30 June 2008

Alan Moore

In my anticipation for The Dark Knight, I’ve can’t help but to think of graphic novel artists with beards. Alan Moore is one such beardy — an English writer most famous for the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell.

I can’t imagine a more fashionably drawn beard. The voluptuous proliferation extends like siamese twin friendly mutton chops. His festive vest-and-hat combo provide stark velvety smooth contrast to the reaching tentacles of the beard, but it is a perfect balance in color, shape and attitude. Moore is yet another artist who lies subject to the wooly muse.

Bonus picture
Simpson’s cameo

28 June 2008

Julius von Bismarck

By Ian
The internets were abuzz a couple of days ago about this guy and his invention. He is able to project images into other people’s photos, given that they are using a flash. Incredible!

Annoying as this may turn out to be, the real story here is the beard. It evokes strong feelings, feelings of ingenuity, resourcefulness, and a bit of the antisocial. I imagine that as a young man Gandalf’s beard must have looked something like this. Coarse and pointy, this beard definitely has some magician DNA somewhere in there.

Here is Julius's website.

26 June 2008

Kermit Love dies.

Kermit Love, 91

The creator of such characters as Big Bird, Snuffle-upagus and Oscar the Grouch has passed away. He had an amazing beard.

Kevin Drew

Kevin Drew, co-founder of Broken Social Scene (just like that Canning guy), sports a listless beard. Not so much lethargic as incapable, it evokes the same feelings I may have for the runt of a litter. Endearing, but all the same subject to the standards perpetuated by beardies since the beginning of time. And this runt isn’t some Balboa poised to knock out the Revue, that’s for sure.

Drew’s lackluster beard is likely worn out of obligation: he sits atop the mountain of indie musician pyramid in his little 20-or-so-members collective. And what good is an independent musician without a beard?

But this isn’t the true spirit of the facial adornment we all love. The bummer of it all is Drew shows promise — the beard isn’t choppy, and the bistre-to-copper-with-ochre-highlights spectrum is gorgeous at sunset. And we’ve seen evidence of a more robust germination (see “Backed Out on the...” video below).

So if any of Kevin’s friends read this, please encourage him to exploit his true potential.

25 June 2008

George Carlin remembered

You gotta admit. His beard had history.

23 June 2008

George f*ckin’ Carlin

If you haven’t heard, George Carlin died yesterday of heart failure. I am deeply saddened by this news. He stood as a beacon of hope for humorists, rationalists and even beardists around the world.

His beard was a shield — not so much to protect him, but an emblem to identify him — that rested proudly on his jaw. It was never more than just enough to ruffle the feathers of the establishment: never too long, nearly too short. Carlin’s beard was as blunt and corse as his comedy routine.

After its several years of establishment, Carlin’s whiskers had become a pleasant source of consistency and prudence. And now they’re gone...

The Sanctity of Life

19 June 2008

Captain Caveman

So you’re hanging out in a block of ice since prehistoric times; what did you wear? Just a beard? REALLY??

Be not mistaken — a beard is all you need! If nothing else, Captain Caveman taught us exactly that.

Back in the mid 70s, the Hanna-Barbera Productions creatives were tired of naked-faced heros like Shaggy (he’s scruffy, not bearded) and Scooby-Doo or Josie and the Pussycats. They wanted a superbeard. Something hairier than Grizzly Adams. It was a radical idea at the time with intuitive foresight.

So Hanna-Barbera gave birth to Captain Caveman. His prehistoric beard encapsulated Captain’s entire torso and head. It served primarily as utility, protecting him from the cold and any harmful substances in the late 1970s. It puffed out and frizzled, stored more items than Felix’s bag of tricks and comforted all the beardless children in the world every Saturday morning on ABC from 1977 to June 21, 1980 (and even later in syndication).

I’m hoping one day Jack Passion will go the extra mile and grow a full beard suit like Captain’s.

18 June 2008

Russia takes out Sweden, Mellberg still rocks beard

Sure, the Swedes were upset by a Russia. But at least defender Olof Mellberg looked spiffy in his trademark skägg (is that how you say it?).

If you get a chance to tune into the European Cup you’re in for some amazing sport entertainment.

Clint Eastwood (The Man with No Name)

By Ian

In the films A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Clint Eastwood plays a quick-thinking, cold-blooded bounty hunter known as The Man With No Name. As befitting the character’s personality, he sports a beard that constantly treads the tightrope of efficiency and minimalism. The Man With No Name is entirely too manly to cavort about unbearded, but given his livelihood it is regrettable that the beard remains so short.

Unpretentious and brown, it is always accompanied by neck stubble and a cowboy hat. The beard looks very cowboyish and indeed, fits the character like a glove, but there seems to be something of a lack of effort. It’s as if Eastwood only grew the beard for the character, with no intention of ever embracing the bearded lifestyle.

16 June 2008

BigRedKitty (WoW)

Tons of armor, check. Giant saber-tooth, check. Viking helmet and big red beard that makes you look like Hägar the Horrible, check. You have to admit, BigRedKitty pretty much has it all.

Each week, Daniel Howell contributes BigRedKitty, a column with strategies, tips and tricks for and about the hunter class sprinkled with a healthy dose of completely improper, sometimes libelous, personal commentary. He also contributes a beard of Lord of the Rings proportions to World of Warcraft (a screenshot of his avatar does resemble Gimli).

Clearly, we can all see the majesty of the beast that sprouts forth from under BigRedKitty’s chin.

What is notable here is the potential of World of Warcraft. In such a virtual environment, every man, woman and child has the ability to grow a beard — and not just a half-beard or stubble. I can’t emphasize this enough: One can imagine a utopian society evolving freely, without the constraints of beardlessness. How great is that? It gives me chills just thinking about it.

'Warcraft' Sequel Lets Gamers Play A Character Playing 'Warcraft'

Thanks for the suggestion, Chris and Ty.

15 June 2008

“My Beard” by Shel Silverstein

My beard grows down to my toes,
I never wears no clothes,
I wraps my hair
Around my bare,
And down the road I goes.

Happy Father’s day to all of you, especially the bearded ones.

13 June 2008

Jon Krakauer

By Ian

Jon Krakauer is a journalist and an author, best known for subject matter that is most outdoorsy. It therefore comes as no surprise that his beard awakens primal feelings of wanderlust and recklessness. Uneven and composed of a certain salt-and-pepper quality, this beard looks like it was hurriedly tossed into a backpack and hauled up the side of a mountain before being slapped onto Mr. Krakauer’s face.

It must also be noted that his beard is so scratchy looking that I almost reached out and touched my monitor in an attempt to gauge the scratchiness for myself. Rarely does a beard completely bypass my brain and move directly from my eyes to my fingers, but for some reason this one does. Well done sir.

Here is the same beard beneath a yellow parka.

12 June 2008

Bob Bakker

Bob Bakker is a dinosaur man. He still believes Brontosaurus existed. He says growth in habitat, which led to disease, is what killed off the dinosaurs. Lately, he can be found playing with duckbill dino poop in Houston. And he has a huge beard.

Bakker hasn’t been farming his beard since Jurrassic times, but its impressive length seems to allude otherwise. As a teacher, Bakker’s beard serves as a symbol of wisdom and expertise in his field. His is the four-star general version that says “I’ve been around the block” without being too pushy or intimidating.

But in the field — Colorado, Montana, Utah, Canada, Mongolia, Zimbabwe — his beard functions in a far more utilitarian manner, guarding his face from the elements, blocking the sun and warming/cooling him depending on the temperature. It’s like some kind of cotton-polyester wonder material.

In the dinoscience community, Bakker is apt to play the rebel at times. So fitting is it that he would wear the same beard as a Hell’s Angel.

Anyway, let’s hope his theories on dinosaur growth don’t apply to beards (see below).

  • 1) A species grows and grows and then gets too big and becomes extinct. See: Allosaur family;
  • 2) As species became more populous and spread throughout the world, they were more prone to disease and died off.

10 June 2008

Papa Smurf

Simple math formula to determine the hierarchy within Smurf Village 50 years ago:

Diminutive blue creation of evil village loner + white hat and pants = common plebe.

Diminutive blue creation of evil village loner + red had and pants + white beard = unique leader.
I think that formula pretty much smurfs for itself. Happy smurfing!

09 June 2008

Teen Wolf

Galavanting around town with his extended Amish beard, doing handstands on vans, playing high school roundball and checking out the high school queen bee’s chest in the locker room — this is what it was like to be Michael J. Fox in his teens when he was 24. And it’s that stellar Amish-ness that is of utmost import.

Wild. Uninhibited. Crazy. Ferocious. Absolutely stunning. That about sums up the nature of the beastly beard. At any moment it may sprout, growing from 0 to 20 cm in less than a second. And next to Samson, Fox’s wulfberd is one of the most empowering beards in folklore. Standing only 5'4.5", the power of the beard enabled the homunculus to dunk on a standard basketball rim. Awesome.

Not to nitpick, but Fox’s jaw growth is hardly featured. His brow, arms, legs and nearly everything else contribute to the overall putting-Baby-in-the-corner effect. Bummer.

Spanish Teen Wolf surfs down the street…

Postscript: Werewolves are awesome. Also, Happy Birthday to Michael J. Fox!

05 June 2008

George Lucas

by Ian

George Lucas, the man behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones, is a man with a very consistent beard. The famous director has sported the full beard with minor variation for decades, ranging from dark and neck-inclusive to a grandfatherly white affair. Interestingly, his mustache has resisted the trend towards whitening established by the rest of the beard and has stoicly retained a certain darkness. There is no documentation of any beard length experimentation throughout the years, which is certainly regrettable. Indeed, Mr. Lucas’s plumage has remained short and well-trimmed, but must be regarded as undeniably dependable.

more (left)

Brendan Canning

Brendan Canning is a founding member of Broken Social Scene (with a new album coming out), a pretty well-bearded group of musicians from Canada. Canning meets the requirements of the indie beard, but more significantly represents the beard of Irish descent.

Sure, Conan had a beard, but the successful Irish beard is still a great find. So often are their faces bare that it takes a minute to sink in — it’s like spotting an elusive bearded unicorn.

The range in cheek and lip is from auburn to persimmon depending on the light. But the chin is a wild card, sprouting forth buff bristles — a brilliant and unique element amongst a solid collective. The stache is always in full bloom, protecting Canning’s top lip. The straighter plumage of his beard dutifully parries his oft moppy hair.

Canning’s beard makes me long for the days I was part of a Canadian beard collective…

Bonus beards:

“Fire Eye’d Boy” by Broken Social Scene. It’s full of meta references and the Captain’s giant beard.

“Dear Mom, I feel light as a feather these days. My anxieties are fleeing like pollen from a cherry tree in spring…”

03 June 2008

Product Review:
Bluebeards Original Beard Wash / Ultra Conditioner for Beards by Beardsley

Full reader disclosure: A few weeks ago, I was asked by folks at Beard Care to review a few of their goods. Since receiving four products (Bluebeards Original Beard Wash, Ultra Conditioner for Beards by Beardsley, Bay Lime Beard Conditioning Oil and Craig’s Beard & Stache Butter Wax Conditioner), I have been incorporating a few into my daily routine.

Bluebeards [sic] Original Beard Wash is a daily beard wash that claims to gently cleanse both facial hair and the sensitive skin underneath without leaving your skin dry. It is cut from the same ilk as the shampoos of professional hair salons, a clear gel with a chemical odor I cannot identify and frothiness to the tenth power of a typical soap.

It doesn’t tingle or burn. But after a moment of massaging my face, the beard begins to coagulate. After a quick rinse, my beard feels stripped of the oils that make it soft — the lime in the product does this, according to the back label. This is its biggest downfall, but quickly remedied with a spot of conditioner.

The good:

  • I like spending a little extra time on my beard.
  • It feels good going in.
  • I only need a tiny drop for a thorough wash — the 4 ounces should last me six months.
  • No ill effects to the skin (that must be the Aloe).
The bad:
  • Though not terrible, the smell isn’t recognizably good.
  • The lime makes my beard coarser than I prefer.

Buy it at beardcareproducts.com.

The real pleasure lately has been the soothing Ultra Conditioner for Beards by Beardsley. It claims to leave your beard feeling unusually soft and smooth, which it achieves. The aroma is gentle and smooth. Indeed, a lady friend of mine lit up after smelling it, complimenting the product instantly.

As I mentioned above, the conditioner eases the softness back to the beard after an assiduous shampooing. My beard becomes lighter and velvety. Combing through it post-wash is easy — any tangle I may have had before has disappeared.

  • More time massaging your face.
  • Smells great.
  • Feels great going in and afterward.
  • Comes in an 8-ounce bottle that should last a good six months or more.
  • ?

Buy it at beardcareproducts.com.

02 June 2008

Jack Passion (World Beard and Moustache Champion)

Full beard, natural. These are the stipulations by which you must abide to become the most admired champion at the World Beard and Moustache Championships held biannually around the world. (The next competition will be held in Ancorage, 23 May 2009.)

It may seem as thought the Beard Revue has become awfully liberal with its 10.0 offering. On the contrary — there are just a lot of admirable beards out there that warrant the highest praise. And this one is no exception.

Passion has a passion for is an avid beard-wearer. The rich red hue with golden highlights are painted with a master’s brush. Draping like a weeping willow past collar, shoulder and chest, the pilose jaw is a national treasure.

Men have crossed traffic to further inspect, admire and compliment this beard. Women have offered their loins. Judges from around the globe have conferred a third prize in ought five and championship of the world in ought seven. Nearly five years in the making, Passion’s beard is truly one of the greatest living specimens out there.

On his web site, Passion answers a few questions regarding the barba maximus. His wise-beyond-the-years answer to Does it itch? (a question I often field) is my favorite:

You know how a cut itches as it heals? Consider your face healing. It will get better with time.

Thanks to Phil Olsen, Beard Team USA’s captain, for suggesting the review (it was overdue).