Emil Ferris’ debut graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, has had quite the turbulent journey on its way to publication. Originally set for release in October of last year, the entire 10,000-copy print run of the book was stuck on a cargo ship seized at the Panama Canal after the freight company, Hanjin, filed bankruptcy. The book was literally lost at sea, but readers can finally get their hands on it next week. And it is definitely worth the wait. 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.
The scope of Ferris’ story is huge as it juggles a murder mystery, family drama, psychological thriller, and love letter to classic pulp monsters while taking readers from Chicago to Nazi Germany, and the narrative is constantly surprising and hugely fulfilling. This exclusive preview of the first 11 pages of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters highlights how well Ferris establishes a sense of place, and the Chicago native has a clear appreciation for the city’s landscape and its residents. The intensely hatched linework on lined notebook paper makes the art look like the most meticulous doodles ever attempted, and it’s a design choice that reinforces the youth of the main character, Karen Reyes. The book is filled with brilliant artistic decisions, and readers can discover the full breadth of this modern classic when My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is release on February 15.