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Zen Pencils
May 2, 2012 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Zen Pencils is a blog with a pretty simple premise: take inspirational quotes and set them to comics. It's only a few months old but there are already a bunch of greats within: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, and more in the archives.
posted by mathowie (33 comments total) 90 users marked this as a favorite

 
WHY DO THEY USE A DISPLAY TYPEFACE FOR DIALOGUE ARE THEY TRYING TO KILL ME?

(These are otherwise really great! I like these!)
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:49 AM on May 2, 2012


It's amazing how prolific the author is for the quality of work which is put into each one. These are great, especially because it isn't always the obvious/literal illustration of each quote.

The Litany against Fear is particularly touching for that.

((The pairing of Invictus and If is particularly nice as well))
posted by CrystalDave at 10:50 AM on May 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, man... I just saw that pairing, CrystalDave, and, shit... Now I have something in my eye...
posted by xedrik at 11:01 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


WARNING: MAY CONTAIN AYN RAND
posted by oulipian at 11:04 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are wonderful, and the Neil deGrasse Tyson one is especially beautiful, but the Kurt Vonnegut strip just reduced me to tears. My cat is dying right now, and I'm trying to spend as much time with her as I can.
posted by byanyothername at 11:05 AM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love these! Thank you so much for sharing. Now I just have to decide which print to order...
posted by chatongriffes at 11:13 AM on May 2, 2012


Thanks for posting this.
posted by drezdn at 11:20 AM on May 2, 2012


Also of note: Apollo 14 astronaut Edgad Mitchell, and the pairing of Letter to a young poet with Litany against Fear.
posted by jcreigh at 11:26 AM on May 2, 2012


[This is Good]
posted by drezdn at 11:27 AM on May 2, 2012


Wow! Brilliant! Thanks for the cool and inspiring post.
posted by nickyskye at 11:30 AM on May 2, 2012


God damn I miss George Carlin.
posted by cmoj at 11:39 AM on May 2, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is there something I'm missing about the Invictus/If story? I don't think Invictus, If, or anything Zen are about violent retribution.
posted by cmoj at 11:51 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are so awesome. If he did the litany from The Dark Tower series I'd buy a print.

Matter of fact, I'm submitting a proposal now.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:55 AM on May 2, 2012


Yay, tearing up in the cubicle farm...
posted by mindsound at 11:59 AM on May 2, 2012


That Carl Sagan quote really nails it. And the pitchers are nice too.
posted by Ducks or monkeys at 12:03 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]




Is there something I'm missing about the Invictus/If story? I don't think Invictus, If, or anything Zen are about violent retribution.
posted by cmoj at 11:51 AM on May 2 [+] [!]


Agreed.
I was confused by this one.

Some of them ring a bit off, and most of those seem to be ones that involve violence and combat.

Others are quite nice.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:17 PM on May 2, 2012


I was confused by this [bruce lee] one. Some of them ring a bit off, and most of those seem to be ones that involve violence and combat.

Read the comments below the cartoon....it gives some context that may illuminate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:21 PM on May 2, 2012


(And by "comments" what I mean is "the notes from the illustrator" rather than "the people writing in to say 'cool cartoon bro' or whatever".)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:21 PM on May 2, 2012



Read the comments below the cartoon....it gives some context that may illuminate.

Ah ha. Thanks, I didn't even notice that.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:22 PM on May 2, 2012


I URGE YOU TO PLEASE NOTICE WHEN YOU ARE HAPPY, AND EXCLAIM OR MURMUR OR THINK AT SOME POINT: IF THIS ISN'T NICE, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.

-Kurt Vonnegut
posted by JHarris at 1:06 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


I may have to give this guy some money. Some of these prints need to go up in my home office, or my office office.

I, for one, welcome the echo chamber of the internet that keeps making cool things out of Sagan and Vonnegut quotes.
posted by DigDoug at 2:06 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are inspiring, emotional, and educational. Feeling jaded about web comics, I almost didn't click through. I'm glad that I did. And it looks like he's just been working on these this year, so really producing a ton of stuff. I'm impressed!
posted by Secretariat at 2:40 PM on May 2, 2012


Isn't Zen an actual religion?
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:49 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Super-glad you posted about this site. Not only are some of these pieces really thoughtful and moving, but I found out that Neil deGrasse Tyson and Seth MacFarlane are creating a 13-part sequel Cosmos, to air in 2013, from the links at the bottom of the Carl Sagan illustration. Awesome!
posted by tzikeh at 4:16 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


crap - that was supposed to link here.
posted by tzikeh at 4:28 PM on May 2, 2012


I think Patton is my favorite so far.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:30 PM on May 2, 2012


This is just a more highbrow version of Robots Fucking Dinosaurs, which I will not be linking to from work.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 4:59 PM on May 2, 2012


The Tyson one made me cry when I realized a possibly imagined, but nonetheless beautiful twist.

I thought that the father was a younger Tyson, and momentarily considered researching his personal life.

Then it hit me. And the possible lack of fiddly accuracy didn't matter any more.

The baby is Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

He is the universe.

And so am I.

And so are you.
posted by BiggerJ at 1:24 AM on May 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's how I read it, too, BiggerJ. That one really is beautiful.
posted by byanyothername at 7:41 AM on May 3, 2012


this is awesome thanks!
posted by jsh07 at 7:46 AM on May 3, 2012


Dammit, I totally had this idea! Ah well, he's doing it better than I would have, so that's cool.
posted by malapropist at 2:46 PM on May 3, 2012


Isn't Zen an actual religion?

No, it's an actual philosophy/practice, though. It's an offshoot of Buddhism.
posted by cmoj at 3:00 PM on May 3, 2012


Buy the ticket, take the ride.
posted by homunculus at 5:46 PM on May 4, 2012


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