Synopses & Reviews
“Michael DeForge is that rare sort of cartoonist, a genuine artist with a unique vision and a teeming imagination. Hes not trying to create sentimental pap for a mass audience. I love his work, but I do wonder why any sensible, profit-minded publisher would release this crazy book.” —Chester Brown
“DeForge is one of those rare comics naturals and Ant Colony proves it.” —Jaime Hernandez
The debut graphic novel from a dazzling newcomer with a singular, idiosyncratic style
In the few short years since he began his pamphlet-size comic book series Lose, Michael DeForge has announced himself as an important new voice in alternative comics. His brash, confident, undulating artwork sent a shock wave through the comics world for its unique, fully formed aesthetic.
From its opening pages, Ant Colony immerses the reader in a world that is darkly existential, with false prophets, unjust wars, and corrupt police officers, as it follows the denizens of a black ant colony under attack from the nearby red ants. On the surface, its the story of this war, the destruction of a civilization, and the ants all too familiar desire to rebuild. Underneath, though, Ant Colony plumbs the deepest human concerns—loneliness, faith, love, apathy, and more. All of this is done with humor and sensitivity, exposing a world where spiders can wreak unimaginable amounts of havoc with a single gnash of their jaws.
DeForges striking visual sensibility—stark lines, dramatic color choices, and brilliant use of page and panel space—stands out in this volume.
"DeForge's quasi-philosophical graphic novel about a collapsing ant colony begins with dark humor and travels in circular fashion through bleak tragedy and the occasional bout of slapstick. The ant characters are a mixed bunch: a police officer, the queen ant herself, and a child who is treated as a prophet. But most of the story revolves around a pair of male lovers, who resent having to sexually service the queen for no good reason. Their dialogue is deadpan and played mostly for laughs ('I'm extremely uncomfortable around cops. Also, I am a pacifist'). That is, until war breaks out against a marauding band of red ants that have been leaving the savaged corpses of black ants like the victims of a serial killer. The threats are many marauding spiders and humans wielding magnifying glasses are among the ants' greatest fears. With an existential crisis spreading through the colony, there's an echo of Beckett and 'I can't go on. I'll go on' rippling through these pages. DeForge's bright, twisted art brings a further uncertain kick to this epic farce. The laughs are many, but they are dry and brittle ones." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Michael DeForge was born in 1987 and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. After a few years of experimenting with short strips and zines, he created Lose #1, his first full-length comic, which won Best Emerging Talent at the Doug Wright Awards. He has since published a handful of comic books, which have received industry praise and two Eisner Award nominations. His illustrations have been published in The New York Times and Bloomberg View; his comics have appeared in Believer, Maisonneuve, and the Adventure Time comic book series.