Tuesday, July 4, 2017

1301. My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Book One

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What can I say about this book that would not sound corny or extreme to either side of the graphic book reading public?

This book is a Graphic Novel.
This book is a Regular Novel (at almost 300 pages)!

Does it succeed in being a Graphic Novel?

Apparently, Emil Ferris, first and foremost is an artist, mainly a graphic artist. Yet, she in not an graphic book industry veteran. She has not worked for Marvel or DC Comics for years. So, in other words she's not a Comic Book artist. Yet, as a Graphic Novel, this book succeeds beyond expectations. In reality, it reinvents the Graphic Novel. Ms. Ferris, not being associated with the comic book industry has done something here that has never been done before. She writes a novel, turns it into a graphic novel and in so doing rewrites the tropes and manners of writing a graphic novel. Her pencils are incredible. She has a style that I have seen before, but I have never seen them done so well, with such humility, and such perfection. There are pages that buzz with so much detail it forces you to dive into the page. Literally run your eyes up and down every single pencil mark.

And the drawn characters sparkle with an authenticity, with an individuality and with a humanity all their own. I was astonished at the crispness of the looks of the main characters. I could read emotions and thoughts in their faces. Those faces have so much to tell. And what a telling it is!

But does this book work as a story, as a traditional Novel?

Beyond any one's wildest imagination. This is a complex story, mainly centered around young Karen Reyes and her notebook drawings of monsters as she investigates the death of a neighbor. Her story covers many events that took place in the 1960s, but also flashes back to 1930s Berlin, following the life story of the dead neighbor. Between those two places, Ms. Ferris weaves a surprising griping drama, that is part family drama, commentary on society, historical retrospective and a monster story.

There are monsters in all of us the story seems to say...but we fight to keep them at bay. For some of us though, the monsters are what propel us every day, hiding our true faces, or maybe, after consideration, revealing that the monster is our only face.

If you have never read a Graphic Novel in your life, this is the one to pick-up.
If you want to read a really good book, get this one.
And, if you want to take a peek at your own monsters, read this book.

I can't more highly recommended it than giving it a 5 star rating:

Bravo, Ms. Ferris. Bravo!

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