National Handlebar Moustache Particippreciaton Day

h1 March 29th, 2011 by jules

From the mind of Dan Santat

From the mind of Ward Jenkins

{I know, I know. The post title might be causing headaches, but it’s all I’ve got.}

Sometimes I can hardly keep up on Facebook. As everyone knows, there’s a lot of chatter over there. That’s the point. Occasionally, it gets so loud that I just bow out for a bit.

Tammi Sauer

But today I didn’t. I was part of a Facebook conversation that has resulted in what author Tammi Sauer (pictured above) and I have dubbed National Handlebar Moustache Appreciation Day. That’s tomorrow. You didn’t know? Right. ‘Cause we made it up. (I’ve checked. I don’t think it actually exists.) March 30th is now National Handlebar Moustache Appreciation Day, at least in our own easily-entertained worlds. ‘Cause moustaches of such striking shape and length deserve their own day, yes?

Well, they do, but really here’s why tomorrow is National Handlebar Moustache Appreciation Day. It went a little something like this:

1) Tammi notes on Facebook that her family had just gotten their carpets cleaned by a redhead with a handlebar moustache.

2) I pop in with, Dude. I think you need to write a picture book involving him. (“Dude” may or may not have been actually muttered. I like to pretend I don’t use it as often as I do. I’m supposed to be grown-up and stuff, not to mention I’m currently writing a book and should practice being articulate.) I also wonder who could best illustrate handlebar moustaches, and I type as much.

3) Author/illustrator Dan Santat (pictured below with his clone, who seems to have issues these days) pops in with the notion that, when Tammi said “redhead,” he imagined a female and wondered why she was sporting a fake handlebar moustache atop her lip. He’s just hard-wired to visualize weird stuff, he says. (I think that, as a picture book illustrator, this is lucky for us, but I digress.)

4) So, I proclaim: DAN IT IS! At this point, mind you, it’s just a hypothetical illustration, and I’m just being Facebook-jokey.

5) Illustrator Ward Jenkins (pictured left) comes in with an “ahem, ahem. Portland is Hipster Central with more handlebar moustaches than you can shake a stick at.”

6) Dan challenges Jenkins to a draw. Witty banter ensues. I do a few finger snaps and head rolls from the sideline and tell them, should they actually do this, I’ll post both illustrations at 7-Imp and have a vote-off for the best one.

7) Tammi declares, “may the hairiest illustrator win!” Many painfully bad puns about hair are thrown around (I may or may not be guilty of some), and fake gun sounds are typed. The duel is on.

And. [Drum roll.] The results are pictured at the top of the post. Dan clearly still had a female in mind, Ward opted for a literal interpretation of “handlebar,” and I laughed till my sides hurt.

However, instead of turning this into a competition, here’s what I’ve decided to do and where you come in, dear readers, should you want to play along:

Create a caption for one or both characters. (Dude on the bike up there is zooming around the neighborhood, specifically looking for a caption and some meaning to his life. DUDE, I just said “dude” again.) Post one or both captions here in the comments. The captions don’t necessarily have to be related to anything 7-Imp-esque (though I’d get a kick out of those, too). Tonight, tomorrow, and the next day, folks can keep contributing, as well as read the captions and ponder their favorites. After 3PM Central Standard Time (hey, I’m near Nashville) on Thursday, March 31st, vote for your favorite caption for each character. You can vote here in the comments. The winning captions will be forever attached to the images, and I’ll post them at a page here at 7-Imp for all eternity. These moustached enigmas can be 7-Imp’s second and third mascots. (The first one is the blue monster, named “7-Imp,” who lives permanently at this page of the site, and keeps my assistant, Alfred, in check.)

So, again: Contribute captions for one or both characters. Anyone can come back after 3PM Central Standard Time on Thursday, March 31st, and vote for your favorite caption for each. I’ll pick the winning captions soon after that.

I don’t tend to do book give-aways here, but Tammi, Dan, and Ward all three offered to give away copies of their newest titles. This means the author(s) of the winning captions will receive an ARC of Dan’s new graphic novel, Sidekicks, scheduled to be released this June; a copy of Tammi’s newest picture book, Mr. Duck Means Business, illustrated by Jeff Mack; and a copy of Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s Chicks Run Wild, illustrated by Ward. Some or all may be autographed. (Er, we’re not actually that organized, but we’ll figure it out.)

Why are we doing this? ‘Cause we all have huge deadlines to meet — of the writing or illustrating kind. Duh. Best procrastination technique YET. Have fun.

* * * * * * *

Do I need to say that the images are © 2011 Dan Santat and Ward Jenkins? Well, there. I did. For the record.

35 comments to “National Handlebar Moustache Particippreciaton Day”

  1. For Ward Jenkins’ illus.: “Bracing for the pothole”

  2. For Dan’s illus: “Is that tiger blood on your carpet?”

  3. For Ward’s illus: “Wait for me, E.T. WAIT!!!”

    And for joint captions:

    For Ward’s illus: “Wax on.”
    For Dan’s illus: “Wax off.”

    Oh. And I know I can’t win, but this is FUN. 🙂

  4. Dan’s:

    The gig was up… she’d been caught Red Handle’d

  5. Ward’s:

    He was taking his bike to the shop… it needed some lip service.

  6. Ward’s:

    About to crash in the Tour de ‘Stache.

  7. Dan’s:

    “Honey, I wanted my stash of carpet cleaning supplies, not a ‘stache.”

  8. These are magnificent! Speaking from Baltimore, which has just recently gotten OVER that hipster handlebar phase. All I can say is, glad I wasn’t dating during that phenom.

    I have no captions – I think the pictures are both so funny by themselves!

  9. Beat that Magnum Pi!

  10. Dan’s:

    Denise laments a tragic mix-up with the hair removal cream.


    “The Red-stache is coming! The Red-stache is coming!”

    Okay, those are pretty awful. Sorry.

  11. Dan: No, madam, I am not your new carpet.

    Ward: Maybe I should have grown handbrakes too!

  12. For Dan Santat’s illo:

    Botox side effects may include blushing, arched eye brows, cross-eyedness, facial hair, and the overwhelming desire to install rugs.

    For Ward Jenkins’ illo:

    Handlebar accessories (bells, tassles, etc.) sold seperately.

  13. Dan’s:
    Girl de Maupassant

    Must dash!

  14. Ward’s: No brakes? This could get hairy.

  15. For Dan’s illo:

    Constant positive self-affirmations, intense concentration, and a little hair tonic, were the hallmarks of Rosemary’s success at the International Mustache Growing Competition.

    For Wards illo:

    Riding a Rollie!

    (If you don’t get this google Rollie Fingers)

  16. Jenkins’:

    Peter thought riding this way brought great attention from the ladies. Only they tended to flee when he told them what hair the bike seat was made from.

  17. Santat’s:

    Claire had been forewarned that exposure to shag could affect her.

  18. Another for Jenkins’ (with a nod to Shel Silverstein):

    He was missing lips.
    And he was not happy.

    So he set off in search
    of his missing lips.

    And as he rolled
    He sang this song –

    “Oh, I’m looking for my missin’ lips…”

  19. Dan:

    Sally Red could tough it,
    her hideous
    upper lip handle.
    The prize for such a thing?
    Bottomless Zinfandel!


    Mr. French’s magnificent mustache of handles
    Is so very hip,
    so very now,
    so wild and fun,
    And best of all: impossibly useful.

  20. Dan’s illo:
    Marge’s plan to grow red carpet hair for the Cleaning Awards Banquet backfired.

  21. Ward’s illo:

    And he won by a hair!

  22. Dan’s–JimmyBuffet’s lesser known song “I Wish She Had a Handle Bar Moustache.”

    Ward’s–He hopped on his bike and said “I must dash!” think about it…

  23. LOVE the illustrations!!!


    They said it couldn’t be done, but you grew it.
    They say that rug can’t be cleaned.

    Now get out there…and clean it!


    The steering wheel moustache was a failure, but Fred thought he was on to something this time.


    Halfway to the store, Fred realized he’d forgotten his helmet hair.

    (P.S. I think Rebecca nailed it)

  24. Jenkins’:

    His mustache was growing
    so very happily;
    he curled it and waxed it
    and rode off through Napoli.

    He set sail on (what else?)
    a ‘stache boat, well greased,
    and arrived in no time
    at a port near Tunis.

    In the warm sunshine
    his hair began to expand;
    on red follicular wings
    he flew home to Scotland.

  25. Thanks for playing, everyone! Those were fun to read.

    I must lay out directions poorly—hee—’cause folks didn’t come back to vote. And I’m getting ready to leave for a children’s lit conference all weekend. I’ll do a quick post soon about how I’ll just have to somehow pick a winner early next week. Promise I will.

    (Obviously, I don’t do this often, but it was fun and I couldn’t pass it up.)

  26. I don’t know HOW to vote!! It’s … kind of impossible. We need to break it down to the best ones… and how does one decide that???

  27. Tanita, I’m not surprised folks didn’t come back to vote. I didn’t make it very clear. It’s all good, though, as the young ‘uns say. I’ll figure something out, if folks can just wait till early next week, as I’m about to head out of town for a conference. I’ll do a zippy-quick post about it soon so that folks aren’t LOST.

    I’m glad you all came along to play! Thank you. ‘Twas fun.

    “‘Twas”? I need coffee.

  28. […] to all of you who played along at this post. Looks like folks were timid about choosing winning captions, so I’ll (somehow) do that soon […]

  29. […] Speaking of playing along, thanks to all who contributed to this 7-Imp challenge this week. There’s still time to play, if you’d like. People were supposed to vote for […]

  30. Okay, everyone. I just decided to vote myself, since folks didn’t come back to vote (which I probably didn’t make clear enough….um, sorry again that I’m generally disorganized)…

    I like the humor and economy of Shannon Stanton’s picks. For Dan’s: “Girl de Maupassant.” And for Ward’s: “Must dash!” (Someone else typed “I must dash,” but Shannon did it first.) Hers are actually my top favorites for both captions.

    Thank you all for playing. I hope no one is incredibly miffed at losing. It’s all fun and games till someone is incredibly miffed….and…uh….I’m tired. I’m going now.

    Thanks, Shannon, and thanks, everyone. I’ll be in touch, Shannon, about your winning books.

  31. p.s. It was hard to pick. They were all worthy of snort-laughs.

  32. Fun pictures and fun to read. Great contest.

  33. Oh, I dunno, Betty. I should have been working instead! Maybe one day… Glad you enjoyed it.

  34. Does the direction of the curl signify anything? Upwards vs. downwards, outwards vs. strait out to the sides?

  35. […] That handlebar ‘stache thing — Dan vs. Ward, over at Jules’ blog. I haven’t been able to think of a good cartoon caption, but I giggled reading the ones already there. […]

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