Monday, January 29, 2018

'My Favorite Thing Is Monsters'

I've totally fallen in love with the drawings of Emil Ferris in her debut graphic novel 'My Favorite Thing Is Monsters' (2017). The 55-year-old author has overcome paralysis (of three limbs) from the West Nile Virus in 2010 and publisher and shipping woes to release Volume 1.

I loved Volume 1 so much that I ditched the e-copy and bought a hard copy.  It's supposed to arrive soon. I can't wait for Volume 2 that's slated to be out this August. They're both currently only published in paperback. These would have been worth it to get hard copies though. (Reviews here, here and here.)

The story traces the fictional graphic diary of ten-year-old Karen Reyes growing up in late '60s Chicago. She lives with her mother and older brother, and often escapes to the world of monsters and identifies with them, many whom are outcasts in the world. The little girl tries to solve the murder of her upstairs neighbor Anka Silverberg, a Holocaust survivor. Volume 1 offers many suspicions and characters, but no conclusion as yet. Volume 2 would offer that. In the story, the idea of what's monstrous is explored. It isn't difficult to understand that humans, are often the monsters, compared to the monsters in the myths and legends.

The story draws on details of the author's life, and she has experienced plenty. A rich voice flows through the ten-year-old's investigations and observations. Those illustrations in big pen are gorgeous. Emil Ferris doesn't just do panel drawings. She gives us beautifully colored full page glory.

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