My Favorite Thing is Monsters

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Posing with Jackson Pollock because the Chicago Art Institute plays a big part in this graphic novel!

So I recently became obsessed with a graphic novel called My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris.

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.

I was in complete awe of how beautiful the drawings were.  In fact, I feel odd calling them drawings because they are not just doodles on a page.  The details are immense and purposeful.  They are BEAUTIFUL.

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I discovered this book thanks to my favorite Bookriot podcast All the Books.  This is one of co-host Liberty Hardy’s top book choices for the year.  She raved about how beautiful it was.  I immediately requested it from my library.  I then read it slowly because I just wanted to get lost in the artwork.  The full spreads just took my breath away.

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The title is perfect because they are so many different depictions of monsters.  Coupled with the traditional monsters of yesteryear are modern versions of monsters.  I was really impressed with the subtle references to “monsters” because I would realize after the fact that another monster was introduced.  Whether that would be a Chicago gangster, a thug, cancer, alcohol, viciously rude children and stuck up mothers living in high rises. There are so many kinds of monsters in the world.

The story was not at all what I was expecting.  Some of the added elements in the story seem disjointed and thrust in.  However, I am going to look past that because there is a second book so I am hopeful the second book will bring everything together.  I am really looking forward to its release.  Sadly, I have to wait until April 2018 to get the conclusion.

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This is not a graphic novel for everyone.  If you are already a graphic novel reader then you seriously need to get to My Favorite Thing is Monsters.  If they are  not your thing then this may be a bit intimidating (it is 400 pages).  You can gain so much from just looking at the pictures because they are so detailed.  Ugh….I just love the art!

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