The Beard and Alan Moore, in happier days…
In a shocking development that has left the international comic book community gasping in disbelief, acclaimed author Alan Moore has parted ways with his famous Beard, long rumored to be the source of Moore’s celebrated genius, as well as the driving force behind some of his more eccentric behavior. While the circumstances surrounding the split remain shrouded in mystery, reliable sources have speculated that The Beard was awakened to a state of heightened consciousness either by Moore’s exceptionally impassioned reading of Gogol’s “The Nose” (possibly during a full moon), or by a mistranslated passage in an incantation offered up to the author’s favored deity, the Macedonian Snake God Glycon.
Whatever the cause, friends and colleagues of the celebrated author refer to the break as “a disaster of Samsonian proportions,” noting that since The Beard’s abrupt departure, Moore has been incapable of writing anything more substantive than dirty limericks, off-color doggerel, and the occasional obscene nursery rhyme. “I’m not kidding,” said visibly shaken former assistant Herminefra Poofgarten, “this new stuff is just…filthy…My god! No one should ever do that to sheep. Even in rhyme!”
Poofgarten went on to say that the absence of The Beard has even begun affecting Moore’s style of dress. “When I saw him earlier, I’m pretty sure he was wearing a pair of grey sweatpants. Sweatpants!!!…and then later, although I tried to avert my eyes, I noticed that he’d slipped into some old khakis. I tried coaxing him with an array of velvet bowler hats in various rich colours, as well as a fine selection of silk waistcoats, embroidered with everything from naughtily-cavorting unicorns and goblins to dragons enacting the teachings of the Kama Sutra. He just looked at us in a puzzled, almost disgusted way, threw on a rumpled Members Only jacket, and stalked out the door.” Blinking back tears, Poofgarten added, “He spent the rest of the day drinking Sanka and puttering in the garden…I don’t even KNOW him anymore!” (Quiet sobs.)
The Beard, meanwhile, has quickly become a dazzling presence on the Hollywood scene, partying nightly at Hyde with Paris Hilton, and has been romantically linked to both Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, along with a number of other starlets and celebutantes. In fact (as recently reported by TMZ and Perez Hilton), it has become quite popular among the gliterrati to simulate “Beard-burn,” the telltale red, scratchy, puffy look of a face fresh from the reportedly rapacious attentions of The Beard. (In a possibly related note, there has been a reported a sudden nation-wide run on Brillo Pads from Beverly Hills to Paramis, New Jersey following last month’s “Sexxxy Beardface! Hot, Hot, DIY Friction Fakeouts!!!” article in Teen Cosmo).
Present-day Moore, beardless and enraged? (Artist’s Rendering)
There have also been murmurings regarding an album of Tom Waits covers, recorded at the request of Waits himself, to be produced by the dream team of Brian Eno and Phil Spector’s magnificent quasi-Afro (quite a coup, considering that the other renegade hairpiece has been infamously reclusive since since Spector’s recent murder trial).
It is rumored that The Beard is currently in talks for an almost mind-boggling array of projects, including an adaptation of The Killing Joke to be directed by Michael Bay, co-scripting a remake of Zardoz with Sean Connery’s Seventies’ Mustache, and even a new Cher vehicle (a musical version of Mask now in pre-production under the working title The Rocky Dennis Picture Show).
Sighed Poofgarten, between sobs, “It’s simply awful! It’s just like Flowers for Algernon…but, you know…with facial hair.”
When finally alerted to the situation, Moore’s wife Melinda Gebbie looked up harriedly from her latest project (tentatively titled Lost Ladies: Naughty Crumpets of Mystery, a highly erotic reimagining of the adventures of lady detectives Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher, and an aging Nancy Drew set against the sultry backdrop of a Florida rest home during the 1980s). Halfway through a preliminary sketch depicting a leather-clad Marple, several Howler monkeys, Burt Reynolds and the entire cast of The Golden Girls en flagrante delicto, Gebbie finally looked up, blinked, and exclaimed, “Oy, has The Beard run off again?!!!”
She was last seen storming angrily toward Heathrow Airport, carrying only what appeared to be a large salad fork, a burlap sack, and a rubber mallet.
On the heels of this latest development, most insiders predict that all will be well soon enough.