Maybe my favorite book of 2016

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil - Stephen Collins

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel that I think everyone should read. It follows the story of Dave who loves drawing what's outside of his window and listening to his favorite song 'Eternal Flame' on repeat. (He's a real fun guy.) He lives on an island called Here where everyone and everything is neat, tidy, and absolutely normal. Dave may be just as clean shaven (except for that one unruly chin hair) and orderly but that all changes when his one little hair morphs into an out-of-control beard. There's one thing that unites all the citizens of Here (besides their fastidiousness) and that's their fear of There. When Dave's beard threatens the carefully arranged status quo of Here the citizens and the government decide something needs to be done. This book discusses what it means to be different, the ways in which society ostracizes and vilifies the elusive 'other', and how fear of that 'other' can shape a community. The artwork alone would make this book one of my absolute favorites but the storyline combined with it shoots it right to the top of the list. It's phenomenal. 10/10