Ant Colony by Michael DeForge
(Drawn & Quarterly, 2014, 112 pages)
Ant Colony is a graphic novel about a colony of black ants who face death and destruction on a daily basis. A war with a colony of red ants is especially horrifying, but redemption occurs when a gay black ant couple takes in an orphaned baby red ant. Later one of the black ants is shown experimenting with how to kill the baby, but that’s nature. Speaking of nature, there is plenty of ant sex and ants standing in line to make “deposits” into the Queen. Secondary characters include bees, earthworms, a centipede (drawn as a green train), and a spider. Spider milk is an intoxicating treat to the ants, but ingesting saccharin crystals kills them. Equally intoxicating is the burning of dead ant bodies (the preferred method of body disposal) which releases stimulating pheromones into the air. When an ant suggests burying his dead partner instead of burning the body, the other ants are horrified to think about a dead body buried underground among the tunnels where they live! If you appreciate dry humor and don’t mind drawings of dead (sometimes bloody) ant bodies, this book is for you.