A lot of alternative comics makers wear beards, but few are as well known for their beard as Alec Longstreth. Issue 021 of his series Phase 7 documents how that’s been both a blessing and a curse. The issue covers his relationship with facial hair throughout his life, but really centers around a project he undertook known as the “Basewood Beard.”
Feeling stuck half-way through drawing his graphic novel Basewood (which was originally serialized in issues 005 – 009 of Phase 7), and moving up to White River Junction, VT to be a fellow at the Center for Cartoon Studies, Alec recommitted himself to his comic by shaving his head and vowing not to cut or shave until Basewood was complete!
It took Alec nearly 3 and a half years to complete the final two and a half chapters of the story, during which his beard and hair grew quite long. Issue No. 021 dives deep into his own feelings about the Basewood beard, and how friends, family members and strangers reacted to his transformation. It’s a great read, and a must-have for Longstreth fans!