Author Archive | Mark A. Rayner

The League of Peculiar Gentlemen: The Americans

ohboys by Foxtongue

Not to be outdone by their British compatriots, the North American members of the League of Peculiar Gentlemen were also adept at strapping strange things to their faces.

Perhaps the most famous of the trio, is Larry “The Monocle” Zimmerman, pictured in the middle. The Monacle was one of the first superheroes to appear in the United States, and after he single-handedly defeated the Rodent Armada of the evil genius, Herr Zamboni, the CIA recruited him to the League. His “monocle face” was able to focus his intense self-loathing into a powerful “ennui” beam, causing his enemies to stop whatever they were doing and hang out at jazz cafes, smoke cigarettes, wear berets, and generally make them unable to foment communist rebellion in the Americas.

The other American member of the team (pictured on the left) was Professor Mezmordo, who had invented a headset capable of reading another’s thoughts. The headset was highly experimental, however, and was just as likely to cook the medulla oblongata of his foes as it was to allow the Professor to read anyone’s thoughts. (It also enabled Professor Mezmordo to grow a massive brain tumor in the shape of a second head, which is how he later became the supervillain, Professor Double Noggin.)

The lone Canadian on the team (right) was Roy “The Shelver” McMurphy, and his face-covering did not do anything except obscure his vision, which is probably why The Shelver was the first casualty on the team. However, it was McMurphy who deduced that his girlfriend, Pamela Lipwaxer, was an agent of the Committee for the Advancement of Stalin’s Mustache (CASM); this information was vital in giving the League their first victory over CASM’s hairy plots.

Not pictured: The Mexican member of the team, Don Colitas.

Happy Independence Day to all my friends under the 49th.

Read The League of Peculiar Gentlemen: The Brits.

The FridgularityTo celebrate the holiday, you can get the paperback of The Fridgularity for $3 off, if you buy it direct from Monkeyjoy Press. Use coupon code: YGMVFZZY. Available in all formats in all the usual places online :

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Alltop is the first casualty of humor. ohboys, a photo by Foxtongue on Flickr. Originally published May, 2012.

The League of Peculiar Gentlemen: The Brits

Though not as well-known as other Leagues composed of remarkable individuals, the League of Peculiar Gentlemen (LOPG) is none-the-less, an astonishing story of sacrifice, heroism, and strapping things over your face.

The first iteration of the LOPG featured six members of astonishing gravity, skill and oddness. They were an international organization, assembled by a joint task force of MI6, the CIA and the RCMP in the days following the end of WWII.

Their duty? To counteract the dire threat of the Communist Block and the proliferation of secret organizations dedicated to the destruction of the bourgeois freedoms enjoyed by the people of Western Europe and North America.

Stalin's mustache

Propaganda poster: "Stalin's great mustache!"

Their main foe was the Committee for the Advancement of Stalin’s Moustache — a fanatical group of Communist performance artists and facial hair stylists who had already converted many French intellectuals to the Communist ideology.

The British members of the League are pictured above from the left to right: Philip Pidgeon-Whaling, aka The Gernsbacker; Wally Impetago, The Heavy Breather; and, of course, the leader of the League of Peculiar Gentlemen, Lord Berty Stumpwhistle, known to the British public as Colonel Helmet.

Read The League of Peculiar Gentlemen: The Americans.

Alltop loves Stalinist facial hairstylings. Originally published May 2012.

Memories of Antietam

child of the corn by imagecarnival
child of the corn, a photo by imagecarnival on Flickr.

Little Jehoshaphat was born in 1832 to a family of carnival performers and technicians that roamed the Americas.

From Georgia up to New England, as far west as the Mississippi and all along the east coast, Dr. Prognosto’s Travelling Circus entertained with clowns, freaks, burlesque and the “Wonder of the Modern Age”, the Magic Lantern Show that Jehoshaphat’s father ran. The Magic Lantern was able to project enlarged images of photographs onto a flat surface, and was nothing short of remarkable for the age. A clever manipulator of the technology could create effects like ghosts and spirits, and the show of Jehoshaphat’s dad was the undoubted highlight of the carnival.

Jehoshaphat’s childhood was a happy one, though his mother had died while giving birth to him. The rest of the carnies took him under his wing, and he had an entire community to help raise him. He was, by all accounts, a happy child, up until just after his eighth birthday.

Shortly thereafter, the images his dad projected at night became disturbing representations of dead Americans, wearing uniforms of blue or grey. They portrayed the agonized endings of thousands upon thousands of men, killed in a battlefield that could only be American. They were horrifying. Electrifying. The show became even more popular than before, though only a “certain kind of person” would be willing to admit they had seen such a show. But flocks of rubes paid their 2 cents to see the show. His father became a celebrity, and Jehosaphat became withdrawn, sullen, a teenager before his time.

The images became progressively more disturbing, showing all kinds of horrors that were beyond anything that the average American could imagine on their own. But it was all a phantasm, wasn’t it?

Of course it was. No human being was capable of such cruelty. What Christian would ever do such a thing, particularly to another Christian?

It was unthinkable.

At age 10, Jehosaphat ran away from the circus, but he never escaped the memories of Antietam, not until he fought there, 20 years later.

Alltop didn’t find that funny. Not one little bit. In fact, it was kind of disturbing. Originaly published, March, 2012.

The Trustworthiness of Beards

Trustworthiness of beardsFinally, a new advance in the Beard Sciences! Here at the Institute of the Hirsute, we applaud this initiative.

This exhaustive study of trustworthiness, vis-a-vis a gentlemen’s hair foliage, will help generations better understand who they’re dealing with. (Click the image on the left to see the full spectrum of beard/trustworthiness.)

I would like to note one area where this study has made, what I believe, to be an error. Of course, I’m talking about the Stalin’s Moustache paradigm. Please note the shape of Stalin’s moustache, and then map it on the trustworthiness scale. As you can see, it is clearly falling somewhere between the Full Moustache (aka The Wilfred Brimley) and the Cop Moustache (aka The Burt Reynolds, aka, The Fireman), which both fall into the Mildly Trustworthy category. Stalins' moustacheI note a very slight, almost impossible to detect upturning of Stalin’s moustache, which may lead one to place it slightly towards the Handlebar (Questionable), and would like to propose that the Stalin have it’s own place in the scale. Based on the purges, his ruthlessness, and general history, somewhere between Dangerous and Disastrous.

In all other regards, though, this new Chin Covering Spectrum is an extremely important tool for those of us in the Beard Sciences.


Check out some hairy reads here …

Alltop is sporting some Mutton Chops, but we think it’s okay.