February 24, 2024

Emil Ferris’s first graphic novel, “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters,” was a huge success, especially for its detailed drawings, gripping storyline, and the fusion of gothic-pulp style and incisive social commentary. The book tells the story of Karen Reyes, a ten-year-old girl living in politically turbulent 1960s Chicago. Karen delves into the murder of her neighbor Anka, a enigmatic Holocaust survivor, using her impressive ballpoint drawings to intertwine history, comics, and horror and to reflect Karen’s own feelings of being a monster. The novel’s release in 2017, in the wake of Donald Trump’s Inauguration, resonated with many readers who appreciated its portrayal of monstrosity in society. The highly anticipated sequel, “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Book Two,” has finally been announced for release by Fantagraphics after a seven-year delay due to a dispute between the author and publisher. The second volume, over four hundred pages long, continues Karen’s exploration of Anka’s death, her concerns about her flawed brother Deeze, and her struggle with her own identity. In an excerpt from the novel, Karen shares an experience from the city bus, reflecting on her changing perceptions of the inhuman and the obscene.