On an island in a pond behind the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet sits the Lukhang Temple, or “Temple to the Serpent Spirits,” a secret meditation space created by the Dalai Lama in the 17th century.
Something about Tibet has always seemed very mysterious to the West. Maybe it’s the terrain of the towering Himalayas possibly inhabited by savage yetis, the legends of the heavenly Shangri-La, or the ancient traditions of Tibetan Buddhism embodied by the reincarnated Dalai Lama. All of these impressions, founded on fact or not, have naturally made for great comic book fodder, where the exotic and mystical image of Tibet fits in perfectly with superheroes and mad villains. The Rubin Museum of Art’s Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics is now presenting over 50 comics related to Tibet dating back to the 1940s.