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This review is from: The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil (Hardcover)
I came across Stephen Collins' work in The Guardian Weekend magazine where his strips are a definite highlight, a skewed and absurdly hilarious worldview.
This sets loose the same wild imagination on a much grander scale, it is a veritable beast of a book.
`Beard' is essentially a dystopian parable set in the land of `Here', where everything is perfectly ordered and everyone has a blandly repetitive lifestyle. Beneath the surface for some though lurks a lingering, inherent nagging fear of the land beyond, `There'.
The writing and themes are wonderfully Seussian but much darker, the lands of 'Here' and 'There' rendered almost Orwellian. The pencil drawings are simple but have great depth and warmth. It is part graphic novel, part twisted bedtime story for older children and adults with a sense of wonder and humour. If you like McEwan, Banks, Steadman, Dahl, Larson, Coupland and their ilk you can't fail with this.