The Beard Hunter, Part One! (Cover Art)
Who is the Beard Hunter? Great question True Believers…! Born with a hormone deficiency that prevented him from growing a beard the young man known as Ernest Franklin grew resentful of beards and begun a lonely, one-man war against facial hair – and thus, the Beard Hunter was born!
So…what’s up with the obvious multi-part Beard Hunter story about to happen? Good question.
First of all, it’s a bit about story sequencing, and getting an idea of how a page might come together. I’ve done mostly two and three panel strips in the past year, and I have a ton of free time right now, so I wanted to do something different.
Secondly, I went to a nearby place called “Lobster and Beer” the other night. You have a pretty good idea of what’s on the menu from the name…it’s very on point. The food was pretty good. It has only been open for a little while, but it was profound the number of hipsters that were already aware of it, and flocking to it. We had a discussion at the table regarding the different kinds of hipsters, the subcategories, and that of course led to the prevalence of Big Beards.
I had recently been discussing Big Beards with a colleague at work, who has been using online dating sites. She found this profile that was pretty excellent, except, she wasn’t into his Giant Beard. Like, at all. She had a pretty solid thesis for reasons to not be into these Giant Beards, and to be fair, I pretty much agreed with her findings.
Today, I actually Googled, “Why do hipsters grow beards?” Try it…I’ll wait.
Amazing, right? There HAVE BEEN STUDIES.
The answer, according to The University of Western Australia researchers, is because men are feeling under pressure from other men and are attempting to look aggressive by being more flamboyant with their whiskers. The team investigated 154 species of primates, and found more conspicuous badges in males of species where social and physical conflict were common and individual recognition was limited.
Bottom line…the busier and more crowded with males a society becomes, the more competition there is and the more flamboyant the badges are. The modern male not only has to vie with hundreds of fellow males in the real world but has to stand out from potentially thousands of rivals online, so clean-shaven may well be turning off women who are drawn to seemingly powerful men. According to these researchers in Australia, that is.
“When you live in a small group where everyone knows everyone because of repeated interactions, there is no need to signal quality and competitiveness via ornaments,” said one of the researchers. “In large groups where individuals are surrounded by strangers, we need a quick reliable tool to evaluate someone’s strength and quality, and that’s where these elaborate ornaments come in. In the case of humans, this may also include phenotypic extensions such as body decoration, jewelry and prestige items.”
So…lets make this through one more boil down. Australian scientists blame the Internet for the proliferation of tattoos, piercings, and Big Beards. Hmmm…seems legit.
It also means that there’s far more work…for the Beard Hunter.
He’s like the Punisher, but instead of being mad about crime, he’s really, really specifically mad at hipsters. I was thinking about the Punisher while drawing this, and the over the top Mike Zeck art for the character. One thing led to another, and here we have the Beard Hunter with some kind of bazooka. I don’t know how he’s going to get the beard, or even find the beard, after shooting off that thing, but it was fun to draw.