EXCERPT: I kissed my great-grandmother on the top of her dusty black wig and asked what she would like for her birthday. I had already sewn her a jewelry roll and mixed her a new skin-softening oil—the best I could afford to do since I had lost my job—but you don’t turn a hundred and twenty-five every day. Abuelita turned her milky eyes to me and lifted a trembling, withered hand from her rosary to beckon me closer. “Quiero morir,” she whispered in my ear. I want to die.
Emil Ferris is a Chicago-based artist in her fifties who began working on the book after barely surviving a bout of West Nile Virus in 2002. Doctors told her that she was likely to be paralyzed for life, but, after her daughter taped a pen into her hand and got her drawing again, she recovered. After completing the graphic novel My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Emil Ferris received forty-eight rejections until Fantagraphics picked it up, eventually deciding to split the massive tome into two parts (although Book Two was originally slated for release in late 2017, Ferris decided to continue work on it, and it’s now set for a 2019 publication).