essentials

New to Zen Pencils?

I know it can be daunting when you find an established website and you have no idea where to jump in and start reading. So I’ve put together this page which features the most popular comics and some of my personal favourite strips that will quickly get you acquainted with what Zen Pencils is all about. All the comics are self-contained so you can browse whichever comic you like in whatever order you like. You can visit the ABOUT page to find out more about the website and read an FAQ section.
Thanks for visiting! – Gav

Most popular comics of 2016

Us Against the World
JANE GOODALL: The Power of One
JACK KIRBY: Hero Worship
RUMI: The Guest House
VINCENT CAN GOGH: The Blank Canvas

Most popular comics of 2015

My Spirit is a Roaring Sea
JAMES RHODES: Is That Not Worth Exploring?
APJ ABDUL KALAM: Life’s Pursuit
ISAAC ASIMOV: A Lifetime of Learning
FRIDA KAHLO: Strange Like Me

Most popular comics of 2014

KEVIN SMITH: It costs nothing to encourage an artist
AMY POEHLER: Great people do things before they’re ready
BANKSY: Taking the piss (explicit)
SIR KEN ROBINSON: Full body education
MAYA ANGELOU: Phenomenal Woman

Most popular comics of 2013

BILL WATTERSON: A cartoonist’s advice
C.S. LEWIS: To love at all
TAYLOR MALI: What teachers make
CARL SAGAN: Pale bue dot
JOHN GREEN: Make gifts for people
MARC MARON: Social media generation
ALAN WATTS: What if money was no object?
CHRIS HADFIELD: An astronaut’s advice
MALALA YOUSAFZAI: I have the right
TIMOTHY LEARY: You’re not like them

Most popular comics of 2012

CARL SAGAN: Make the most of this life
IRA GLASS: Advice for beginners
PHIL PLAIT: Welcome to science
ROGER EBERT: On kindness
NEIL GAIMAN: Make good art
ROBERT FROST: The road not taken
FRANK HERBERT: Litany against fear
The Two Wolves

A few personal favourites

HOWARD THURMAN: Ask yourself
ITHAKA: C.P. Cavafy
BILL HICKS: It’s just a ride
JACK LONDON: I would rather be ashes than dust
RICHARD FEYNMAN: The beauty of a flower
SHAKESPEARE: All the world’s a stage

Recurring characters

SHAOLIN MONK
Always be prepared
RANDY PAUSCH: The brick walls
SENECA: Sympathy for the devil
DALAI LAMA: We are all human beings
MAX EHRMANN: Desiderata
My Spirit is a Roaring Sea

THE DRAGONSLAYER
CALVIN COOLIDGE: Never give up
OSWALD CHAMBERS: Mountains and valleys
SAMUEL BECKETT: Ever tried. Ever failed
WINSTON CHURCHILL: Never yield to force
ROBERT KENNEDY: A ripple of hope
JACOB RIIS: The stonecutter
EPICTETUS: A worthy crisis

THE LOVERS
C.S. LEWIS: To love at all
SHAKESPEARE: A love story in four parts
ALBERT CAMUS: In the middle of the winter
If you love someone, set them free

RISING PHOENIX
HOWARD THURMAN: Ask yourself
MARIE CURIE: Life is not easy
ULTIMATE WARRIOR: Legacy
MARGARET KNIGHT: It is only following out nature

THE BALLET BOY
SIR KEN ROBINSON: Full body education
CHUCK JONES: An animator’s advice
Us Against the World

THE STAND-UP COMIC
AMY POEHLER: Great people do things before they’re ready
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: Courage is exhilarating

THE INVENTOR
JOHN GREEN: Make gifts for people
GEORGE MALLORY: Because it’s there

THE RUNNING MAN
STEPHEN FRY: Ultimate self-help book
EDGAR ALBERT GUEST: It couldn’t be done

POETIC JUSTICE SAGA
Invictus
If
O me! O life!
Playing the game