Fine Cartoon Art

exaggerated, in a good way

Words of Wisdom from Charles Bukowski (via Tom Waits)

Posted by jtebeau on February 21, 2012

Some if not all of this concentrated nugget of freedom joy wisdom is going to be in my first quote painting, coming up soon.

Thanks to you who contributed other ideas. Those are in the pool. My desire is to do one of these a week or so, turning great thoughts into art, using (and learning) different lettering techniques and styles and incorporating symbols and imagery, when appropriate.

Keep the ideas coming. I’d love to get your feedback, hear your favorite quotes and learn why they’re important to you.

Thanks, and remember: “YOU ARE MARVELOUS.”

As Tom says at the end, “That’s a beauty.”


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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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The Erstwhile Jackson Brewery: a Postcard from New Orleans

Posted by jtebeau on June 8, 2011

New Orleans’ French Quarter does indeed imply beer, beer, and might I add, more beer. And years back, it was well-stocked with fresh suds from the Jackson Brewery, kitty-corner from Jackson Square on Decatur Street. According to Wikipedia:

“Constructed in 1891, it originally was the central brewery for Jax Beer, and in the 1960s was the 10th-largest brewery in the country. But in the 1970s, the company owning the brewery went bankrupt, and in the 1980s the building was purchased and turned into space for shops and restaurants.”

Aw, nuts. Another casualty of modernity. Whattaya gonna do? I drew the lovable old hulk.

"The Mighty Jackson Brewery" by John Tebeau ©2011

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Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop: Another NOLA Favorite and Another Postcard from New Orleans

Posted by jtebeau on June 6, 2011

"Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop" by John Tebeau © 2011

Yeah, Jean LaFitte. What a guy. Murder, robbery, pillage and murder. He liked murder. It’s alleged that he and his bother used a “blacksmith shop” as a front. A Legitimate Business, if you will. A place to hold sit-downs, make deals and, probably, party.

The joint (now a pub) sits at the quiet end of Bourbon Street, and is a fan favorite to this day. I rendered this little picture in ink from a photo I took recently. Enjoy, and when you’re down in New Orleans, stop by Lafitte’s. Grab a cold drink and cop one of the chairs outside on the sidewalk, facing Bourbon. I recommend sunset time. Watch the sky fade from blue to pink to black as the clouds cruise overhead like plastic shopping bags blowing over the rooftops. Then make the short hike over to Frenchmen Street and catch some local jazz. The odds are strong that you’ll have an excellent evening.

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Another Postcard from New Orleans: the Statue of Robert E. Lee

Posted by jtebeau on May 31, 2011

New Orleans is a city of contradictions.

At one time it was the most racially liberal city in the south. Then, after the Civil War, the tide turned. Post-Reconstruction the Confederacy was re-glorified with a vengeance. This meant statues. TONS of statues, and of course one of Robert E. Lee. It’s atop a doric column at Lee Circle, near downtown, and recently I was eye-level with General Lee, so I snapped a picture. Here’s my interpretation of that shot, rendered in pen, ink and watercolor:

Lee Statue at Sunset

I took the photo at an event on the rooftop of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. There was a fine little cocktail party up there, and the sun was setting gently, the sky behind the general peacefully aglow. Lee stands like he won the war, one foot perched audaciously over the edge of his platform. Modernity is audacious, too. It intrudes on this stately scene in the form of the streetlight to the right.

Lee Circle from an actual old postcard:

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“Liuzza’s” – My First Postcard from New Orleans

Posted by jtebeau on May 21, 2011

"Liuzza's" 2011, John Tebeau

What’s the first thing one should do when attending the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival? Run to the Acura stage and get good seats for the unique jazz stylings of Sonic Youth or Bon Jovi? NO! You FIRST stop at Liuzza’s for a Bloody Mary, foo.’ How many times I gotta tell you that….

Anyway, this little 5″ by 7″ painting (watercolor and ink on heavy acid-free paper) is first in a series I’ll be doing called Postcards from New Orleans. Any other subjects you’d like to recommend? Recommend away, mes amis! Recommend away….

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The Empire State Building is FINISHED

Posted by jtebeau on April 19, 2011

… as in completed. Done. My drawing of it.

Finished yesterday in about 12.5 months less time than it took to build the original, which still stands proud at 34th and Fifth Avenue. The Pride of the City. The Big Monkey. The ESB.

It will be for sale, too. I’m setting up a website called “Postcards from NY,” where I’ll either auction it off or sell it at a set price. More on that later. For now, ladies and gentleman, I give you…


(crowd cheers, flashbulbs pop, chains break, crowd gasps, etc….)

"The Big Monkey" J. Tebeau © 2011

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A Postcard from New York: the Empire State Building

Posted by jtebeau on March 21, 2011

I carry a decent little camera with me pretty much all the time. Okay, pretty much when I’m wearing a jacket or shorts with big pockets. Pretty much then. The point is to take pictures that are better than you can get with a (“my’) crummy little phone.

A couple blocks from the Empire State Building I took a snap of an incongruous view: the ESB surging into the sky from behind a couple smaller, ornate buildings from an earlier era. I’m working on a b/w version of this picture, done with ink and brush. It’s not completed yet, but here’s a peek:

taken in studio with Photo Booth

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Shop in Your Jammies. It’s SANER.

Posted by jtebeau on November 27, 2010

jctebeau banner image

… and get free shipping if you order before December 10.

(and 25% off this weekend with the code THEHOLIDAYSRULE)

It’s that time of year. Black Friday, shopping frenzies and all that. Why subject yourself to the insanity out there?
Stay home, put on “Ol’ Man Potter’s Revenge”, microwave an old fashioned batch of poppin’ corn and do a little holiday
shopping online.

And I’ll tell you what: I’ll take the sting out of it with free shipping on these chestnuts — some of my best selling prints
if you order them before December 10. Free shipping in the U.S., that is. I mean, I love all you folks out there in
The Rest of the World, but, seriously… you know how it takes to stand in line with a customs sheet in order to mail
across the border? I’m just saying… that’s a serious investment of life energy which must be compensated.

So anyway, shop at home. Online. It’s easy, fast, dry, sane, and you can pay using PayPal (and that means
major credit cards accepted), check or money order.

Your prints will ship in a sturdy mailing tube via first class US Mail. BOOM. Just like that.


You won’t regret it. And this weekend (November 27/28) use the code THEHOLIDAYSRULE when you pay for your

order on Etsy, and get 25 % off!


A few of the best-selling prints from the archives….
First Snow, signed print by artist John Tebeau (free shipping in USA)
19.00 USD
19.00 USD
Monopoly Smackdown, print of an original painting signed by artist John Tebeau
19.00 US
19.00 USD
Still Life With Stapler (Office Space), free shipping in USA
19.00 USD
19.00 USD
19.00 USD
Tebeau Fine Cartoon Art

Brooklyn, New York 11201



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Fine Cartoonist-Artist Dan Clowes and Another Movie Deal….

Posted by jtebeau on November 24, 2010

He hit yon big screen a few years ago with Ghost World, and Daniel Clowes might do again with his latest book “Wilson.”

As reported by the blog Graphic Policy, it was “announced yesterday on, WILSON, Daniel Clowes’ critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling original graphic novel, has secured a film deal at Fox Searchlight with Alexander Payne attached.” (full story is here)

Wilson, by Daniel Clowes

This is good news if you dig Clowes, and perhaps a chance at redemption after the ambitious but somewhat disjointed  Art School Confidential, the last effort to translate his work to the screen. At any rate, Clowes has been doing outstanding cartoon work for decades now, his stories often laid out like Hollywood story boards. It’s good to see him succeed, and I’m still surprised “Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron” hasn’t been adapted. David Lynch should be all over that one.


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