...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.
MFTIM messes with our expectations in lots of ways, but its playfulness with genre and form are chief among them ... It is historical fiction, it’s a love story, it’s a pulp-y monster and ghost story rolled into one. Somehow, none of these elements feel disparate—because we’re reading from Karen’s point-of-view, there’s a child’s logic that holds everything together ... The physicality of MFTIM is undeniable, and not just because the visuals mimic these plays on perception ... I adored My Favorite Thing Is Monsters—even more on the second read.
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.