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Tara Seibel (born February 4, 1973) is an American cartoonist, graphic designer and illustrator from Cleveland. Her work has been published in Chicago Newcity, Funny Times, The Austin Chronicle, Cleveland Scene, Heeb Magazine, SMITH Magazine, Mineshaft Magazine, Juxtapoz, Jewish Review of Books, Cleveland Free Times, USA Today, US Catholic, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Paris Review.

Tara Seibel
Tara Seibel in Cleveland's Little Italy
BornTara Murphy
(1973-02-04) February 4, 1973 (age 46)
Cleveland, Ohio
Area(s)Artist, cartoonist, illustrator, designer
Notable works
adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" Graphic Canon, Seven Stories Press
Spouse(s)Aaron Seibel


Early lifeEdit

Tara Seibel was born Tara Murphy in Cleveland, Ohio, to Lauren Murphy (née Gieseler) and Robert Murphy. Seibel grew up in Wickliffe, Ohio, an east-side suburb of Cleveland. While attending High School, Tara illustrated a life-size mural of a Victorian woman sitting on a park bench. The art was chosen to be displayed in the Cleveland Arcade in 1990, a hundred years after the structure was built.

She was a majorette in the Wickliffe Swing Band. On the football field she twirled a fire baton and later won (with her troupe) first place in a national baton twirling competition held in Disney World. Seibel enjoyed playing the xylophone and wrote for the school newspaper. She earned varsity letters in track and field for the high jump. Her mother is a homemaker and business woman. Her father is a businessman, politician and was a local talk radio show host. Seibel is the oldest of three siblings, Lauren Murphy-Holder a psychologist and Robert Murphy Jr. a business owner. Her sister's undergraduate degree is from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, her brother graduated from Baldwin Wallace College. Tara's grandfather Richard Gieseler, was a foreman for Cleveland Twist Drill, and met his wife Dorothea (née Newman) at the Cleveland Twist Drill Company. Her grandfather (John "Buck" Buchan) was a local musician who played with "Cleveland's Polka King" Frankie Yankovic and comedian-musician Mickey Katz.

She won the school poster contest in Elementary School, when she created a Valentine's Day theme by using the slogan from a 1982 mouthwash commercial, "kiss me I've got the signal". Her grandmother, Dorothea, who lived down the street, worked with Tara by drawing pictures and making paper dolls on a regular basis. Tara's first illustration drawn at a young age, was a caricature of the double comedy act Laurel and Hardy and still today, she draws comedians, poets, musicians, actors and artists in comics.


Seibel earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree after majoring in Applied Media Arts at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where she studied drawing, painting, documentary film, illustration, animation, journalism, photography and graphic design. Her first printed piece was a poster design for the Edinboro University Alternative Film Festival. She completed this accredited project during her internship at Murphy Design on East 40th Street in Cleveland.

After completing her internship, Seibel began her professional artistic career in Chicago illustrating covers for restaurant menus and food packaging. One of the first menus she designed was for Michael Jordan The Restaurant. Eventually she moved back home to Cleveland. She was hired as a line designer and illustrator for American Greetings where she designed and illustrated gift wrapping and greeting cards. After leaving American Greetings she became a freelance editorial cartoonist. Over a span of four years, she created editorial cartoons for US Catholic Magazine, various newsletters, Cleveland Scene and illustrated a cover of the Cleveland Free Times. This led her to a collaboration with the late Cleveland-based cartoonist Harvey Pekar, the author of American Splendor.[1]

After headlining the Pekar Project for SMITH Magazine, Seibel's work was discovered by editor Russ Kick. Kick is the editor of a three-volume, 1500-page anthology set titled The Graphic Canon which features the world's great literature interpreted by over 120 artists and illustrators including R. Crumb, Maxon Crumb, Will Eisner, Molly Crabapple, Sharon Rudahl, Dame Darcy, S. Clay Wilson, Gris Grimly, Roberta Gregory and Kim Deitch.[2] For the Graphic Canon Volume One, Seibel contributed adaptations of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables and Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. For Volume Two, Seibel adapted, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and a series of graphic biographies of Jack Kerouac, Diane di Prima, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams". She graphically adapted Oscar Wilde's, The Nightingale and the Rose."

Community WorkEdit

In 2011, Seibel taught workshops at Ursuline College, a small, Roman Catholic liberal arts women's college in Pepper Pike; learning and teaching watercolor techniques under the practice of Sr. Kathleen Burke P.H.d the founder of the Master of Arts in Counseling and Art Therapy program.

In 2012, Tara created the class "How to design your own greeting card line" for adult education classes at the Pepper Pike Learning Center.

In 2013, she became the curator and gallery owner of Tara Seibel Art Gallery in Cleveland's Historic Little Italy in University Circle. At the gallery there are exhibits of paintings, crafts, drawings and some comic art on display. She also has exhibits for local artists in the Cleveland Area. This will be the third year the gallery will participate in the "from WOMEN" show curated by Mary Urbas of Lakeland Community College to celebrate Women's History month.

Tara illustrates the art walk posters for the Little Italy neighborhood.

The summer of 2016, she started instructing summer camp at The Fairmount Center for the Arts, in which children were engaged in keeping an art diary everyday for a week, writing, drawing, painting and taking photos of their personal stories for documentation and therapy. This summer she will be adding calligraphy techniques, and "the lost art of handwriting" to the curriculum.

In 2016, she offered to design and illustrate the Short Sweet Film Fest poster, an annual film festival held in Cleveland, Ohio. And was asked to give a Q & A about the late Harvey Pekar, one of the film subjects.

Personal lifeEdit

Seibel resides with her family in the Cleveland suburb of Pepper Pike. Her husband Aaron Seibel, is a graduate of Marquette University, an optical engineer and co-inventor for two patents. The Seibels have three children: Lauren, Patrick and Oscar with a chug (chiwawa and pug) lauren=16 Patrick=12 and oscar=10[3][4][5]

Selected bibliographyEdit

Solo editorial cartoons and comic stripsEdit

  • Al Fresco Dining in Cleveland cover illustration, Cleveland Free Times, May 2003.
  • Show Me the Way to go Home U.S. Catholic/Volume 71, No 2, February 2006.
  • My Prolife Protest" U.S. Catholic/Volume 71, No 5, May 2006.
  • For Extra Credit U.S. Catholic/Volume 71, No 8, August 2006.
  • A less-Catholic Europe. U.S. Catholic/Volume 71, No 9, September 2006.
  • Criminal intent. U.S. Catholic/Volume 71, No 10, October 2006.
  • A Poor Measure of Poverty U.S. Catholic/Volume 71, No 11, November 2006.
  • Cramming for Christmas U.S. Catholic/Volume 71, No 12, December 2006.
  • Cleveland Scene Alternative Weekly, Lake View Cemetery August, 2008
  • Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, Anthony Bordain / From R. Crumb's 78 Record Collection illustrations by Tara Seibel, July 2010
  • New York Times Harvey in the Spring editorial illustration by Tara Seibel, July 2010.

Collaborative comix and cartoons, illustrations and comic stripsEdit

  • Rock City-Terminally ILL Question written and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Chicago Newcity, Vol.23, No.1045 July 2008.
  • Rock City-Terminally ILL Lake View Cemetery written and illustrated by Tara Seibel, (first published), Cleveland Free Times, July 2008.
  • Rock City-Terminally ILL Lake View Cemetery written and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Vol.23, No.1047 July 2008.
  • Rock City-Terminally ILL Tara the Cartoonist written and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Vol.23, No.1062 September 2008.
  • Rock City-Terminally ILL' Hey, Emily written by Harvey Pekar and illustrated by Tara Seibel, (first published) The Austin Chronicle, Vol.27, No.49 August, 2008.
  • Rock City-Terminally ILL Bathtub Movers written by Harvey Pekar and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Funny Times, Vol.23, Issue 7, July, 2008.
  • Rock City-Terminally ILL Hey, Emily" written by Harvey Pekar and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Chicago Newcity, Vol.23, No.1054 September, 2008.
  • Rock City-Terminally ILL A Certain Kind of Trait" written by Harvey Pekar and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Chicago Newcity, (first published) Vol.23, No.1056, September, 2008.
  • Rock City-Terminally ILL Da Vinci For Dummies" written by Harvey Pekar and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Chicago Newcity, (first published) Vol.23, No.1060, October, 2008.
  • Rock City-Terminally ILL Lake View Cemetery" written and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Mineshaft, editor(s) Everett Rand & Gioia Palmieri No.23, November, 2008. ISSN 1532-138X
  • Heeb -The Politics Issue, Are God's Children Too Stupid? written by Harvey Pekar and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Issue No/18, Fall 2008
  • Jewish Review of Books, The Genesis Review written by Harvey Pekar and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Spring 2010
  • Jewish Review of Books, Upmanship & Downmanship written by Harvey Pekar and illustrated by Tara Seibel, Summer 2010

Self-published comixEdit

  • Rock City-Terminally ILL Comix written by Tara Seibel, Harvey Pekar, illustrations by Tara Seibel, Joseph Remnant, Rick Parker, and Sean Pryor, Issue 1, 2009
  • Rock City-Terminally ILL Contributions from Harvey Pekar, Robert Crumb, Pablo Guerra, Camilovsky, Mark Murphy and Joel Nakamura, Issue 2, 2010

Illustration and comics for anthology projectsEdit


  1. ^ Alex Dueben (21 January 2010). "Seibel illustrates Harvey Pekar". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  2. ^ Annie Weatherwax (30 November 2012). "Graphic Lit, The Graphic Canon". New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  3. ^ Ada Price (August 25, 2009). ""The Pekar Project" Webcomic Debuts on 'SMITH',". Publishers Weekly. Seibel first worked with Pekar in Cleveland for a year and a half on a strip called Rock City.
  4. ^ Thessaly LaForce (July 23, 2010). ""Staff Picks: Harvey Pekar, Henry Luce, Lost Critics" Retrieved 2013-01-16 "I was keen to catch a glimpse of what is being called the "last comic" of Harvey Pekar, which is a collaboration with Tara Seibel, a Cleveland cartoonist and graphic designer. Seibel's story of her final moment with Pekar is comforting in its ordinariness: she dropped him off at the public library, where he had parked his car."". The Paris Review.
  5. ^ John Petkovic (June 3, 2016). "Little Italy Art Walk shines light on food, art in Cleveland Neighborhood". The Plain Dealer. 'You have a number of artists doing very different things," says Seibel, who will host a show that features her works as well as photographer David Schwartz, a Little Italy operator that has documented his travels on Route 66. The exhibition includes Charles Bowman, George Kocar and Ralph Solonitz."


External linksEdit