My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Vol. 1. Fantagraphics. Feb. 2017. 386p. ISBN 9781606999592. pap. $39.99. F
OrangeReviewStarCombining elements of historical fiction, family drama, a coming-of-age-tale, and a murder mystery into an unforgettable and widely acclaimed debut, author/illustrator Ferris presents the graphic diary of Karen Reyes, an artistically inclined ten-year-old girl living in 1960s Chicago with her mother and troubled older brother. Drawing from Karen's sketchbook journal, Ferris fills each and every page of this weighty first volume of a duology (Vol. 2 releases in October) with stunningly beautiful and virtuosic illustrations, exploring Karen's fears, curiosities, and more through the lens of her fascination with pulp creatures and B-movie monsters. With an incredibly rich, sprawling narrative to match the luscious illustrations, Ferris creates an absorbing and demanding magnum opus that rewards every bit of effort it takes to comprehend the scope of her vision.
VERDICT This debut has already netted Ferris comparisons to (and praise from) some of the lions of the graphic novel field, and it's the rare title that actually lives up to the hype. Readers are sure to welcome, discuss, and meditate on Ferris's accomplishment, anxiously awaiting what's next. [A movie of Ferris's work is underway, with Sony Pictures recently obtaining film rights.—Ed.]
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