Embrace Your Monster & Your Life

my favorite thing is monsters

My Favorite Thing is Monsters

By: Emil Ferris

Grade: A-

My Favorite Thing is Monsters tells the story of Karen Reyes- a young outcasted girl who draws herself, believes herself, a monster and seeks to find out who killed her upstairs neighbor.

Karens story actually tells the story of several different people set around her somewhat chaotic life in 1960’s Chicago.

First off this graphic novel is big. I was kind of surprised- it’s almost a coffee table book and the art inside is really beautiful. In a lot of ways though it’s very busy. It is basically a kids journal and I spent a lot of time just taking in certain pages and everything that was going on.

Karen’s also a fan of old monster movies and shows so there’s a lot that feels like a homage.

This book deals with a lot of issues like racism, homophobia, terminal illness, hungry children and bullying. I would also says this is definitely more for late teens adults (though use your own judgement). Her older brother Diego is a known ladies man and that’s drawn in detail in some cases. Anka survived World War II and even before that grew up in a brothel and was sold to an older man as a child. A group of school boys hold down and try to assault a character.

Honestly, I didn’t pay that much attention before I bought the book and I was a little surprised by some of the things that came up.

Needless to say in terms of story it veers off from the main mystery at times. This is only volume one so I’m hopeful it can bring all those threads together. I liked both Karen and Anka’s story. Although I’m a little torn because right now I feel like they’ve made it obvious who killed her but obviously there’s a whole other book to go. Plus there’s a bit with the brother at the end where I was like, “Huh? Where is this going?”

The artist Emil Ferris has battled with illness, paralyzation and chronic pain. Hell the manuscript was even lost at sea- so there’s a fascinating story there. I’m definitely in for the second volume.

Recommend: Yes. It’s a bit hard to come to a conclusion on the story without volume two but the art is beautiful and Karen is a character well-worth the time spent with her.

According to Amazon Volume 2 will be available on August 14, 2018.

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