Sunday, July 5, 2009

doodle Penance: "model sheets beard"

This week's "Doodle Penance" comes from someone who reached our website looking for "model sheets beard."

I'm sure that this anonymous googler would have had more luck clicking over to Jon Dyer's beardstyles chart, or his Quest for Every Beard Type. But we here at Satisfactory Comics try to provide a service, so we're going to provide some doodles of beards today.

In the past, there has been some conversation about which comics characters have the best beards. My intent here is not to provide criticism or evaluation—Indeed, I haven't even mentioned the best beard in comics—but merely to display a small gallery of styles. My gallery here is limited more by my own doodling time than by the range of possibilities.

Here we see a couple of fine beards from Fantastic Four, around issue 48 or 49.

Here are a couple of fairly obscure 1960s Marvel villains with excellent and distinctive facial hair.

And here are a couple of comics characters who just let the whole beard grow.

One's dour, and one's beery, but they worship similar old gods.

The other thing I ought to use this Doodle Penance for is to give Mike, once and for all, a model sheet for my own beard, since he can't seem to remember how it works. He's not the only one. I had a conversation (by email) with a cartoonist friend who said he'd never seen my beard, even though we've met up at least five or six times since I started wearing a beard two and a half years ago.

For the record, this is how it grows out of my head.

Mike, what have you got this week?

—Isaac, I have doodles of six different beard styles. Most of these are absent from Jon Dyer's chart in the precise forms shown here, though there are similar styles, to be sure. We start with a style that I have often wished to see on modern faces but which I have thus far seen only in ancient statuary and hieroglyphics: the Pharaoh.

Next, a style whose variants were sported by such well-known figures as Whitman, Tolstoy, and, especially, Marx: the nineteenth-century intellectual.

Next, a style that would not be entirely out of place in the cartoon world of Gustave Verbeek's Upside Downs, though it misses the point somewhat in looking the same whether upright or topsy-turvy: the symmetry.
Then we have a "style" that might better be described as a disorder, and which might well be worn by one of Grant Morrison's pirates of Manhattan (from Seven Soldiers of Victory). Alongside Nobeard and Allbeard, there'd be this guy—but what would you call him? His beard style is called the negative.
This penultimate style is based on a description I heard of a linguistics professor whom, sadly, I never saw with my own eyes. "Forked red beard" is what I was told, in a nutshell. A darker model below portrays the Cambridge linguist.
Last and probably least, we have the Cates, also known as "Mind the gap"—least because, despite its admonishing alias, I failed to recall that there should be a space between the two halves of Isaac's mustache. The beard proper, however, is fairly accurate in this blockish rendering, if the beard may be construed as separate from a detached mustache.
Looking at this erroneous rendering, I can see why Isaac keeps his mustaches divided: there's something shady about that character above, though I can't quite put my finger on it. At any rate, them's my beard models. Further evidence, if any were needed, that I have kept clean-shaven as long as my chops have needed razoring.


Isaac said...

I'm telling you, man, I don't "keep" my mustache divided. That's just the way it grows out of my head.

Mike said...

Fair enough, but surely you must commit SOME beard maintenance? You illustrate what you claim is "how it grows out of [your] head," but if left unchecked would it not come to rival the nineteenth-century intellectual? (Well, not at first...but over time.)

Isaac said...

I do trim it, though not as often as I might. The only part that I ever shave these days are the malingering solo hairs on my neck, and even those tend to be pretty scruffy unless I'm about to do some public speaking.

By the way, kudos on your excellent notional beards this week. I think you have won the Doodle Penance again!

Mike said...

I appreciate the kind words, especially since I keep forgetting the niceties of your own beard. Like the nameless other cartoonist you mentioned, I just have a primary mental image of you that is beardless and have trouble translating the current beard to the page without a living model or photo reference to hand. [This is kind of like the way I still have an obsolete mental image of myself with blond hair, which I haven't had for years...possibly decades, at this point.]

Ben Towle said...

A standout post! I don't know whether he still has any for sale, but cartoonist Joey Weiser at one point had a great mini that was a catalog of different beards and other facial hair styles.

For what it's worth,
here was my sole experiment with a beard.

B.BarNavi said...

The Negative scares the living bejeezus out of me.

Mike said...

B.BarNavi, I am glad to hear it!