NPR recently featured SAIC alum Emil Ferris (BFA 2008, MFA 2010) in an interview about the recent publication of her first graphic novel. Written and drawn in a first-person diary sketchbook format, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is set in 1960s Chicago and told from the point of view of ten-year-old Karen, who imagines herself as a monster called the Wolf Man and has taken it upon herself to solve the murder case of her neighbor, a Holocaust survivor.
Ferris began the novel after contracting West Nile Virus from a mosquito, describing the experience as her main inspiration. “There are so many delusions, illusions and hallucinations that are part of this fever and chills that build up to your final destination, which is ultimately, in the mind of the virus, death, but for me was paralysis” she said to NPR. Other themes of the novel include abuse, violence, and survival, with recurring tropes borrowed from the 1960s horror genre.
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters was set to be published in October of 2016 but was delayed when all print copies of the novel were seized and held for over a month by the Panamanian government during shipment. Resiliency during the bumpy road to publication paid off. The novel was published in February 2017 and has since received critical success. It is now available for purchase.