Boy, is this stuff inspiring. A few weeks ago I was watching some nature program and they were showing how this incredible parasitic fungus infects these leaves in the jungle that ants eat. The infected ant will head back to it’s colony in the treetops and then the zombie-like illness kicks in. The fungus takes hold of the ant’s brain and forces it to wander away from the colony, back down to the lower leaves. The ant is in this fugue state shuffling along searching for these low lying leaves, once it gets to the leaf it bites it with this death-grip chomp and drops dead. This allows the fungus do it’s thing and make sure it will infect more leaves and thus more ants.
Parasitic fungi isn’t exclusive to ants. There are lots of types and many of them are downright stunning to look at as they sprout out of their host’s body. I was literally mesmerized by the beauty and the horror of these parasites. I knew I’d have to do a comic about it! When I sat down tonight I had an entirely different comic in mind (with GingerDead groaning for leaves instead of brains and an accompanying haiku), but the saying popped into my head and when I paired it with a sketch… well it just screamed greeting card to me so I switched gears. This one will definitely be a new addition to the line in a couple of week’s time.
Oh, I should share some photos and articles in case you want to learn more!
Zombie Ant with head bursting fungus:
Here’s some images on other insects and even plants!
Okay that’s enough homage to the creepy wonderful parasites. I need to get back to making last minute jewelry and figuring out the best way to pack these dolls. I leave for ART ROCK / West Palm Beach on Friday and I still have a bunch to do! I don’t get back til Sunday or Monday and I’ll have some graphic projects piled up by then so I doubt I’ll be able to squeeze in a comic in time for Wednesday’s update. If not, I’ll see you the following week.
Btw -I made a new doll. Her name is Basha. You can read about her and see more pictures here. She has a little hand sewn quirky hat. Maybe she’s hiding awesome fungus beneath it! 🙂