My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Book One

Graphic Novel - 2016
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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.
Full-color illustrations throughout.

Publisher: Seattle, Washington : Fantagraphics Books, 2016.
Edition: First Fantagraphics Books edition.
ISBN: 9781606999592
1606999591
Branch Call Number: GRAPHIC BOOK FIC FERRI
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : colour illustrations

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ReadingAdviser_Sally Jun 26, 2018

Very original. Not quite my cup of tea but an interesting take on the monster story.

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mclarjh
Jun 01, 2018

An incomplete murder mystery, despite its 400 pages (and I won't be reading book 2). Terrific cross hatch illustrations, most with some colour, but the protagonist is unlikeable, relations between characters cold, and the story is told poorly. Far too ambitious.

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excaliburrom
Mar 01, 2018

This is a story rich graphic novel. It's also huge, and dense. The art style is gorgeous and unique, the writing is complicated and fascinating. The story is intricate. Every page has a ton of information to unpack and will take some time.
This is also a must read and I cannot wait for the sequel.

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Mooseum
Dec 27, 2017

This is a weighty tome. It is beautifully and lovingly drawn in over-the-top detail. It is about the monsters in our lives, and the monster inside us, told from the point of view of a girl growing up in 1960s Chicago. Thank goodness her older brother, an artist among other more dubious things, takes her to the Art Institute, and teaches her not only to look carefully, but to experience paintings by entering them.

As children, our perspective on the world is different from the ones we have as we age, but if we are wise, we keep the open-eyed/open heart perspective and carry it with us as not to miss the many details of everything around us.

ehbooklover Dec 23, 2017

The illustrations in this lush and beautifully illustrated coming of age graphic novel are astounding in their details - for example, the book is meant to be a child's journal and as such, every single page is drawn to look like a sheet of lined paper with spiral binding covered in doodles. The plot of the book touches on some pretty serious themes (Holocaust, child prostitution, breast cancer, racism and homophobia to name a few). The main character is wonderfully unique. Head's up though: this one ends in a cliff-hanger as there is another volume on the way.

JessicaGma Dec 14, 2017

There's not another graphic novel like this one - the illustrations are jaw dropping gorgeous. It's a combination diary-mystery-memoir where ten-year old Karen is trying to solve her neighbour's death. It's a dark story, but I cannot wait for the sequel.

ArapahoeAndrew 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.

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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.

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MelissaBee
Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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