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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 neighbour, 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.
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Drawn with Bic pen on lined notebook paper, this moody and ravishing graphic novel takes the form of a sketchbook diary. Growing up in Chicago in the 1960s, 10-year-old Karen Reyes investigates the suspicious death of her glamorous neighbor and finds troubling clues lurking close to her own home. ... An eerie masterpiece of the monsters around and within us. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is not only Ferris's first graphic novel but also her first published work. ... Yet her mastery of comics, her pyrotechnic drawings, and her nested narratives are already placing her among the greatest practitioners of the form. This extraordinary book has instantly rocketed Ferris into the graphic novel elite alongside Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel and Chris Ware. You see, she's produced something rare, a page-turning story whose pages are so brilliantly drawn you don't want to turn them.--Terry Gross A thrilling and surprisingly profound novel ... The book is a fine balance of stunning artwork and terrific writing. One of the most profound, ambitious and accomplished creative works to appear in any medium this decade. ... Rarely have words and pictures worked together so seamlessly in service of such a complex narrative. The novel tackles race, gender, and what it means to be 'monstrous' in big and small ways. It could not be more relevant to today's climate. No one has ever made a comic like Emil Ferris's assured, superhumanly ambitious two-part debut graphic novel My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. ... It threatens not merely to exceed established standards of excellence, but to set new ones. An ambitious, emotional, beautifully illustrated exploration of a 10-year-old girl's experience growing up late '60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is an astounding debut, weaving an intricate web of plot threads that keeps the reader compelled from beginning to end. An extraordinary literary experience that tackles questions of racial, sexual, cultural, professional, and class identity with aplomb and aesthetic glory. Welcome to the canon, Ms. Ferris. Each page of the book is a small masterpiece: detailed, passionate, leaking genius. Ferris's artwork bullies and commands the reader's attention, each page bringing her to the brink of exhaustion because the struggle between art and words is so great, and the whole is so sensorially overwhelming. The first volume of the story clocks in at 386 pages. But at no point in the course of reading it does it feel long -- a tribute to not only Ferris's ability to suck readers into the story, but also to her effortless ability to pace the story she's telling. The result is a piece of work that is as gripping as it is emotional. Monsters feels to me like a once-in-a-generation debut -- a vision so clear and original that it will change the course of cartooning. Emil Ferris is one of the most important comics artists of our time.--Art Spiegelman Ferris' artwork is astonishing, cross-hatching images upon images, creating a tome that feels homespun but looks consummately professional. This is an emotional, dark, visionary talent to watch. Ferris' work fuses the style and atmosphere of noir godfather Raymond Chandler with the passionate moral intensity found beating beneath a good episode of Tales from the Crypt. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters has all of the complexity of the finest literary fiction and breathtaking art. For what more could we ask? A graphic novel so immersive it feels almost four dimensional... A fantastical, densely cross-hatched world of Nazis and mobsters and neighborhood eccentrics, seen through the curious eyes of a 10-year-old girl. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters has all of the complexity of the finest literary fiction and breathtaking art. For what more could we ask? My Favorite Thing Is Monsters feels to me like a once-in-a-generation debut -- a vision so clear and original that it will change the course of cartooning. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is not only Ferris's first graphic novel but also her first published work. ... Yet her mastery of comics, her pyrotechnic drawings, and her nested narratives are already placing her among the greatest practitioners of the form.

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