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Ant-Man: Cartoonist Michael DeForge On His Graphic Novel ‘Ant Colony’ [Interview]

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A prophetic child, full of microscopic earthworms and coated in pollen by bees. The child's nihilistic, sociopath of a father. A cowardly police officer. A pair of homosexuals beginning to drift apart. An infertile female. These are the ants of Michael DeForge's graphic novel Ant Colony, the collected, book form version of his once-serialized strip Ant Comic.

Readers follow them through the weird, black comedy of the waning days of their home colony—some of which is caused by the ants themselves, most of which is due to a war with a colony of red ants—as these survivors wander away and consider forming their own, new colony.

DeForge's ants are his own, centaur-shaped, many-legged creatures with human-ish faces of bright, primary colors and visible organs shining through their black exoskeletons. Their world is full of strangely-designed insects, ranging from bees shaped like the sort a young child might draw, and a giant, human-shaped, scary H.R. Giger goddess of a queen ant.

Despite their shapes, his ants live, think and act like humans...or is human life maybe not so different from that of ants? That's one of the many existential questions one can meditate on while reading Ant Colony, when one's not digging the semi-psychedelic character designs or the razor sharp sit-com gags (Typical punchline? "Should we kill this baby?").

DeForge is currently touring in support of the book, and we took the opportunity to ask him where these his strange insects came from, how his gag strip about ants evolved into a sweeping epic and how he learned to draw like Michael DeForge.

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The Best Comic Books of 2013 [Master List]

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The last twelve months offered comic book readers a wide variety of work ranging from the most crowd-pleasing superhero epics to the most idiosyncratic of indies, and the return of old favorites to the emergence of exciting new talent. It was a busy and productive year for the industry, and one we’re pleased to celebrate with what we’re certain will be an uncontroversial, unenumerated list of awards that will prompt only resounding agreement and unbroken fellowship amongst our readers in the comments below.

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Gilbert Hernandez Wins PEN Center Award, Drawn & Quarterly Announces ‘Bumperhead’

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Gilbert Hernandez is unquestionably one of the greatest cartoonists of the last 30 years. As such, he continues to receive several accolades and awards, with the latest coming today, as it was announced that he is the recipient of the prestigious PEN Center USA's Graphic Literature Award for Outstanding Body of Work. Coinciding with that announcement, publisher Drawn & Quarterly revealed plans to publish Bumperhead, a follow-up to Hernandez's critically praised graphic novel Marble Season, in Fall 2014.

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‘NonNonBa’ by Shigeru Mizuki Mixes Memoir and Fantasy into a Manga Classic [Review]

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If Shigeru Mizuki's NonNonBa were just the childhood memoir of an extremely talented and influential first-generation manga artist, it would be something well worth reading. If it were just a family

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‘The Playboy’: Chester Brown’s Unflinching Autobiography of Sexual Awakening [Sex]

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Sexy is an interesting word. When we say something is sexy, we're implying that it's nice to look at, that it inspires pleasure. It only implies those positive aspects of sex, the joy and luridness. But when you actually think about sex, there are a lot of uncomfortable feelings and confusing emotional experiences involved

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This Week’s New Releases and Recommendations

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How many of you went to the comic book store on Wednesday to buy new comics? Oh!! The humanity! The humiliation! It is an unfortunate situation, but thankfully, it's all over now, because new comics came out yesterday! Behold the power of the aforementioned comics!!

ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY #18
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SPX 2007: A Look at the Debuts

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One of the things I've always loved about SPX is the Ignatz Outstanding Debut Award. It guarantees that you'll always be able to find something new at the show. This year there were 28 (!) nominees for Outstanding Debut

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Ten Books You Should Buy: October 2007 (Part 1)

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I know what you're thinking. Summer is barely over and I'm trying to get you to think about October? Well, my local grocery store is already putting out Halloween candy, and even more terrifyingly the solicitations for the November books are being released even as I type. S

Small Press Expo Announces Bill Griffith, Gilbert Hernandez & Rutu Modon as Guests for SPX 2007

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Press Release

Small Press Expo (SPX), the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comic books, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons, is proud to announce Bill Griffith, Gilbert Hernandez and Rutu Modan as the first slate of guests for SPX 2007. This years SPX will be held October 12 and October 13 at The North Bethesda Marriott Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

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The Chilling Reality of Graphic Novels

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If you missed the first 40 minutes today's Comic-Con panel on Reality-Based Graphic Novels, apart from watching comic auteurs the likes of 2007 Eisner Award winner Alison Bechdel, Joe Matt, Rick Geary, Guy Delisle and Miriam Katin speak into a microphone rather robotically... good for you.

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