Because leaving facial hair on your coffee table would otherwise make for an angry and/or horrified roommate, grab Beard: The Book, a 120pp compilation of portraits from the 2009 World Beard and Moustache Championships in Anchorage, shot by pluralistic ATX photog Matthew Rainwaters.
The tome features shave-hating, costumed contestants in 17 categories (Dali Moustache, Musketeer, Freestyle...) with breakout stars including Facial Hair Handbook author Jack Passion, a two-time world champion thanks to the fur he calls "Big Red"; pink-suited German barber Gerhard Knapp, who spends an hour a day curling and waxing his whiskers; and lions like city council contender Allen Demling and Mohawk owner James Moody, who curiously hasn't shaved the sides of his head either.
Several of the beardos wax poetic: Austin's Bryan Nelson philosophizes that your face is not your real face if you shave every day, San Fran's $teven Ra$pa rails against
that copycat skank Ke$ha his disqualification from the Freestyle category because his 5ft beard "Prepostero" required a wire wrap to maintain its snaking form, and LA's Imperial Moustache 2nd-placer recalling a Gandalf-like figure who couldn't drain his staff without beard-staining splash-back.
To celebrate the release, Domy Books is hosting a party tomorrow with gratis sudsy beverages and appearances by the Austin Facial Hair Club. You can also check out an awesome beard gallery on Rainwaters' website, if you're afraid leaving your apartment with your own facial hair will anger and/or horrify the rest of the city.