Antpocalypse!!!
September 5, 2008 3:18 PM   Subscribe

Today's date? Why, it's...July 11, 2052, and man has been cowering in terror, self-sealed in his own living-tombs since that day of horror in...1952. Remember? 100 years ago, the sky above America turned black...with the dread flight of millions of ferocious, gigantic ants!

Despite the reality that the events depicted in "World War III with the Ants" are completely impossible (or so scientists would have you believe), this kind of thing would, just two years later, happen again. And twenty years after that, further proof that ants have it in for us. Mock them if you will!!!
posted by kittens for breakfast (56 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Terrific.
posted by davejay at 3:35 PM on September 5, 2008


Stupid scientists.
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on September 5, 2008


I was really hoping the the final page would reveal that the ants hadn't actually gotten any larger, but that everything else on Earth had gotten smaller for some reason.

Because I am M. Night Fucking Shyamalan.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 3:42 PM on September 5, 2008 [14 favorites]


Awesome.

I picture the poor dog on page 2 saying to himself, "Oh, this is some serious bullshit right here." The look on his face is perfect.
posted by boo_radley at 3:43 PM on September 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Because I am M. Night Fucking Shyamalan.

That's actually way better than some of his twists.
posted by Artw at 3:44 PM on September 5, 2008


Phase IV gave me some of the worst, most disturbing nightmares of my little life - an endless dark night of the soul with swams of ants crawling in through my nostrils and ears, over and over, all night long. Wish it was out on DVD.
posted by Auden at 3:48 PM on September 5, 2008


Gigantic ants? Finally, a terrifying monster worth the terror.
posted by Tehanu at 4:06 PM on September 5, 2008


They're nothing next to the gigantic crabs.

yes, those crabs.
posted by GuyZero at 4:08 PM on September 5, 2008


Ew.
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on September 5, 2008


That doesn't work. They'd need to find giants to make proper friends with. Ants on the other hand mainly ask "can we overpower it?"
posted by Tehanu at 4:09 PM on September 5, 2008


I miss the movies about our gigantic insect/rat/rabbit/lizard/octopi overlords.
posted by tkchrist at 4:13 PM on September 5, 2008


Dear god... I was only watching that Phase IV clip this morning (in connection with an article on disastor movies). Luckliy the rain has washed all the ants away here in the UK otherwise I'd be starting to worry.

Oh and the idea that giant ants would not be able to breath because there respiration relies on air-pressure on micro-tubule things that does not scale up is easily solved, as a friend worked out, by retrofitting mechanical lungs to your giant ant army. Yes, I have friends who think about that sort of stuff...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:13 PM on September 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


You could also just mutate them to have more efficient respiratory systems. One of these days I'm gonna quit my day job and use my formidable bionerdity to write science fiction that scares everyone shitless. A hive mind is nothing compared to what these things actually do.

And just because it's Friday: yummy ant eggs!
posted by Tehanu at 4:29 PM on September 5, 2008


... or larvae. They look more like larvae to me but the title says eggs. Either way, tasty.
posted by Tehanu at 4:30 PM on September 5, 2008


Yes.

(Needs the SCIENCE! tag.)
posted by cog_nate at 4:31 PM on September 5, 2008


And just because it's Friday: yummy ant eggs!

AugggghhhhhGODDDNOOOOOOOO

And yeah, real ants are pretty scary. I had a scaled-down "World War III with the Ants" in my kitchen all summer.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:33 PM on September 5, 2008


I was really hoping the the final page would reveal that the ants hadn't actually gotten any larger, but that everything else on Earth had gotten smaller for some reason.

You are Rex Dean Levie. In 1965.
posted by steef at 4:37 PM on September 5, 2008


(added SCIENCE! tag)
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on September 5, 2008


Army ants are scary.
posted by Tehanu at 4:42 PM on September 5, 2008


Surfing SCIENCE! shows that there are an awful lot of recent mad-science, super-science and pseudo-science related stories not properly tagged as SCIENCE! - something really ought to be done.
posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on September 5, 2008


Good post. The rest of the blog looks good as well.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:06 PM on September 5, 2008


What a great blog! Thanks for posting this, I didn't know about this site.
posted by interrobang at 5:15 PM on September 5, 2008


In a world
posted by Dumsnill at 5:16 PM on September 5, 2008


I remember this same scenario playing out with....slugs.

Yes, that's right, slugs. Some kids sprayed an assortment of common household chemicals on them and lo! By morning, they were attacking human kind with a banter that went something along the lines of, "Strike the humans now! For our fallen brothers!"

So it didn't work out as well as the scientist-conquers-ants morality tale above, and it sort of freaked the bejeezus out of me when I was just a gullible kid reading EC-type comics in magazine rack at the J.M. Fields department store in Largo, FL, while my mom shopped.

Then I learned about salt.
posted by humannaire at 5:32 PM on September 5, 2008


....but, but, but...what did the ants eat for 100 years? They stripped the earth in a month!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 5:38 PM on September 5, 2008


Oh and the idea that giant ants would not be able to breath because there respiration relies on air-pressure on micro-tubule things that does not scale up is easily solved, as a friend worked out, by retrofitting mechanical lungs to your giant ant army.

Well, there's more problems than just that. When you double something's size, you double its strength, right? But because it doubles in every dimension, it becomes eight times as heavy. An ant the size of a Buick would barely be able to lift itself, and throwing skyscrapers around would be right out.

You might be able to fit mechanical lungs to your giant ants, but they'd make a remarkably ineffective army.

Neat comic, though. Given the limitations of the form, it's pretty impressive.
posted by Malor at 5:52 PM on September 5, 2008


"It may be a comet! Run!"
posted by No-sword at 7:36 PM on September 5, 2008


I for one welcome our...ARRGH !
posted by Webbster at 7:43 PM on September 5, 2008


Ants! Them!
posted by hortense at 7:49 PM on September 5, 2008


That was terrific. Some nice lines:

And then the beast's clicking jaws reached for a taste of warm blood!

The upper word is lost... the ants rule the earth!

It would drive you insane to even try to imagine what happened to MAN...


I'm trying not to try to imagine... lest I go insane...
posted by languagehat at 7:28 AM on September 6, 2008


....but, but, but...what did the ants eat for 100 years? They stripped the earth in a month!

Giant ants don't eat everything because they need to, they do it out of spite!

They probably have fungus farms or something.
posted by Artw at 7:54 AM on September 6, 2008


Giant ant lions would be worse.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 8:02 AM on September 6, 2008


Giant ants don't eat everything because they need to, they do it out of spite!

I agree. The giant ants are just being dicks.

And then the beast's clicking jaws reached for a taste of warm blood!

This panel -- with the disembodied ant head clacking its mandibles -- is probably my favorite part of this comic (although, really, it's hard to choose a favorite...the dark-horse, non-ant-related runner-up is probably the unfrozen cat, who reacts to being thawed out after seven years of sadistic imprisonment in carbonite or some shit by running the fuck out of the panel itself with a panicked look on its face; I think it's telling that the cat is never seen again).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:07 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


/BRB - busy taking over the world.
posted by workerant at 8:10 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I quite like "While I was dead I forgot the Earth was good to live on!".
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love that they still wear suits and ties in their pathetic underground hideaway. Have to dress well, after all!
posted by yhbc at 8:15 AM on September 6, 2008


It's a good thing we'll soon have space-based lasers with which to deal this fearsome and altogether too likely problem.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:31 AM on September 6, 2008


Giant insect invasions are perfectly fine as long as they're spiders and you have the Skipper from Gilligan's Island on the case. Sorry, I'm compelled to plug this movie any time there is a mention of giant insects in any context because I think I might be the only person who ever saw it and thus I begin to doubt my own existence. Anyway the spiders look a lot like ants.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:14 AM on September 6, 2008


I suppose it would too pedantic to point at that not only does the mysterious space explosion makes the ants bigger it also somehow converts their compound eyes to normal ones....
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:53 PM on September 6, 2008


converts their compound eyes to normal ones

I think you just betrayed your single-aperture eye prejudice there.
posted by Artw at 12:59 PM on September 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Proof that Darwinian evolution is false: space explosions are what drives change!
posted by five fresh fish at 2:08 PM on September 6, 2008


I think you just betrayed your single-aperture eye prejudice there.

Believe it or not I wasted several seconds trying to come up with something other than 'normal' or 'non-compound'... I can only offer the fact that I'm coming down with a cold as a feeble excuse
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:45 PM on September 6, 2008


Next you'll be saying they all look alike, or calling them "hard workers".
posted by Artw at 9:07 PM on September 6, 2008


Hmm... I don’t think you get to say "Soon my synthetic vampire will come to life, and the world will kneel before me!" AND "The fools, they stand in the way of progress" when a mob comes to burn your castle down to the ground for it... It just comes over as a little hypocritical.
posted by Artw at 6:59 AM on September 7, 2008


Aha! Now it makes sense!
posted by Artw at 7:02 AM on September 7, 2008


"All names and places in these stories are fictitious. Any similarly between any actual persons and places and those used in these stores are purely coincidental."

That's good to know, because I was just of to Hungary to burn down Dr Gottfired's castle...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:03 AM on September 7, 2008


That was a twist of sublime genius... not even M. Night Shyamalan comes close.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:04 AM on September 7, 2008


The sequel has a DOUBLE TWIST!
posted by Artw at 8:06 AM on September 7, 2008


Well, I wasn't expecting that...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:41 AM on September 7, 2008


Not to spoiler, but those villagers kinda deserve their fate at the end of part two. What a bunch of ingrates.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:01 AM on September 7, 2008


I kind of get the impression that a lot of knee-jerk burnings go on around that village.
posted by Artw at 12:35 PM on September 7, 2008


I think it's the lack of women folk, there appears to be only one and she gets killed off... fails the Bechdal test then. (Not Homophobic!)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:01 PM on September 7, 2008


They probably burned them all in case they were witches.
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on September 7, 2008


Heh... That's what you get for being a plagiarist!

(I think of stories like this, about writers trying to write something, as someone "doing a Stephen King". That goes double if the writer drinks)
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on September 7, 2008


Titles like The Poison Dagger and Deadly Dragon (oh dear) lead me to think that he was never really all that inspired to begin with. I'm kind of partial to The Demon Bride, though.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:48 PM on September 7, 2008


I'm kind of partial to The Demon Bride, though.

I misread that as The Demon Bridge...

Oh and every horror writer has to have a skull on their bookshelves. It's the law.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:10 PM on September 7, 2008


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