James Stafford is a Welsh writer and journalist currently living in the Czech Republic (via London, Cardiff and Dublin). James’ first foray into comics, The Sorrowful Putto of Prague, has won a cult following online and its fans include Hollywood legend and comic fanatic Samuel L Jackson. James writes on a variety of topics as a ghostwriter and regularly dabbles in sports journalism – with experience in major UK and Irish national and local newspapers. He is currently working on a full-length graphic novel as well as a follow-up to The Sorrowful Putto of Prague.
by James Stafford, AJ Bernardo, Raluca Moldovan, Lenka Šimečková, Josel Nicolas
May 2017, 152 pages
Available material: English original
A beguiling, dark and charming set of short tales that blend black humour, tragedy, melancholy, hope and beauty together whilst hitting every note perfectly.
This collection of stories about ‘Xavier of the Sorrowful Snows’ has won acclaim from such diverse sources as Hollywood and comic legend Samuel L Jackson, to the Guardian newspaper and the cream of the Czech print and broadcast press. Xavier is a contradictory hero: a baroque angel born into the Renaissance; a being with the face of a child and the bitter wisdom of an old man; a tender lover, a fierce fighter and a hopeless drunk. Above all, he’s a devoted, if reluctant, defender of Prague. The individual chapters of his adventure take us back to the times of emperor Rudolf or the Baroque era, as well as to the present day; featuring tales of the political purges of the 1950s and the secret police of the “normalisation” period. Characters include the famous Golem (as you’ve never seen him before), a zombie version of a Czech patron saint, corrupt Prague taxi drivers and miraculous visions of the talking head of St. Adalbert in the middle of the working class Žižkov district of Prague. In short, The Sorrowful Putto of Prague offers such a bizarre mix of historical realia, fantastic tales, the genius loci of Prague, black humour (both typically British and typically Czech) and pop-culture references that after reading it you’ll will never quite see the City of a Hundred Spires the same way again.
“Just read the DOPE ASS “The Sorrowful Putto of Prague”… check it out… you’re in for a treat!”
– Samuel L. Jackson, twitter.com
“The author’s fantasy knows no bounds and he has a very fertile imagination.”
– MF Dnes
“… the mix of stories exude both charm, great characters and have a beguiling and haunting charm and it’s well worth your time to have a read…”
– John Freeman, downthetubes.net
“…[an] atmospheric webcomic steeped in Czech history and folklore…”
– The Guardian (UK)