herself and her protective friend Franklin as a werewolf and Frankenstein respectively, they are the ones who are often left unprotected and are terrorized by vicious kids and adults alike.

Karen is attracted to solving the mystery of her upstairs neighbor Anna's tragic death. As she listens to Anka's previously recorded interviews detailing her own tragic childhood among her own monsters, Karen intuits that solving Anka's murder may provide the key to surviving in her own uncertain world. This reader was as mesmerized by the richly cross hatched drawings rendered in almost psychedelic bic pen colors as she was by the emerging clues Karen gathers from Anka's tragic story to overheard conversations, and greek mythology and classical paintings.

Trigger Warning and Spoiler Alert Below:

(This story includes images and stories of child sexual abuse and prostitution as well as the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany.)
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spiderfelt_0
Aug 18, 2017

How often can you say a book is unlike anything you've read before? I detest hyperbole, but I can honestly say this the most amazing work I've seen this year. The artwork is incredible and the story captivating. The ending left me frustrated, but it quickly dissolved once I read this was part of a trilogy. There is plenty to fill several more volumes. I hope Emil Ferris becomes a household name before long.

d
danielestes
Aug 07, 2017

When I describe a graphic novel, especially one as unconventional as My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, I like to use the phrase "non-linear experience." It's wordy but it gets the point across. Narratives such as these certainly have a beginning and an end, but while movies go frame-by-frame, and music goes note-by-note, and books word-by-word, graphic novels have the potential to be somewhat unique in that they allow for a many paths approach. A good artist will direct your eyes across the page, but for the most part you're free to wander. Furthermore, all mediums have their inherent strengths, and the graphic novel excels at causing you to make your own visual connections in the spaces where they don't physically exist. For more on this subject, refer to vastly underappreciated Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris is 1-part whodunit murder mystery and 4-parts examination of the fallibility of people. The 'Monsters' from the title is a kind of lens through which Emil Ferris' main character, the headstrong 10-year-old Karen Reyes, sees herself and the world around her. You see, not all monsters are evil, according to her. Well, some of them are, but only a small fraction. Those we have to keep an eye on. The rest are merely misunderstood.

This is Ferris' debut graphic novel. Give it a go. I can almost guarantee each reader will take away something different from the experience. **Mild spoilers ahead** Furthermore, I recently learned there's a volume 2 that's soon to be published, which I didn't know about when I started. I mention this because, while the ending seemed to leave a fair amount unresolved, the whole composition has a standalone quality to it.

AL_LESLEY Jul 27, 2017

This is one ginormous graphic novel about a family in a neighborhood in 1960s Chicago. It's got commentary on race, class, sexuality, and even flashes back to Nazi Germany in a subplot. And that leads me to why it didn't get more stars... sooooo much going on... too much going on. My notebooks and diaries circa age 10 were probably just as jumbled and nonsensical at times and that true to life quality here was admirable but personally I found it quite a lot of work!

SPL_Shauna Jun 20, 2017

This graphic novel was absolutely stunning. It's the diary of a young girl whose family is coming unraveled, and who feels surrounded by loss. The story is beautiful and poignant, but the art is absolutely incredible. Some content may not be suitable for some younger readers, but that same content may be just what someone needs to see themselves in a story. So: parents, be advised, but not scared off. On the whole this is highly recommended to fans of arty, mature graphic novels. I was so happy to see it marked "Volume 1."

multcolib_karene Jun 05, 2017

Amazing!

Cynthia_N May 18, 2017

Love the artwork!! The story is great too!!

e
eappelbaum
May 09, 2017

Amazing, beautiful, shocking, and profound. A memorable book. I was confused by the end until I realized it is a cliffhanger, with volume 2 due later this year.

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