My Favorite Things Is Monsters—Book 1

my favorite thing is monsters book one cover trade paperback tpb
10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Art: 10/10

An amazing first outing by Ferris


Comic Info

Comic Name: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Publisher: Comic Public

Writer: Emil Ferris

Artist: Emil Ferris

Release Date: 2016

my favorite thing is monsters emil ferris art

Monsters are everywhere!

Karen Reyes is going up in Chicago and in a troubling time.  She has no father and her mother is having medical issues.  Her brother older brother Deeze does his best to watch out for her, but Karen just doesn’t fit in at the Catholic school she attends or with the other girls her age.  Karen is obsessed with monsters and may or may not be a werewolf…at least she thinks so.  When her neighbor Anka is killed under mysterious circumstances, Karen decides to let her monster out and solve the case…but finds the answers could lead to more questions and answers that she never wanted to know.

Written and illustrated by Emil Ferris, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters—Book One is a graphic novel mystery drama.  The book was Ferris’s first foray into the medium and was released to positive reviews from fans and literary critics.

I read the little My Favorite Thing Is Monsters Free Comic Book Day release and liked what I saw.  Unable to find it in the store, I ordered it online and received a college text book edition…which lent more weight to the book to know that in the short time it had been released that it had already fallen into the academia circuit.  My first attempt to read it stalled, and I forgot to finish it…leading me to reread it from the start.  My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is a book that deserves the time and reflection.

my favorite thing is monsters book 1 artwork the nightmare henry fuseli emil ferris

Ferris’s recreation of some classic art is fantastic: The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli

The story falls into mystery, drama, and what feels like semi-autobiographical writing about Ferris’ childhood.  Ferris has a lot of similar traits to Karen and you feel that Ferris imparts a lot of herself and her childhood into Karen.  The series also dives into straight drama.  Karen is struggling in life.  She’s young, realizing she’s a lesbian, and facing the potential death of her mother…all while living in a rather unstable home that she doesn’t understand.  Karen has been kept in the dark about a lot of things in her life, and while seeking out a potential murderer, she’s learning things that her family didn’t want her to know.  It is a compelling blend of different genres that is told in an amazing way.

Often when you have a book with fantastic art, you are forced to compromise on the story.  That isn’t the case with this book.  The story is strong, but the art just enhances it.  Emil Ferris was paralyzed by a West Nile infection and had to relearn her craft…and this book is part of that learning curve.  The blending of pen and ink drawings is detailed and amazing…no, it doesn’t look like anything that Karen could draw at her ages, but it is something that she almost could imagine she could draw.  The story also blends Ferris’s art (which does change at times in the context of the story) with classical art seen at the Chicago Institute of Art and other museums…art is important to Karen and therefore it is important to the story.

my favorite thing is monsters book 1 art sunday afternoon on the island of la grande jatte georges seurat emil ferris

Another example is Seurat and Ferris’s reversal of her style and Seurat’s pointillism

The story ends rather abruptly with a mystery hanging over Karen and her family (not to mention the life and death of Anka).  It almost works as a stand-alone title, but the big “Book One” proclamation leaves the readers knowing and expecting “Book Two”.  Five years after the release of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters—Book One, that hasn’t happened.  It is a bit frustrating in the sense you get to the ending, get some vital information, and now you are stuck in limbo.  Karen has been such a diligent digger throughout the novel, and you know she would keep digging after what is alluded to…but readers will have to wait.

Despite no immediate satisfaction of having the sequel book release, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters—Book One is a must read.  Books like this show the potential of the medium and are a good reminder how art and story have been companion pieces for almost as long and man has lived.  Emil Ferris blends the visuals and the storytelling into a compelling piece…I just await the future.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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