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My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 1

(My Favorite Thing Is Monsters #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  19,469 ratings  ·  2,836 reviews
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 neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of th ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 14th 2017 by Fantagraphics
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Sebawil The end of the book is not the conclusion, just the halfway point. Book 2 will be released in april next year. That's where it ends.…moreThe end of the book is not the conclusion, just the halfway point. Book 2 will be released in april next year. That's where it ends.(less)
Matthew Speak Definitely teen at the earliest--and a mature teen at that. Probably 16 or older would be OK but depends on the maturity of the individual. It contain…moreDefinitely teen at the earliest--and a mature teen at that. Probably 16 or older would be OK but depends on the maturity of the individual. It contains rape, child prostitution, violence, sexuality, drug use, alcohol, and nudity, so parents should be involved and willing to discuss the more traumatic parts of the book with their teens.

Regardless of perceived maturity, I think pre-teen would be far too young for this subject matter.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  19,469 ratings  ·  2,836 reviews

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Start your review of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 1 (My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, #1)
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to karen by: Jessica T.
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best graphic novel! what will happen?

chris ware called this book Absolutely astonishing. chris ware is not stephen king, strewing his blurbs all over town, and if he says something, you can trust it.

but if you need more convincing, here are some thoughts from someone who is not an industry superstar and hasn’t gotten much sleep lately.

this is truly one of the best books i have ever read, and i don’t mean just in the graphic novel category - i mean
Dave Schaafsma
7/12/21: Reread for summer YA comics class. As with any rich and complex novel with great aspirations, you van find new things in every reading.

7/26/18 Read this for the fourth time in less than a year and a half, in part because I have now taught it three times in that span of time for different classes. This time I read it for my summer graphic novels and comics class. This is the first of two huge volumes, and who knows when that second volume will come out. The first volume itself took many
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
OMG! This book is awesome! It's freaking huge too. I have a picture of it next to my pen but it still doesn't do it justice. And it's heavy! I love it =)

Karen Reyes is a little girl that is trying to figure out what happened to her neighbor. She was a holocaust survivor that was killed.

The book is written in a notebook style by Karen with drawings and stories. The artwork is totally awesome! Karen draws herself as a werewolf <-- she could really be!

The story goes through her neighbor Anka's l
Caz (littlebookowl)
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, owned
Definitely a new favourite, and I plan to re-read before the second volume comes out!
Joe Valdez
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is a debut graphic novel by Chicago based illustrator Emil Ferris and it was a book I leapt into on the basis of three imaginative ingredients present in its plot description: a 10-year-old named Karen Reyes who loves horror magazines, whose upstairs neighbor is mysteriously shot, in 1968 Chicago. The presentation of the novel, which is as thick as some municipal phone books and works as a coffeetable conversation starter, is dazzling, but I was hugely disappointed ...more
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
The art is amazing but this meandered a bit more than I would have liked. I will be reading the next volume though.
mark monday
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
the art: incredible. Ferris is able to do so much with her crosshatched ballpoint pen drawings. so many ranges of tone conveyed through color and detail. these dense and intricate illustrations were beautiful, horrible, realistic, fantastical, sweetly childlike, mournfully adult, hallucinatory, vivid, vibrant, and completely emotional. the art is so impressive! it was such a pleasure to swim in these waters. A+++++++

the story: Dickensian and therefore quite moving, but I had issues with it. lite
Sam Quixote
Apr 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Comics don’t take that long to read. I’ve been reading Emil Ferris’ My Favorite Thing Is Monsters now for two weeks and I’m only 162 pages deep into this 397 page doorstopper. I can’t stand it anymore so I’m making an executive decision on behalf of my sanity – I’m well and truly done with this shit!

From what I can tell going by Ferris’ feeble writing and non-existent storytelling ability, the book is about a little girl called Karen in some American city in the 1960s who’s sorta kinda “investi
The art in this graphic novel is spectacular, but the story, I'm afraid, I found disjointed and at times downright incomprehensible. It's about a young girl, Karen (who's obsessed with monsters, thus depicts herself as one) investigating the mysterious death of her neighbour. But it's also about the history of that neighbour, Anka, as told by the character herself in a series of recorded interviews: she's a Holocaust survivor, but her 'saviour' forced her to become a prostitute at the age of 12. ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, graphic
First of all, that is the murder victim on the cover, not the protagonist.

I was slightly confused because her voice read so much younger than the woman depicted.

This was pretty amazing. The only criticism I have is that it was almost too much -- I felt like subtracting one issue or one character (for my choice I'd lose the (view spoiler)) would have made it feel less crowded.

Although I guess on some levels it was certainly inte
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The word 'aftermath' came to mind. I guess it means the time after something terrible happens when you do the math to figure out what has been added and what's been subtracted.

Believe the hype - this is an absolutely STUNNING book, an everything-rolled-into-one book, the graphic novel that all graphic novels will be measured against.
(And they will be found lacking.)

The only bummer?

It ends with a cliffhanger.

Emil Ferris, you had better be cross-hatching your butt off, working on the next volume.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Here's my spoiler free video review!

Oh. My. God. This book. THIS BOOK. I was completely blow away by this, and honestly I have a difficult time expressing in words just how much I love it.

First, the art. It's GORGEOUS. And messy. And sometimes difficult to look at. But that difficulty heightens the reading experience--you really feel like you're INSIDE our MC Karen's head (this is formatted as her journal, of sorts). The lined pages in conjunction with the art style can make reading the text p
Julie Ehlers
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tell me, do I look different to you? That's weird, because I definitely feel different. I feel like yesterday morning I got invited to a party, and when I arrived I was shackled in a dark windowless basement where all I could hear was a scritchy noise that was probably mice or possibly rats or maybe the ghost of an Appalachian child asking for candy in a high-pitched tone that only faintly penetrated the walls of my prison. I was let out this morning. It was sunny when I went in but now it's ove ...more
So .... I set this graphic novel aside with a giant "thunk", waited for the circulation to return to my poor wrists, turned my "1-star" book reviewing music up and pounded out a strongly worded, grossly unfair and highly critical review. Which, read back, seemed like the incoherent ramblings of a belligerent hothead with a grudge against graphic novels.

Having calmed down since, I realise some of the responsibility has to fall on me as a reader, allowing myself to become bamboozled by glowing rev
Sadie Hartmann
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So as my good friend Jo recently stated, it's hard to review graphic novels. My normal, go-to criteria is overshadowed by the sheer fact that *most* of the reading experience is visual.
On a visual level, this is as good as it gets. The size of this thing gets special mention because it's almost like a coffee table book, in that it's HUGE (thick, weighty and oversized) which is great because Emil Ferris has museum-worthy talent. I could see the pages of this book in a gallery or traveling exhibit
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Char by: Ctgt
My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a gorgeously illustrated graphic novel.

Karen Reyes is a young girl coming of age in 1968 Chicago when her neighbor is murdered, her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Martin Luther King is shot and the local mob boss goes to jail.

Peppered in between all that are Karen's notebook drawings of all kinds of things-her neighborhood, her brother and mom, and the covers of pulp magazines. She also likes to draw her version of popular paintings which her brother
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, graphic-novel
I adored my reading experience with this. I don’t read enough graphic novels because when I do, I more often than not love every second of doing so. This one was particularly stunning

I am also struggling with reviewing graphic novels because I find describing what works for me very difficult. In this case I could not stop staring at the wonderful way it is all laid out. This is Karen’s story and she happens to tell it in a series of scribbles in her notebook and the graphic novel mirrors this. I
This graphic novel -- and I use that in the strictest sense because it is absolutely novel-quality while being told through a graphic medium -- is one of those deeply surprising discoveries you rarely come across. It's deep, funny, disturbing, gorgeous, insightful, and if that wasn't enough, it's technically brilliant.

It's definitely not a simple tale. I mean, sure, I could break it down by saying it's about a ten-year-old girl in late 60's Chicago who identifies deeply with b-movie horror monst
Matthew Hernandez
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this book and become entranced by this graphic's one of a kind. My Favorite Thing is Monsters is smart, beautifully illustrated , and thoughtfully composed novel that I have ever experienced. Karen Reyes is the best monster you'll ever read...please devour and support books like these. It's worth borrowing from the library and then purchasing right after. Add this special book to your collection. I can't hardly wait for book two. ...more
Asghar Abbas
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing

My favorite thing is Monsters, too. It really is. Monsters, left all alone with my own kind, it's the only thing that keeps me going, you know. That and this new harvest moon, it is so lovely. It's a favorite as well, but not the girl who has a little bit of the moon still left in her name. Still that's not wrong. She's not a favorite. Not anymore. Nope. She's still cute though, but not my favorite.

I suppose I should thank Jeff Vandermeer for giving me the heads up for this graphic novel. But t
I think this is a fantastic book. What I like about this book is that it reminds me of being in those teenage years. So much is going on in your life, family, friends, enemies, life around you, things you like and are into and figuring out who you are going to be. Mysteries abound. Everything is in this book just about. All this is happening for Karen through her eyes and it's pretty big stuff.

Karen loves Monsters and sees herself as a monster. She wants to be turned into one to save her mother
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
What Emil Ferris manages to do with a handful of colored pens is nothing short of incredible. Laid out on spiral bound notepaper it's a sprawling novel that does away with the traditional comic conventions of contained boxes and defined gutters. Words crawl up the sides of pages, images bleed into each other and carry across the persistent wire-bound fold. The way Ferris renders classic paintings in ink is jaw-dropping and she transitions to pulpy, classic monster comic covers just as easily. He ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5/5 - The artwork was beautiful - particularly the fake book covers dispersed throughout. However the story itself had trouble holding my attention.
4 and a half stars.

"I guess that's the difference... A good monster sometimes gives somebody a fright because they are weird and looking fangy... A fact that is beyond their control... But bad monsters are all about control... They want the whole world to be scared so that bad monsters can call the shots..."

This book is completely unlike any other graphic novel I have ever read. First off, it's huge (over 400 pages) and it is not laid out like a traditional comic book; instead, its recreates the
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully rendered book is heartbreaking yet it is laced throughout with a resilience sourced from difference—from an individuality that brings pain but also provides strength. It is also nonlinear and nested in its narrative approach, yet never felt muddled to me. Reading it is a very immersive experience; if you don't allow yourself to sink into it, you will probably not enjoy it. A partial list of what I found so special about this: the ruled notebook/sketchpad format; Ferris’s unique ...more
Rod Brown
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
This a borderline one-star book for me, but I'm going to let the fascinating artwork slightly outweigh the incredibly awful writing. Talk about an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to writing; we've got adolescent angst, murder, suicide, monsters, horror comics, horror movies, museums, fine art, family drama, weird neighbors, mobsters, affairs, private detectives, cancer, imaginary friends, street people, prostitutes, child sex slaves, pedophiles, Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, racism, the ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Just finished this huge monstrosity of a book (and it's only the first of three!). Seriously, it's the size of an old school phone book for those of you old enough to know what that is. Emil Ferris even puts Dave Sim and his Cerebus phone books to shame with the size of this thing. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the graphic diary of a 12-year old girl set in the late sixties who is obsessed with monster movies. It covers issues of class, color, LBGTQ+, the holocaust, familial loss, and murder. ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic
Set in Chicago, in the late 60s, this dazzling, graphic novel, is presented as a fictional diary, written by a ten year old named Karen. She has a devout adoration for monsters and envisions herself as a female werewolf, or were-girl, if you will. After a neighbor dies, mysteriously, Karen decided to do some sleuthing herself and finds herself navigating some dark, twisty, places, confronting the drug world, freaks and the Holocaust.
I would rather not divulge any more details but I will start hu
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Never let anyone's darkness provoke you into your own midnight.

If you only read one graphic novel this year, make it this one.

Did you doodle in the margins of your notebook when you were a kid?
Yeah, me too. This book brings that memory right to the surface.

Loved everything about this book. Format, art and story all worked together to create a fantastic experience.

Format-actually looks like a notebook with wide ruled,lined paper including the hole punches.
Art-hatching and cross-hatching for very
Carol Tilley
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'll be reading this one again. Beautiful. ...more
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S22 DC Composition: Myers' Book Review 1 2 Apr 18, 2022 08:54AM  
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Hijas de Mary Wol...: Hablemos de... con spoilers 3 140 Dec 01, 2019 10:55AM  
Hijas de Mary Wol...: Hablemos de... sin spoilers 11 142 Nov 26, 2019 01:56PM  
Fantastična čitao...: Čitaonica - mart 2019:E. Ferris 2 11 Mar 11, 2019 06:53AM  
BooktubeSFF Awards: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters Readalong! 16 140 Apr 05, 2018 09:21PM  

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