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Comic Artists Spin the Wheel of Life!

February 24–March 18, 2012
6:15 PM–9:30 PM

The Wheel of Life is a visual 1-0-1 of Buddhist doctrine; a reminder of our Karmic responsibility to remove ourselves from the world of suffering. In conjunction with the exhibition, Hero, Villain, Yeti – Tibet in Comics, eight contemporary artists have been invited to reinterpret segments of the Wheel of Life based on their own spiritual and artistic experiences in a 3-part series event – Karma-Con. Join the Rubin Museum of Art and comic artists and illustrators Molly Crabapple, Sanya Glisic, Ben Granoff, Rodney Greenblat, Steven Guarnaccia, Michael Kupperman, Josh Neufeld and Katie Skelly in taking a new perspective on this ancient religious image.

Part One: Artists on Art

Fridays, January – March at 6:15pm, Free
See the Wheel of Life through the eyes of an artist. Join Assistant Curator Beth Citron, with artist and founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, Molly Crabapple, animation and storyboard artist, Ben Granoff, artist and Zen Buddhist, Rodney Greenblatt, cartoonist and illustrator, Michael Kupperman, illustrator and designer, Steven Guarnaccia, graphic novelist and cartoonist, Josh Neufield and comic artist and illustrator, Katie Skelly, for a informal discussions and gallery tours. Hear how the artists emotionally and artistically interact with Buddhist art that inspires them.
Friday, January 6, 2012 at 6:15pm – Rodney Greenblat
Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:15pm – Ben Granoff
Friday, February 10, 2012 at 6:15pm – Steven Guarnaccia
Friday, February 17, 2012 at 6:15pm – Katie Skelly
Friday, February 24, 2012 at 6:15pm – Josh Neufeld
Friday, March 2, 2012 at 6:15pm – Molly Crabapple
Friday, TBD, 2012 at 6:15pm – Michael Kupperman
For more information on Artists on Art, click here!

Part Two: Studio Salon

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 6:00pm, Free
Enjoy an evening of comics and cocktails and watch the creative process in process! A coalescing of new and old – comic artists and illustrators take a modern view of the ancient Buddhist symbol, the Wheel of Life. Visit the museum to meet artists, Molly Crabapple, Ben Granoff, Josh Neufeld, Michael Kupperman, and Katie Skelly as they create initial sketches, sell and sign their work, and share their processes of creation in an open studio setting.

Part Three: Unveiling

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 7:00pm, Free
Inspiration, discussion and creation. After interacting with the art that inspires them, discussing the significance and merit of the Wheel of Life as an artistic image, working collaboratively in an open studio setting and individually in their own studios, artists Molly Crabapple, Sanya Glisic, Ben Granoff, Rodney Greenblat, Steven Guarnaccia, Michael Kupperman, Josh Neufeld, and Katie Skelly unveil their completed works as a unified Wheel of Life.

The Wheel of Life: (bhavachakra, srid pa’i ‘khor lo) acts as a representation of samsaric existence for Buddhist practitioners. The Wheel of Life is thought to have been drawn by Shakymuni Buddha himself as a way to simply illustrate the six realms, interdependent existence and the sources of suffering.
Each artist has been given a different segment of the Wheel of Life to reinterpret –
Molly Crabapple – Hell
Sanya Glisic – Three Spiritual Poisons & The Dark and Light Path
Ben Granoff – Lord of Death
Rodney Greenblat – Animals
Steven Guarnaccia – Hungry Ghosts
Michael Kupperman – Twelve Links of Dependent Origination
Josh Neufeld – Humans
Katie Skelly – Gods/Demigods
For more detailed information on the Wheel of Life, click here!

About the Artists

Molly Crabapple’s hyper-detailed compositions are something akin to a Where’s Waldo diptych—on a 7-day bender. If Dr. Seuss backtracked through the time-space continuum and commissioned Toulouse-Lautrec to reimagine his storybooks, the resulting mayhem would approximate Crabapple’s spiraling scenes of sex, ambition and artifice.
From her auto-didactical beginnings in a Parisian bookstore—where she cultivated her signature aesthetic by copying pages from A Tart’s Progress—Molly sketched her way through Morocco and Kurdistan…and once into a Turkish jail.
Spurred by a desire to de-sterilize the buttoned-up art school scene, Molly founded Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, a celebratory mash-up of cabaret and live drawing. Now in its 6th year—with branches in over a hundred cities—Dr. Sketchy’s global trajectory continues to accelerate. Molly’s brand of off-grid entrepreneurship caught the attention of major media outlets, securing cover stories and featured profiles in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Playboy, AP Wire, NPR, and hundreds of other media outlets around the world.
No stranger to nightlife (or notoriety), Molly collaborates with avant-garde performers and underground theatrical venues across the globe, occupying the enviable post of House Artist for The Box, one of the world’s most infamous nightclubs. Latest projects include viral protest signs for Occupy Wall Street and Week in Hell, where Molly locked herself in a hotel suite, created 270 feet of art, funded entirely by The Internet.
Molly’s first graphic novel, the steampunk saga Puppet Makers, was released electronically by DC Comics in 2011, and her forthcoming Straw House will be issued by First Second Books in 2013.
The New York City-based artist has spoken at Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum, and museums and universities from Helsinki to Sao Paulo. Her client roster includes The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Red Bull, SXSW, Marvel Comics, and her art is in the permanent collection of the New York Historical Society.
Sanya Glisic is an illustrator and printmaker in Chicago, IL. She is originally from Bosnia. During her 2010 Artist Residency at Spudnik Press in Chicago, she illustrated, screenprinted and hand-bound an edition of books based on 19th century Heinrich Hoffmann’s Der Struwwelpeter. Her illustrated adaptation of “The Tibetan Book of the Dead” will appear in the upcoming Vol 1 of Graphic Canon: The Definitive Anthology of the World’s Great Literature as Comics and Visuals, published by Seven Stories Press. She has contributed artwork to several publications, including Lumpen Magazine, Newcity, as well as album art for Black Candy Records, and her work will be part of the upcoming BLACK EYE No.2, published by Rotland Press. Her prints and drawings have been included in the recent “Blaque Lyte” exhibition at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago. She is currently working on a body of print work as Artist-in-Residence at Chicago Printmakers Collaborative. More of her work can be found at
Ben Granoff attended New York University where he was a Marvel Comics intern and racked up animation credits on Saturday Night Live and Adult Swim. His storyboard clients include Universal Pictures, SoBe and Columbia University. Ben has worked on various independent comics as an artist, writer, letterer, and editor. He writes about comics for venues like and the forthcoming Drawn Word and teaches comics classes to students in grades 3-8. His books include Clint and Rosebud: Those Freewheeling Tramps, We Were…The Freedom Federation and Dingleberry Blues.
Rodney Greenblat is an illustrator, sculptor, and character designer, celebrated for his whimsical and enriching artwork. His wacky colorful sculptures and paintings were an integral part of the ballooning East Village art scene of the 1980s, and he had several solo shows at the legendary Gracie Mansion Gallery. In 1985, his sculpture “Ark of Triumph” was featured in the Whitney Museum Biennial exhibition. Other projects include artistic contribution to Sony Playstation videogames and advertising and illustration for companies like Sony, Toyota, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. As a student of Roshi Enkyo O’Hara at Village Zendo Zen center, he has studied Buddhism and incorporated it into his art. He has received the Buddhist name “Musho” and continues to make joyous and expressive artwork.
Steven Guarnaccia is Associate Professor of Illustration and was director of the Illustration Program at Parsons The New School for Design for the last seven years. He was previously art director of the Op-Ed page of The New York Times. During his 30-year career as an internationally recognized illustrator he has illustrated for major magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Abitare, Rolling Stone and Domus, has created murals for Disney Cruise Lines, and exhibition drawings for a show of Achille Castiglione’s work at the Museum of Modern Art. He is the author of books on popular culture and design, including Black and White, a book on the absence of color, published by Chronicle Books and the author and illustrator of numerous children’s books. Guarnaccia has designed watches and packaging for Swatch, and greeting cards for the Museum of Modern Art. He has won awards from the AIGA, the Art Directors Club, and the Bologna Book Fair and has exhibited his work in one-man shows in the USA and Europe. His latest book is The Three Little Pigs, An Architectural Tale, published by Corraini Editore in Italy and Abrams in the US.
Michael Kupperman is an American cartoonist and illustrator. He created the comic strips Up All Night and Found in the Street, and has written scripts for DC Comics. His work often dwells on surrealism and absurdity “played as seriously as possible.” Kupperman’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, LA Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, Screw, Fortune, The Independent on Sunday, Libération, Nickelodeon Magazine, The Believer, and Heavy Metal, as well as in comics anthologies such as Hotwire, Snake Eyes, Zero Zero, Hyena, Hodags and Hodaddies, Blood Orange, Rosetta, 106U, and Legal Action Comics. He has also worked on many books and projects for McSweeney’s.
HarperCollins published Kupperman’s book, Snake ‘n’ Bacon’s Cartoon Cabaret, in 2000 which he later created a one-off pilot for on the Adult Swim network in 2009. Parts of his work were also animated for the Comedy Central show TV Funhouse, produced by Robert Smigel and Dino Stamatopoulos. In 2005, he started a comic book series called Tales Designed To Thrizzle, published by Fantagraphics and in 2010 Kupperman wrote sketches for a new comedy series starring Peter Serafinowicz. Kupperman currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
Josh Neufeld is a nonfiction cartoonist. He is the writer/artist of the New York Times-bestseller A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge (Pantheon, 2009), a true story of seven survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Neufeld is the illustrator of the New York Times-bestseller The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media (W.W. Norton, 2011). He was awarded a publishing grant from the Xeric Foundation in 2004 for his first book, A Few Perfect Hours (and Other Stories from Southeast Asia & Central Europe). With writer Rob Walker, Neufeld is the co-creator of Titans of Finance: True Tales of Money and Business (Alternative Comics, 2001). Until Harvey Pekar’s death in 2010, Neufeld was a long-time artist for Pekar’s American Splendor. Neufeld’s works of comics journalism have been published by Cartoon Movement, SMITH Magazine, Les Subsistances,, Fortune Small Business, Green Magazine, and others. His illustrations have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
Katie Skelly lives and works in Astoria, New York. Her first graphic novel, Nurse Nurse, will be published by Sparkplug Books in April 2012. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Syracuse University. Her interests and studies include kinetic art, optical art, psychedelia and manga. To view more of Katie’s work, visit