My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Book One

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late '60s Chicago, and narrated by 10-year-old Karen Reyes, Monsters is told is told through a fictional graphic diary employing the iconography of B-movie horror imagery and pulp monster magazines. As the precocious Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her beautiful and enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, we watch the interconnected and fascinating stories of those around her unfold" -- front cover flap.
Publisher: Seattle, Washington :, Fantagraphics Books,, 2017
Edition: Second Fantagraphics Books Edition
ISBN: 9781606999592
Branch Call Number: GN FIC My
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) :,chiefly illustrations (some colour) ;,27 cm


From Library Staff

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.

SPL_Shauna Jun 20, 2017

This graphic novel was absolutely stunning. It's the diary of a young girl whose family is coming unraveled, and who feels surrounded by loss. The story is beautiful and poignant, but the art is absolutely incredible. Some content may not be suitable for some younger readers, but that same conten... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

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.

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.

AL_ANDREW 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.

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.)

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.

Aug 07, 2017

When I describe a graphic novel, especially one as unconventional as My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, I like to use the phrase "non-linear experience." It's wordy but it gets the point across. Narratives such as these certainly have a beginning and an end, but while movies go frame-by-frame, and music goes note-by-note, and books word-by-word, graphic novels have the potential to be somewhat unique in that they allow for a many paths approach. A good artist will direct your eyes across the page, but for the most part you're free to wander. Furthermore, all mediums have their inherent strengths, and the graphic novel excels at causing you to make your own visual connections in the spaces where they don't physically exist. For more on this subject, refer to vastly underappreciated Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris is 1-part whodunit murder mystery and 4-parts examination of the fallibility of people. The 'Monsters' from the title is a kind of lens through which Emil Ferris' main character, the headstrong 10-year-old Karen Reyes, sees herself and the world around her. You see, not all monsters are evil, according to her. Well, some of them are, but only a small fraction. Those we have to keep an eye on. The rest are merely misunderstood.

This is Ferris' debut graphic novel. Give it a go. I can almost guarantee each reader will take away something different from the experience. **Mild spoilers ahead** Furthermore, I recently learned there's a volume 2 that's soon to be published, which I didn't know about when I started. I mention this because, while the ending seemed to leave a fair amount unresolved, the whole composition has a standalone quality to it.

AL_LESLEY Jul 27, 2017

This is one ginormous graphic novel about a family in a neighborhood in 1960s Chicago. It's got commentary on race, class, sexuality, and even flashes back to Nazi Germany in a subplot. And that leads me to why it didn't get more stars... sooooo much going on... too much going on. My notebooks and diaries circa age 10 were probably just as jumbled and nonsensical at times and that true to life quality here was admirable but personally I found it quite a lot of work!

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Jan 31, 2018

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PEPL

To Top