EXCLUSIVE:  Sony won an auction for screen rights to My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, a graphic novel by Emil Ferris that scared up a four studio bidding battle today. Amasia Entertainment’s Bradley Gallo and Michael Helfant will produce. Palak Patel is overseeing for Columbia Pictures. The graphic novel is already getting critical raves for its originality and artistic flourishes.

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes. It is infused with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazine iconography. Karen tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, where the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge. Present throughout are monsters, real and imagined. It is the latest buy for Sony, which under president Sanford Panitch has been very aggressive in the material marketplace.

The author, who grew up in the turbulence of ’60s Chicago, has been an illustrator and toy sculptor, with an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. This is her first graphic novel and she is repped by APA and Holly Bemis.