NPR's Fresh Air features Emil Ferris and discusses her artistic beginnings to now.
Emil Ferris' debut graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, has taken the comics world by storm since its publication in 2017. It has been published in nine languages and honored with numerous awards, among them: The Lambda Literary Award, multiple Eisner Awards, the Ignatz Award, and the Fauve d'or at the Angouleme Festival, France. Ferris has exhibited extensively in the US and Europe and was most recently honored to teach classes at the Louvre.
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is autobiographically infused. Karen Reyes, the main character, is a pre-teen self-avowed werewolf who questions their sexual identity. Ferris, like her protagonist Karen, was witness to the highly charged political and social climate of that time. They are obsessed with B-movies of the Hammer and Universal varieties and with EC horror magazines.
The book’s unanticipated success has paralleled Ferris's own struggle with a crippling case of West Nile Virus. Production of the book became a kind of occupational therapy as she sought to recover the use of her legs and drawing hand, both of which were left damaged in the aftermath of West Nile Virus, Encephalitis and Meningitis, and a lifetime of spinal issues (complicated by childhood Scoliosis).
2017 ‘A Best Book of 2017’ Publisher’s Weekly, US
2017 Comics Industry Person of the Year, ComicsBeat, US
2017 Ignatz Award - ‘Outstanding Artist’ & ‘Outstanding Graphic Novel,’ SmallPressExpo, US
2018 Reuben Award ‘Best Graphic Novel,’ US
2018 LAMBDA Literary Award Winner for LGBTQ Graphic Novels, US
2018 Lynd Ward Prize, US
2018 Gran Guinigi Award, ‘Best Graphic Novel,’ Italy
2018 Eisner Awards for ‘Best Artist,’ ‘Best Graphic Novel,’ & ’Best Color,’ US
2019 Grand Prix de la Critique, ACBD, France
2019 Fauve d’Or, ‘Best Graphic Novel’ at Angouleme Festival, France
2020 Eisner Award ‘Best Single Issue - One Shot,’ US
2018 September - Galerie Martel - Paris, France
2019 April, Fumetto - Hotel Schweizerhof, Switzerland
2019 June, ‘Drawing Now’ - Galerie Martel, Le Carreau Du Temple - Paris, France
2019 July, Formula Bula, - Paris, France
2019 September, Palazzo Ducale - Lucca, Italy
2019 December, Maison du Literature - Quebec City, Canada
Selected Group Exhibitions
2002 September, ‘Group Exhibition’ - Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL US
2002 November, ‘Ferris Family Exhibition’ - Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL
2017 September, ’The12th Blab! Show’ - Copro Gallery, Los Angeles CA
2020 June, ‘Drawing Now’ - Galerie Martel, Le Carreau Du Temple, Paris, France
2020 October, ‘Women in Comics’ - Society of Illustrators - NYC, US
2021 March, ‘Marginalia’ - Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Monaco
2021 May ‘Women in Comics’ Society of Illustrators,Palazzo Merulana,Rome,Italy
2021 June, ‘Jazz a Vienne’ - Vienne, France
2021 June, ‘Chicago Comics” Museum of Contemporary Art - Chicago IL US
2021 July, ‘Mona Lisa’ Comics Museum - Basel, Switzerland