In this debut, which takes the form of a fictional graphic diary, a 10-year-old girl tries to solve a murder. 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 those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge. You can also check out this title as an eBook on Hoopla.
One of the best aspects of reading graphic novels is that sometimes you just do not know what you will end up with. In this case, My Favorite Thing is Monsters is a bit of an epic. With the second and final volume being released next year in April, you will have plenty of time to look over the hand-drawn, clever artwork that pours out Ferris’ passion for all things monster. Reading this hefty, coffee-table sized first volume requires a bit of patience and thoughtful exploration of the narrative. This coming-of-age tale examines family and grief, sexual identity and crises, flashbacks to the Holocaust years, and questioning who you really know.
We begin with Karen, or “Kare” as her half-brother Deeze affectionately calls her, a 10-year-old girl with a passionate love for B-horror movie monsters, who is living in the Chicago slums during the 1960s. Her upstairs neighbor Anka Silverberg, a beautiful, older woman, is found dead in her apartment; while ruled as a suicide, Karen finds evidence that points to murder, dons her trench coat, and gets cracking on the case. However, as all murder mysteries go, there is always more to the story. As she talks to her neighbors, her family members, and her friends, she discovers so much more than originally expected—and even more questions arise. Was Anka murdered? If so, by who?