Mary Fleener, one of the leading lights of the alternative comics wave of the 1990s, returns with her very first original graphic novel! Billie is raised from the minute she’s born to be a worker bee, but it turns out that she’s too big, too fast, and has far too much personality to simply collect pollen. This allows the hive’s leader to assign Billie to the position of ranger and explore the nearby woodlands and marshes of San Diego for danger, but there’s also a covert reason the Queen wants Billie far away from the rest of the masses. On patrol, she encounters a heron on hallucinogens, dirty joke-telling turtles, and humans illegally releasing vermin that will imbalance the entire ecosystem. Can Billie and her new forest friends right their ecological wrongs even if she’s not interested in the strange (and true-to-life) responsibilities and lifestyle of a bee? And when lightning strikes the hive, will Billie be ready to assume the throne?
Drawn in Fleener’s expressive black and white line with forays into bold Cubism, Billie the Bee is not only a great re-introduction to one of the world’s most unique cartoonists, but also an informative look into the secret lives of bees and especially timely since the insects are in the news, and threatened, now more than ever.