The story follows Biffy, a timid Bifidobacterium who is forced to leave their family and voyage to a new home, in the gut of a newborn human baby, Simi. A series of intrepid bacteria soon join Biffy, travelling in on carrots, fingers, sneeze-droplets and dog-tongues. They’re grabbed by goofy immune cells, confronted with strange viruses and washed through a whirling ocean of stomach acid. The bacteria learn to cooperate, feed each other and fight when threatened, keeping their home (the very cute baby Simi) healthy in order to survive.

Follow Your Gut is the story of the human microbiome as it has never been told before.

It’s a comic that ate a biology textbook, combining stunning artwork with cutting-edge science.

Narrated from the perspective of different gut bacteria, this scientifically accurate adventure explores their evolving relationship with the characters of the immune system as they learn to cooperate and build a healthy human.

Created by the art-science team (Ailsa Wild, Ben Hutchings, Briony Barr & Gregory Crocetti) behind the award-winning graphic novelThe Invisible War and developed in collaboration with reproductive biologist and molecular microbiologist Dr Lisa Stinson, Follow Your Gut takes readers on a vivid journey into the complex and surreal landscapes of the human body and invites you to meet the ecosystem within…


Illustrations by Ben Hutchings from Follow Your Gut. 1.  Dendry (a dentritic cell) carrying a bacterial sample through the lymphatic system. w. Biffy and Dendry entering a lymph node.

Additional consulting scientists:

  • Immunologist Dr Sam Forster (Wellcome-Sanger Institute / Cambridge University / Monash University
  • Microbiologist Dr. Alena Pribyl (Microba / The University of Queensland)
  • Virologist Dr. Jeremy Barr (Monash University)

Publishers can access our SFN-Comic-Rights-Guide here

This project is supported with funding from Dr. Diane Lightfoot, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australian Society for Microbiology.