Tomás Cisternas – Puddles

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In Santiago, Chile, at his drawing table in the evening, beneath raindrops cozily tapping the roof, selecting from his panoply of pens, grounding himself by touching fingertips to paper fibers, inhaling before getting devoutly down to his meaningful mark-making, Tomás Cisternas has for seasons both sought and shared solace through his comics.

Cisternas’ one-page comics, around which this collection was edited, are poetic puddles, distillations of great lakes as concise as they are expansive. Whether sedentary or ambulatory, these autobiographical scenes are paced to a roaming equal parts restless and romantic. Even when he’s hunched over a page at home, Cisternas is somewhere else: a hillside, a forest, on the shores of a small pond chock-full of Bashō’s frogs; on the shores of a potentially bottomless puddle; on the inverted three-quarter shores of a coastal cloudscape with its pearly capes and coves.

The ambulatory comics often begin in the Chilean capital, where Cisternas lives with his family, before drifting across the wildland-urban interface the artist benevolently trespasses on his way to the billboard-less balm of the countryside, with its amphibious encounters, sensory portals to formative childhood memories, and, within the context of a skinny country, enough night sky to make eye contact with the cosmos.

Tomás Cisternas is a comics artist based in Santiago, Chile. He is the author of a collection of stories, Gafas; and, as Tomás C., the ongoing self-published comix zine Gris verde, from which Puddles, the first collection of Cisternas’ work to be translated into English, was developed by Bored Wolves.

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