Fine Cartoon Art

exaggerated, in a good way

Who Was It Who Had that Awesome Quote?

Posted by jtebeau on February 14, 2012

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve finally gotten my feet back under me after the holidays. I’m serious. We were in New Orleans till the week of Thanksgiving, then there’s the big feast day, and the kickoff to the best time of the year — the filet, if you will — here in New York. The holiday season, from Thanksgiving week to New Year’s and beyond. Super Bowl? The Giants? Whew. Seriously. Enough. Time to get back to work. Fun’s fun, but . . . .

SO, I’m gearing up for another “series” project. Not birds (they’re forbidden at this post-Portlandia point in time, right?), not food, but this time . . . great quotations. Hand-lettered, maybe even illustrated, if the spirit moves me. Definitely a juicy project, right? I like to read a good line. I love a clever turn of the phrase. And wisdom? In the immortal words of Ted Nugent, “Wisdom f*ckin’ ROCKS, dude.” And when you throw in color, fonts, design and layout? Forget it. There’s enough there for ten lifetimes of devoted work.

And the pool from which to draw? Come on. It’s huge. (Or “yooge” as we say in New York, for some reason.) YOOOOOGE. We can cover anything from Hunter S. Thompson’s “I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me,” to Goethe’s (possibly misattributed) “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” And who could forget Mark Twain’s famous “That’s what she said?” Yes, good stuff, that.

Courtesy T-Shirt Lunatic

Anyway, I’ve done this before (see below) and have a mess of quotes to plumb, ones I’ve jotted down over the years, but I’m open to suggestions. Got any favorite quotes you’d like to see illustrated, or illuminated, as the monks did in days of yore? This one below was a quote from the HBO mini-series about John Adams, and Alan Janesch commissioned it from me a couple years ago. Thanks again, Alan!

Hit me with your suggestions, and I’ll get on a few of them. I promise. I’ll run a couple of my ideas by you, too, next week. Keep your eyes peeled.

"Rejoice, Evermore" from John Adams via the always-watchable Paul Giamatti as America's favorite cranky Yankee


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5 Responses to “Who Was It Who Had that Awesome Quote?”

  1. Jim O. said

    Too long, but from Twain’s Huckleberry Finn: “It’s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to MAKE so many. Jim said the moon could a LAID them; well, that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn’t say nothing against it, because I’ve seen a frog lay most as many, so of course it could be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and see them streak down. Jim allowed they’d got spoiled and was hove out of the nest.”

    • jtebeau said

      Nothing’s too long unless WE decide it is, Jim! I like it, and many of the things Twain said about the Mississippi. Ever read “Life on the Mississippi?” That’s a doozy.

  2. Jim O. said

    Another, this from J. B. Priestley’s “Midnight on the Desert” (1937), talking about the Grand Canyon: “If I were an American, I should make my remembrance of it the final test of men, arts, and policies. I should ask myself; Is this good enough to exist in the same country as the Canyon? How would I feel about this man, this kind of art, these political measures, if I were near the Rim?”

  3. Lee said

    It’s a bit windy but it’s one of my favorites:”If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” [Samuel Adams]

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