My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a beautiful brick of a graphic novel. It’s in the format of 10 year old Karen Reyes’s journal, drawn on ruled paper. She loves horror B-movies and wishes she was a monster rather than a girl. She draws herself as a little (kinda adorable) werewolf, rarely acknowledging the reality.
Sometimes a thing happens that’s so bad that it feels like things should be made to look on the outside, the way they feel on the inside.
Set in 1960’s Chicago, against the backdrop of political turmoil, real-life events creep in around the edges but are not pivotal to the plot. When Karen’s neighbour, Anka, is found dead in a kind of locked room mystery scenario, she sets out to find answers.
Anka’s history takes the reader back to 1940’s Germany, where she lives with prostitutes and becomes the focus of a creepy Nazi who likes children. It bounces between historical and surreal, with Karen grappling with her sexuality in her present day.
I loved the fake horror magazine covers that separate out the main story. I felt each one was connected in some way to what was going on. It would definitely be worth a re-read, if only to gaze again at the gorgeous artwork. I’m not sure I know what the hell happened at the end but it there is a volume two coming soon which I hope will provide answers. I did read it during readathon though, so it might just have been my tired brain!
Emil Ferris worked on this book for fifteen years, including her recovery from West Nile Virus, which left her drawing hand temporarily paralysed. It’s had a bumpy journey into the world, with financial collapse of the shipping company leaving the books stranded in Panama, basically held hostage by the government there. Like its characters and author, it’s a survivor and well worth the trouble it took to bring it to the world.
If the paperback edition is a bit too expensive, I highly recommend seeing if your library has it before you buy the ebook version as it has stunning production worth seen in person.
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Book Source: Purchased
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