Faces from the Deep
An aura of mystery pervades Kuns by Return, a black and white comic with almost no written language, and a title that leaves readers guessing on both its content and author/s. The first few pages show a masked and cloaked figure digging holes in a barren landscape, unearthing bones and ancient statues that echo the pictographic languages of the Maya and other Pre-Columbian civilizations. Eventually, faces of flesh and sinew emerge from the deep, gazing intently at the viewer. Are these faces from the past or from the present? The comic gives no easy answer but instead sends readers, and its masked protagonist, on a road trip from a desert to a bustling metropolis.
Kuns by Return has an organic, dream-like quality, with stark lines that resemble color pencil and charcoal that give texture to the comic’s images. The story features multiple characters whose actions and intentions are not always clear. Yet, beneath the enigma something more profound shines through, like a landscape glimpsed beneath opaque waters. It is a story about transformation, about alienation and the possibility of togetherness, told with a raw energy that carries readers through the book’s twists and tangles.
Kuns by Return was drawn by three artists, Waysatta, DiegoTeo and Jazael from the Mexican collective Cráter Invertido. Self-published in the framework of the art exhibition documenta fifteen, it is an intriguing read, and another reason to dive deeper into Mexican comics.
Kuns by Return
Self-published, available at Hopscotch Reading Room Berlin
This summer, I had the pleasure of meeting members of Cráter Invertido in person in the framework of the lumbung of Publishers during the art exhibition documenta fifteen in Kassel. Stay tuned for an interview with the artists!