The Fall of the Beard (And Other Small Victories)

It’s been over a month since San Diego and I still haven’t revealed the pognophobia-provoking extent of my mad beard science across those five days. Let’s sort that out and have a quick general catch up, eh?

(Photos are from the lovely Chrissy Williams and fairly lovely Frazer Irving unless otherwise stated.)

Anyway – this is how I looked on Wednesday night at the con. I’m pictured in front of a bearded pig, who was a worrying spit for me. Looking like a pig was a little better than the usual comparison, which was basically a variety of serial killers and rapists.

Anyway – from that, to Thursday’s look which was…

Trimmed efficient writer look. I look like the sort of guy who you’d trust entirely to look over a C-list superhero franchise or similar. Or a Geography teacher. Which are fairly similar looks. Trustworthy, yah?

This changed on Friday…

Where a big ol’ biker tasche plus white suit is a great looking for sex with men look which I actually kinda liked.

Here’s a better look at the sides, thanks to Gonzopunk

. There’s also a lot of pictures of me flicking the Vs at Jamie, which you have to assume was a coded message to tell him to fuck right off.

Anyway – this lead to Saturday…

Where I like to thin it’s a faux-trucker look, but I’m kind of still digging into the sex-with-men archetype. Worryingly, I liked this one even more than yesterdays and can imagine me growing it back. There’s not enough handlebar tasches in comics, I think. Also, note the look in the eyes, which states clearly that I may have been at the con too long.

Here’s it in action, courtesy of the lovely Jenn, who I highly enjoyed bullying Kevin with:

(And, yes, inevitably, there was a period between this and the next stage where I looked like Hitler.)

I return. Chrissy described it feeling as she was having an affair.

So endeth the year of the beard. I suspect some facial hair will return at some point, but only when I’m trying to pretend to be a grown up and trying to argue people should pay me more, as it adds between five and twenty years to my face depending on its extremities.

Finally, on the pictures of yours truly front: Charlie Chu’s photographic hobby continues to turn Nova with him doing a set of photos of a load of his friends. I think the Hope Larson and Bryan O’Malley portraits are particularly splendid. Even Jamie scrubs up okay.

This is, I suspect what people think I think I look like. So – er – yes.

Anyway. San Diego. In short: was incredibly lovely.

What else has happened? Well, I’ve been in London in three months and things are starting to settle in a little. I worked myself to death in the first month, and earned quite a lot of money – fear is the best motivator. I earned very little in the second month, due to San Diego. And last month was… well, I dunno. Seemed okay. The work I’m picking up as a journalist has changed subtly – being in London, thus available to do things on short notice, I’ve picked up a lot of that. I’m doing less for PCG, but I’ve somehow become the go-to man for US magazines trying to do big features on short deadlines. I’ve done a second long feature for OXM on Rare and am about to go off and do one for PCG:US tomorrow. And I’m picking up a fair chunk of work from the UK Official XBox mag, which is a complete change of pace, and agreeable.

Over in comics, things are quite fun too. 1959 came out to a generally highly favourable bunch of reviews, with is satisfying. My Avatar thing progresses apace – I handed in the first draft for the series Bible, which seems to have gone down well. A few tweaks and I’ll be onto writing that, planning to get the first six-issue arc done for Christmas. A new project has come to light too – I’m doing a story for the next STARCRAFT: FRONTLINES for Tokyopop. Which will be interesting, because it’s the first time I’ve written for the digest-manga format. Randomly – I believe that description of my story included in the above link is from the back of the first trade. I’ll say that it’s a paraphrasing of the initial story idea I pitched, and there’s been a lot of changes since then. While starring Kel Morians, it’s not set on Antiga Prime, for example.

The second issue of my Warhammer series has been solicited. It looks like this…

And the solicits reads:

With the beleaguered Empire army assailed by the verminous horde of the Clan Skyre, Greatsword Frohlich strikes out to secure the object that the Skaven desire from the Mansion of Necromancer Rudolph Brecht. While the security of the Old World trembles precariously, the dead rise and bodies fall!

ONLY WAR, etc. I’m just doing the final tweaks of the third issue right now, and hopefully will wrap up the series towards the end of next week.

Obviously Phonogram continues apace. If you actually desperately want to get ahead on series 2 – or, in fact, just want to have a nose at the work – Jamie’s got a page at the comics art exhibit that starts at Harrods from this week. Us at Harrods seems funny enough, but look at the list of other original art being exhibited…

Watchmen,” “The Killing Joke,” “Gentleman Jim,” “Tamara Drewe,” “Breakfast After Noon,” “Petra Etcetera,” “Charleys War,” “Commando,” “From Hell,” “Captain Britain,” “All Star Superman,” “Jack Staff,” “V For Vendetta,” “Jackie,” “Face Ache,” “Nellyphant,” “The Filth,” “Books Of Magic,” “Phonogram” “Tank Girl,” “Slaine” and much more, as well as the first “Judge Dredd” page from 2000AD #2 and early “Dennis The Menace” and “Oor Wullie.”

One of these things is not like the other. And that Phonogram is mixed in with my two primary influences – Watchmen and Oor Willie – is about as good as it gets.

Beard and various component moustaches thereof: We salute you.

Also, you totally should have gone for the Steampunk era Ringmaster style handlebar moustache and top hat look. That quite possibly would have been the most awesome/disturbing/scary picture ever.

You look all youthful and as I remember you from PC Gamer staff pictures of yore. Aww.

Ooh, tache #2 for the win.

Third pic does indeed make you look like one of my teachers. Except he’s a physics teacher, is about 68 and his name’s Lance.

The civil war one is bestest. Did you do it all with a razor & scissors? If so, that’s pretty skilled. Whenever I have a beard that I’m abotu to shave off, I can never whittle it down to the desired shape. If I’m going for sidies, I always end up with wonky ones that slowly diminish as I desperately try to save what’s left and keep them even :/

In short: I suck at shaving. Someone should make an arcade game based on it.

I am getting my beard trimmed tomorrow – paying for it, mark you – so that I don’t look too much like an axe moiderer for my interview.

I WISH I had the guts to wear a Tickler ‘Tasche – unfortunately, my face is the wrong shape, and my moustache has a tendency to grow up, down, in and out, all at the same time.

Frankly, I blame My Name Is Earl.

I usually shave my beard off for comic events – I experimented with the beard for the two I attended in June, and sold fewer books. More rational minds would blame this on the economic pressures of the season – holidays, etc., the lack of need for wacky Xmas gifts – but not I!

Or possibly me.


I see your Spore insinuations :)

Those taches are phenomenal.

I like the porno-stache. Which is worrying.

Yes! Everyone likes a good bit of beard fun. Last time I grew a giant beard I shaved it in a variety of humorous ways too. My favourite was the moustache look. It scared the shit out of my wife!

I kinda wish you’d kept the handlebar, I rather liked that…
Also, whilst it may be very cruel of me to mention, I keep looking at the current photos and thinking of the wild and shaggy C-monster :-)
That said, ta very much for the Future of the Left recommendation, we both love ‘em. Have to check out McLusky now.

Chris: I still can’t believe you weren’t into McLusky. Man!


things got a bit Luke Haines for a while there…

Those glasses are in need of some serious straightening.

I’m still getting over the “Space Invaders” thing you did with the Saturday version!

Holy shit. I mean, I’d heard of the beard, natch, (I think the whole internet had heard of the beard) but I wasn’t prepared for such bushiness.

(I messed up the html above but you get the idea)

I’m sorry if this has already been pointed out, but you look a lot like the TF2 sniper.

Your beard rivals my own. One day I hope to have a spectacular beard like yourself.