Emil Ferris

marlene lopez

Artist Emil Ferris is a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago. She grew up in pre-urban renewal Chicago watching Creature Features, a late-night Saturday airing of famous (and often offbeat) black and white B-movies of the monster genre. Thus, monsters became a big influence in her art. Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, Emil Ferris’s first graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (Fantagraphics), is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.