A book for anybody who’s ever had a beard, thought about a beard, seen a beard, not had a beard...
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The job of the skin is to keep things in…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? And what, most importantly, are they going to do with Dave?The first book from a new leading light of UK comics, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is an off-beat fable worthy of Roald Dahl. It is about life, death and the meaning of beards.(*We mean a gigantic beard, basically.)
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
Mail on Sunday
Happily as splendiferous as its title.
Siobhan Murphy, Metro Herald
A gorgeously penciled fable… The pacing and page design are immaculate.
Teddy Jamieson, Sunday Herald
There’s a touch of Roald Dahl to this dark, beautifully drawn and wonderfully surrealist tale.
A witty and surreal response to conformity, and how we should embrace our difference. Accompanied by incredible pencil drawings, you will be blown away by the quality, and be humbled by the underlying message.
My pick of next season’s graphic novels.
A rich allegorical work with a certain Kafkaesque quality, with the story told in a rolling, rhyming blank verse.
Comic Book Resources
This incredible fable is rich with subtext and allegory… It is a singularly spectacular graphic novel… Timeless, uniquely insightful into the human condition, witty and poignant.
PM Buchan, Starburst
With The Gigantic Beard that was Evil, Stephen Collins has produced a book too profound to be serious, too good for the patronizing pat of mainstream media...In The Beard That Was Evil, Collins has created a total work of art which elevates itself beyond comparison.
Nick Hayes, Literary Review
Collins’s [book] is a love song – or is it? – to facial hair and all who get tangled up in it.
Rachel Cooke, Observer
A book to make you sing with the genius of it... A book of revolution, and a beautiful story told with imagination, grace and a lot of pencil lines. And you feel the hard effort on every page. Those individual hairs don’t draw themselves.
Rich Johnston and Hannah Means-Shannon, Bleeding Cool
In exquisite pencil drawings, Stephen Collins pursues Dave’s absurd quandary through its logical stages, from infamy to celebrity, from vast scaffolding to hot-air balloons. It’s a timely fable about any government’s attempt to impose conformity on the “becauselessness” of humanity.
Paul Gravett, Independent
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Stephen Collins is a cartoonist and illustrator. His first book, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, was published by Cape in 2013. Praised by the likes of Raymond Briggs and described as ‘a future classic’ ...