TWO Filipino book artists who are working as part of an international comic book project have been praised for their published works in the Czech Republic.
AJ Bernardo, 33, and Josel Nicolas, 29, illustrated 38-year-old Welsh writer James Stafford’s webcomic “The Sorrowful Putto of Prague.”
Originally launched in 2011, the comic was recently serialized into a graphic novel in 2017 in Czech as “Truchlivý amoret pražský” by Argo, one of Czech Republic’s leading literary publishing houses.
Spinning a series of dark, baroque tales filled with black humor and Czech mythology, the book has been met with hugely positive reviews from the Czech press and gained significant exposure on national television and radio.
Prior to its publishing, Hollywood movie legend Samuel L. Jackson praised “The Sorrowful Putto of Prague” to his 6.7 million fans on Twitter, calling the comic “dope ass.”
“This is a great example of the importance of creative industries, both from the point of view of economic results, but also as a way to bring together the opportunities between the continents,” said Czech Ambassador Jaroslav Olša Jr.
“With the recent success of the globally acclaimed Czech board game ‘Code Names,’ which only a few months ago saw its PH edition, the 33rd language version, and the third -- after Japanese and Korean -- in Asia, this shows that many more opportunities lie in the possible cooperation between the Czechs and Filipinos,” he added.
Welsh writer Stafford began writing the “Putto” series back in 2010 and hired AJ 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 two began a fruitful six-year working relationship. Josel 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.