...this extraordinary book has instantly rocketed Ferris into the graphic novel elite alongside Art Spiegelman, Alison Bechdel and Chris Ware. You see, she's produced something rare, a page-turning story whose pages are so brilliantly drawn you don't want to turn them ... Breaking away from the panel format customary in comics, Ferris's densely-imagined, crosshatched images explode with a visual freedom I've not seen in a graphic novel. And she uses that freedom to give us, well — everything ... For all its stylistic tour-de-forciness, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is filled with emotion. And while the material is often dark, the book is strangely affirmative. This is partly because of its affection for oddballs, which harks back to the work of R. Crumb, and partly because its pages brim with Karen's genuine love — for her mother and her brother, for her gritty neighborhood, for monster movies and for the magic of art, which lets her transform and transcend her often hard daily life.
Let’s get right to the point: Emil Ferris’ My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is a masterpiece. It’s hard to think of a debut graphic novel in recent memory that has the visual splendor, narrative ingenuity, and emotional impact of this 413-page tome, and with this book, Ferris immediately establishes herself as one of the most exciting, provocative talents in the comics industry ... There’s a lot going on here, but Ferris gracefully blends everything together into one cohesive, riveting read ... Ferris isn’t working within a traditional comic structure, often eschewing panels in favor of more fluid, expressive layouts that draw the reader deeper into the individual experiences of the characters ... MFTIM is a book steeped in empathy and the need to understand the complexities of people and their specific experiences.
No one has ever made a comic like Emil Ferris’s assured, superhumanly ambitious two-part debut graphic novel My Favorite Thing Is Monsters ... her remarkable draftsmanship shines through, sliding into caricature when appropriate and snapping back into realism or sketch. Where Clowes is sparing and precise, Ferris is profuse, both in her stunning renderings and in her generous depictions of a huge cast of intricately depicted characters. The big-hearted, masterly book took 15 years to produce and is only the first of two volumes, but even halfway through, it threatens not merely to exceed established standards of excellence, but to set new ones.