REVIEW: The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins

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Title: The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil
Author: Stephen Collins
Rating: 3/5

'The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil' is the first graphic novel I have read that isn't The Walking Dead or superhero themed. The only graphic novel I knew was the fast-paced, action-packed adventure where someone dies every other page, so this was quite refreshing. However I didn't like it as much as I thought I would.

Firstly, from reading a few reviews, I was expecting to be blown away by the artwork because people rant and rave about it. However unfortunately this wasn't the case. Yes, it's simplistic and beautiful but I couldn't bring myself to appreciate it as much as others had. Maybe I just don't have an eye for art, who knows. I do have a few favourite pages where I particularly like the artwork and the clever positioning of the drawings on the page, but I definitely think it didn't live up to the hype.

Secondly, the story line did not go the way I thought it would. I was half expecting a Spirited Away-esque type plot where the gigantic evil beard is personified and gobbles people up (because it is HUGE on the front cover). But, nope, the beard is actually relatively passive in the story. The story is focused mainly on the character's reactions to the beard, therefore kinda being allegorical of society rejecting what it isn't used to. I still liked it, though.

I found it easy enough to follow up until Dave floats away to There, I got a bit confused after that. I was really, really, REALLY hoping we were gonna be able to see parts of There but we never did. I was also expecting the pieces of drawings they find on the beach to create some big revelation or something drastically life changing but... that never happened. I want to be able to analyse this and say 'the anticlimactic ending is done on purpose because...' but I can't. I can't really think of a good reason why Collins chose to end it this way.

I've found writing this review hard because I don't have much to say. Other than the artwork and the story line, nothing else really stood out to me. My general feelings are 'meh'. It was fun to read and a nice break from my university studies but it wasn't mind-blowingly good nor did it make an impact on my life.
Did 'The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil' live up to the hype?


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