Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Gigantic Beard That was Evil Hardcover – International Edition, June 17, 2013
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"It's part satire, part parable, part nursery rhyme and part disaster movie, and it's an utter joy to read." -- Tom Gatti The Times "Clever, funny and beautiful to look at... A fairytale for adults that children will also adore, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is surely destined to become a classic." -- Rachel Cooke Observer "As splendiferous as its title... An inspired swirling of the mundane with the surreal, the plot may be simple but his satire on modern life is witty and thoughtful." -- Larushka Ivan-Zadeh Metro "Collins' wonderful debut unfolds with slow and simple elegance through black-and-white panels." -- James Smart Guardian "It reminds me of nothing so much as a Roald Dahl novel." -- Alex Hern New Statesman
About the Author
STEPHEN COLLINS was born in 1980 and grew up in Penge, South London. He began cartooning for The Times in 2003, and has since won several awards, including the Jonathan Cape/Observer Graphic Short Story Prize 2010. His work has appeared in many publications worldwide, and he contributes regular comics to The Guardian Weekend and Prospect magazine. He lives near Hertford with his wife and a well-charged beard trimmer.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The basic gist of the story is a man named Dave lives on an island named Here. Here is the same in all aspects of life. As he questions life and thinks about There he breaks out in a beard which causes the uniformity to go unbalanced. The story dives into what happens when his life changes.
I found a couple passages worth sharing
"Because Here, the sea was a thing to fear, The sea led to There."
"There was disorder. There was chaos. There was evil.
"There was a place to which nobody had ever even been. No one alive anyway. there stories were enough for most people, including Dave.
I bundle all these together because they are really close together in the book. More importantly how many of us are afraid of "there". That place right beyond our comfort zone where it is scary. It is tough to walk that extra step to new territory. It reminds me of Lord of the Rings (thanks for jogging my memory during your keynote @stumpteacher)
You see this book was powerful in the sense that it reminded that so often we worry about not messing up with things because it has always been that way. What if we push a bit further? What if we take that next step? We just might find that the stories we grew up with and start to believe are just that - stories.
I recommend this book to read if you are stuck. You cannot find your way out of Here to get to There.
The novel has beautiful artwork and a strong, but powerful message told through the lens of Dave and what happens when you start to grow a beard.
Check out the book
A place that’s safe, neat, tidy with nothing for anyone to fear
But something uneasy lurks beneath the quiet and calm:
A single tiny hair on Dave’s face that becomes a gigantic beard - and causes much harm!
The beard can’t be cut, it grows back far too quick
Becoming larger than Dave, much bushier and thick
It becomes enormous and engulfs the town, much to the Government’s displeasure
So a solution is decided, for desperate times call for desperate measures
Stephen Collins’ comic reads a lot like a Roald Dahl tale or modern day fable
Whose message is very obviously displeased with 21st century society’s staples
Of conformity and uniformity, an alleged dearth of creativity
That manifests very pleasingly in this book with excessive beardity
Because modern life’s no fun
At least not for some
Who want something different
From the everyday humdrum
Collins’ pencil art style is ambitious and charming
While the book itself is written with delightful rhyming
And at times it reads like a Pixar short
(Which is certainly a complimentary note!)
Because it’s a dark and unusual, original book
That any fan of graphic literature can’t fail to be hooked
With its unique imagery, style and tone
When Collins created it, he must’ve been in the zone!
And though it’s a hefty volume in page count and size
The narrative is enthralling and sure to mesmerize
For, despite its themes and critiques that, on the page, are quite clear
You can also read it as a simple fun comic – about a GIGANTIC BEARD!
When I was probably about six, in the typical fashion of my Dad, he managed to convince me that he maintained the beard because he had no face underneath. Thus, I had nightmares about my Dad not having a proper face for months. His beard was so much a part of his identity that, when I told my then new boyfriend (now husband) about an old photo infamous in our family lore in which my infant Dad was sitting on a blanket on the floor at home, chewing on the end of a pipe so that it looked like he was smoking it, my boyfriend immediately pictured a baby with a full beard. Furthermore, he only realized what was wrong with that mental image when I showed him the actual picture.
It wasn't just "a beard," it was a follicular masterpiece on which strangers would frequently compliment him. I distinctly remember one time when he came to visit me at the dorm Freshman year. It took me a minute to come downstairs and greet him, and by the time I arrived, he was surrounded by at least half a dozen male students all fawning over his beard. He had no tips to offer them: he was simply blessed. When we took care of my niece for the summer and she was only a few months old, she loved to grab it in both fists, lift it up, and then nestle her whole head down twixt beard and chest for a nap. Small children were either fascinated or psychologically disturbed by the beard, but that made it even more mysterious and storied. So, it is with that beard-related history in mind that I couldn't refrain from picking up The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil. I truly saw how a beard could be evil, or at least be an interesting subject for a graphic novel.
During the ensuing minutes, which my husband spent searching for books on his list amidst crowds of holiday shoppers, I was transported to "Here," a fictional town where all aspects of life are kept as neat and tidy and meaningless as possible. Perfectly-trimmed hedges line sidewalks where perfectly-trimmed people walk to work, all on schedule, all in lockstep, all the time. Here conjures up images of Pleasantville, and after a few pages of introduction to the surroundings, I instantly realize that the yet unseen beard probably isn't evil, it just defies the rules of Here.
...which is a shame for our protagonist, gentle-souled Dave. When one unruly follicle suddenly gives way to a full beard, which continues to grow no matter what efforts Dave makes, he loses his job, restaurants will not serve him, and he is trapped in his own home, guilty of the ultimate sin against the society of Here: untidiness. Nobody can help him (not that anyone actually tries), because the beard is impervious to shaving, waxing, plucking, and trimming. In short, the beard is there to stay, and it encroaches upon the neatly organized society of Here like a sibling told to stay on his side of the backseat during a lengthy road trip. And, because it reminds Dave's coworkers and friends and neighbors of "There," which is to say anywhere beyond the confines of Here, they react with selfish fear and hatred, as if Dave has personally, willfully called up the essence of the wilds of There onto his face to untame Here's way of life and let a bit of There in, instead of reacting as if a horribly scary and random thing is happening to Dave.
Yes, poor Dave.
This is one of the most beautiful graphic novels I have ever read. The art is so simple, so powerful, so visually pleasing that I could not look away. I loved how Collins transitioned from the clean lines and rigid geometric shapes of before-beard Here to visual chaos after.
More than anything, I felt for Dave's character, and I was moved by his depth of soul, his sensitivity, and his compassion in the midst of a society where most people seem to possess none of those traits.
Dystopian stories have been all the rage for years now, but it isn't a YA trilogy that captures the essence of a Dystopia best in my opinion, it is The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins.
If you love graphic novels, Dystopian tales, or beards, this one's for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The back blurb, title, and art made me think I was in for a lighthearted, whimsical adventure that would be...Read more