The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

Graphic Novel - 2013
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On the buttoned-down island of Here, all is well. By which we mean: orderly, neat, contained and, moreover, beardless. Or at least it is until one famous day, when Dave, bald but for a single hair, finds himself assailed by a terrifying, unstoppable monster! Where did it come from? How should the islanders deal with it?
Publisher: London :, Jonathan Cape,, 2013.
Branch Call Number: GRAPHIC NOVEL
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) :,chiefly illustrations ;,31 cm.

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From Library Staff

List - Gold and Graphic
StaffPickles Oct 18, 2015

Katherine's pick: does what it says on the tin - what happens when an island is taken over by a gigantic beard that is - guess what - evil? Funny and creepy with some interesting points to make.

List - Award Winning Comics 2015
ma1co1m Oct 18, 2015

Eisner Nominee: Best Graphic Album - New.


From the critics


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f
FPL_LaurenG
Dec 30, 2019

Whether you're Here or there, you'll enjoy this graphic novel. The illustrations are simple and done solely in black & white, yet they are gripping. In combination with the plot, readers will be enamored.

i
ikbarron
Jun 15, 2019

TGBTWE is an okay parable about conformity and a really great one about existentialist meaning-making. It's a book you kinda have to sit with, which is really easy to do because Stephen Collins is obviously a really great cartoonist and this book is an incredible pleasure to look at and to read. From his clean layouts to his ridiculous command of shading to his kind-of-rhyming-but-not-all-the-time writing style, The Giant Beard That Was Evil is hard to put down. I really like it it's good.

LPL_KimberlyL May 24, 2018

Dave lives on an island named Here, and everywhere else is There. There is not to be trusted. There is the origin of everything terrible in the world. There is to be feared. Like everyone else in Here, Dave lives a quiet and ordinary life of rules and patterns. Until his face magically sprouts a beard of gigantic (and evil?) proportions, that is. A smart and silly graphic novel full of symbolism and themes of isolation, distrust of outsiders, and the dangers of a homogeneous culture.

m
mclarjh
Aug 23, 2017

I liked the pencil drawings, but the subject was dull, and the adult fairy tale childish.

p
PinesandPrejudice
Feb 13, 2017

Again, I can appreciate this book. It was symbolic and beautifully drawn. However, I thought it was a little boring. But still good.

o
obtusata
Feb 07, 2017

I liked that this was different. The art, story and how the artist periodically integrated the narrative's text in with his art we all interesting.

n
ncparrish
Nov 04, 2015

Way better than expected. Funny and well-drawn. There may be some life lessons in this, or it may just be silly thoughtful fun.

multcolib_rossb Sep 21, 2015

Beautiful art and - something that is kind of rare in comics - beautiful language, too. Plus, the Bangles: "Close your eyes, give me your hand, darling. Do you feel my heart beating? Do you understand?"

JCLChrisK Aug 19, 2015

"Beneath the skin of everything is something nobody can know.
The job of the skin is to keep it all in and never let anything show."

This is a wonderfully composed and illustrated graphic fable about conformity and keeping up appearances (and more). Though the text doesn't always rhyme, it does feel poetic, and the words are marvelously laid out with the illustration panels. The drawings are both atmospheric and compelling. And while the metaphor is far more effective and far-reaching than I expected it to be, in the end I felt the book would have been more poignant if it gone beyond appearance and self-expression to deeper areas of emotional connection and vulnerability. The implied existential dread looming in everyone's background is far more than skin deep, after all. Nevertheless, this is quite well done and a pleasure to read.

s
skyekilaen
Jun 23, 2015

"It's beautiful," I thought to myself when I finished it. Said my husband when he was halfway through it: "It's like a Shel Silverstein book gone totally mad, and I've never read anything even remotely like it." The title of the book would have you believe that the gigantic beard is evil, but is it really? Dave, on whose face it suddenly grows one day, sure thinks so. It costs him his job and his freedom on the island of Here, where everything is neat and orderly. The beard is not neat or orderly. The beard is against everything that Here stands for. The back cover calls this book a parable, and that's clearly true, but it's an understated, beautiful one. I think this would make a great book club discussion, because there is so much going on with Dave, his community, and the much bigger themes at play.

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i
ikbarron
Jun 15, 2019

ikbarron thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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