This Week’s Cartoon: The Rise and Fall of the Goatee

goatee cartoonBefore a torrent of angry, goatee-defending email is unleashed upon my inbox, let me say I am mostly a fan of our furry friend. I find a well-maintained goatee to be far more appealing than a scraggly hipster beard filled with artisanal doughnut particles. What I’m talking about here is how the chin beard has been bastardized, its centuries of coolness diluted by present-day dipwads.

I’d already been thinking of doing a cartoon on the shifting symbolism of goatees when I noticed Pepper Spray Cop had one. He’s clean-shaven in the head shot that’s been floating around the internet, but he does have one in footage of the UC Davis incident (via Queerty):

Pepper spray cop


  • Mike Peterson

    One of my favorite Frazz strips had Caulfield quoting Frazz as calling the goatee “The mullett of the new millenium.” In front of his friend with a goatee, of course. But that’s a bell I haven’t been able to unring in a decade.

  • John M.

    Oh, such a torrent I was planning! But then, of course, it was clear: everything you said was true. The first sign of the impending death of goatee coolness was, of course, goatees on athletes. Once baseball players decide something is cool it’s all over. After that it was written in the stars that some fat cop was going to decide to half-shave before going out to bust some spice out all over some defenseless lil’ hippies.

    Oh well. Since I’m over 40 none of this matters anyway. No way am I paying for the razors or defoliant to try to clear my chin at this point. Then I guess I would look like all the Nazis out there who are clean-shaven, plus I would bleed a lot more.

  • Jen Sorensen

    Mike – The mullet of the new millenium — I like that!

    John – I noticed the baseball player goatees too. Of course, they’ve also co-opted beards and mutton chops. I’d like to see some more Rollie Fingers moustaches.

  • Max C

    The beard style in your strip is actually a Van Dyke, not a Goatee. Do just a little bit of research and you’ll find that a Goatee is a beard on the chin only, no mustache.

    Mustache + Goatee = Van Dyke


  • Mike Peterson

    So it turns out that absolutely nobody is wearing goatees these days after all.

    The only other possible explanation is that language isn’t frozen in amber but grows and changes with time, and we know that can’t be the case.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.