Home / Lite Life / Filipino artists enjoy success with comic book about Prague
(From left) The cover of "Truchlivý Amoret Pražský", the Czech edition of "The Sorrowful Putto of Prague". (Right) Samples of AJ Bernardo (left) and Josel Nicolas’ illustrations for the comic book.

Filipino artists enjoy success with comic book about Prague

A comic book featuring the illustrations of Filipino comic-book artists AJ Bernardo and Josel Nicolas has received praise in the Czech Republic, as well as from Academy Award-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson, the central European country’s embassy in Manila said last week.

In a statement, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the Philippines said the comic book, titled The Sorrowful Putto of Prague and penned by Welsh writer James Stafford, was translated into Czech as Truchlivý Amoret Pražský and published in book form by Argo, one of the country’s leading literary publishing houses.

Featuring a series of dark, baroque tales filled with black humor and Czech mythology, Truchlivý Amoret Pražský garnered favorable reviews in the Czech media and gained significant exposure on national television and radio.

Prior to its Czech publication, Jackson praised The Sorrowful Putto of Prague on his Twitter account—which has 6.7 million followers—calling it “dope ass.”

Samuel L. Jackson’s tweet praising "The Sorrowful Putto of Prague".
Samuel L. Jackson’s tweet praising “The Sorrowful Putto of Prague”.

“This is a great example of the importance of creative industries, both from the point of view of economic results (and of bringing) together the opportunities between the continents,” Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olša Jr. said in the statement.

“With the recent success of the globally acclaimed Czech board game Code Names, which, only a few months ago, saw its Philippine edition—the 33rd language version, and the third (after Japanese and Korean) in Asia—this shows that many more opportunities and chances lie in the possible cooperation between the Czechs and the Filipinos,” he added.

“It is hoped there will be a Filipino edition of the graphic novel in the near future, so that local comic fans can see the acclaimed work of these local artists in print for themselves,” the statement said.

Stafford began writing the series with Putto back in 2010 and hired Bernardo to illustrate several stories after finding him on an online art forum. Despite having never met in person and Bernardo having never been to Prague, the pair began a fruitful six-year working relationship.

Nicolas came on board several years later and is now a key part of the global project along with artists from Romania and the Czech Republic.

“It’s been hugely inspiring to work with AJ and Josel,” Stafford said. “I was incredibly lucky to find them, as before the internet age collaborating with people on the other side of the world like this just wouldn’t have been possible.”

“I’m very proud of being able to partner with them and very much look forward to continuing with the series in the coming years,” he added. TMM

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