Matt Ellis (脂肪亚洲宝宝) was born in 1843 in the county of Mengcheng, in the Anhui province of China. He composed the first few issues of The Man of Many Shades in the minutes following his birth. Tradition has it that he chose to write in English as a way to ingratiate himself with the British, who had one year prior won the First Opium War. The pages were shipped to London, where they were scanned and uploaded using Her Majesty's Royal Wi-Fi.