Skip to main content

Emil Ferris

Writer and cartoonist

Emil Ferris was born in 1962 in Chicago, to artist parents. For years she worked as a freelance illustrator and toy designer (for McDonald’s, among others). In 2001, at the age of 40, Ferris contracted West Nile Virus (a rare infection for which there is no vaccine) from a mosquito bite. Three weeks after going to hospital, she became paralysed from the waist down and lost the movement of her right hand. While recovering from her paralysis, Ferris worked on her graphic novel My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (2017). This expressionist book, influenced by Crumb, written in the form of a diary notebook, tells the story of Karen Reyes, a ten-year-old girl and fan of monster films (like Ferris herself) who, growing up amid the social tensions of the sixties, investigates the death of her neighbour. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, after a moment of initial panic (coming off the press in South Korea, the first 10,000 copies of the book were seized at the Panama Canal for the shipper’s debts), was considered one of the best comic books of 2017, and praised by Chris Ware, Alison Bechtel and Art Spiegelman (the creator of Maus said that Ferris was “one of the most important comics artists of our time”).

The biographies of participants in Primera Persona are written by Kiko Amat and Miqui Otero, the festival’s directors.

Update: 11 January 2019


Has participated in

Primera Persona 2019

Autobiographic Live Sessions: Tragicomic Monologues, Pop Music, Theatre and Narrative