Humor & Gifts

Deep Thoughts from a Shallow Grave: Epitaphs to Die For

A gloriously dark book filled with funny illustrations about life and death.

A gloriously dark book filled with witty illustrations about life and death, Deep Thoughts from a Shallow Grave celebrates life in its humorous and often satirical confrontation of death. Conceived, written and drawn by Anthony Martignetti over the past few years, these tongue-in-cheek illustrated tombstones were first shared with friends who needed a laugh, bringing some (albeit dark) humor to their days when they were otherwise going through tough times. More than one hundred of these off-kilter meditations on life and death are now collected in this book. Handwritten epitaphs such as “Waiting to inhale” and “There are fifty better ways to leave your lover” will have readers chuckling and prompt reflection on the absurdity of this fleeting and precious thing we call life.

About The Author

Anthony Martignetti is a well-known New York City restaurateur, bar-owner and designer. He has been drawing cartoons most of his adult life to entertain his friends and family. With New York locked down and his restaurants closed, he had the opportunity to spend much more time drawing, and in 2020 had his first cartoons published both in the New Yorker and Airmail. He splits time between putting out fires at his his restaurants in New York City and farming his vineyard on The North Fork of Long Island.

  • Publish Date: February 27, 2024
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Humor - Form - Puns & Wordplay
  • Publisher: Universe
  • Trim Size: 4-3/4 x 6-1/2
  • Pages: 112
  • US Price: $19.95
  • CDN Price: $26.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-7893-4420-5


"Anthony Martignetti is a true jack-of-all-trades...His eye for aesthetics and ear for irony are omnipresent in his latest endeavor, an illustrated collection of darkly humorous gravestone epitaphs. The wisecracks, handwritten on simply drawn tombstones, range from I TOLD YOU I WASN’T FEELING VERY WELL! to WISH I WEREN’T SO DOWN TO EARTH. Charming sketches of bats and ravens and other graveyard companions dance across black pages. Who knew death could be so delightful?" — Airmail
“Multi-hyphenate Anthony Martignetti has fingers in many a pie — these proverbial pasties range from restaurateur to New Yorker cartoonist to designer — enough so that it feels completely natural that the NYC-based man about town might be adding author to his CV. Heralded as a celebration of “life in its humorous and often satirical confrontation of death," Deep Thoughts from a Shallow Grave...couples Martignetti’s playful tombstone illustrations with tongue-in-cheek musings about our mortal plane…and whatever lies beyond. It should make a charming coffee table book, to bestow or to display.” — Inside Hook

"Dying is easy, comedy is hard. No truer words have been uttered. That bon mot does, however, beg the question: Is it the ultimate triumph to be dead and funny in one fell swoop? Author Anthony Martignetti and editor/designer Daniel Melamud have, in the argot of comedians, “killed it” in [this] delightfully dark book of inventive tombstone inscriptions." — Steven Heller, PRINT Magazine

Author Bookshelf: Daniel Melamud