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Book Review :: My Favorite Thing is Monsters Book Two by Emil Ferris

Review by Kevin Brown

Readers don’t have to have read the first book of Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing is Monsters to understand what happens in book two, as she has enough exposition to bring the reader up to speed. However, reading the first installment (or re-reading it, if it’s been a while) will certainly enable the reader to avoid having to wonder about Karen’s relationship with her brother and her deceased neighbor, Anka, who appears through audiotapes she recorded.

Ferris presents the book as Karen’s sketches on notebook paper, and Karen portrays herself as a werewolf, mainly because she feels like a monster due to her romantic interest in other girls. She draws the world like a horror comic from the 1950s, as she sees the world as a treacherous place. Her brother Deeze seems to be an enforcer for a local mob boss, of sorts, and he may have even worse secrets in his past. Anka tried to rescue girls from the Holocaust, a real horror that Karen sketches based on the tapes.

Karen’s lack of knowledge forces the reader to draw conclusions from the limited information she has, embedding the reader in this world of terror. The artwork is amazing and immensely detailed and colored, which explains why it has taken seven years to get the second volume. While Karen lives in a monstrous world, it’s one that readers will want to live in, hoping that Karen can realize the humanity she exudes.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters Book Two by Emil Ferris. Fantagraphics, May 2024.

Reviewer bio: Kevin Brown has published three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems (Wipf and Stock); A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press); and Exit Lines (Plain View Press). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. Twitter @kevinbrownwrites

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