Creators: James Stafford and AJ Bernardo (with occasional guest artists)
Webcomic Link: The Sorrowful Putto of Prague
Summary: The Sorrowful Putto of Prague is a site that collects various stories revolving around Xavier of the House of Sorrowful Snows, a cherub or angel, as best as I can tell (a “putto”). The stories mostly recap supernatural events that Xavier has witnessed or been involved in, stories he tells, or times he has saved the city. There is some comedy, some sadness, and an abundance of artistry.
Story: The writing in this webcomic is very well done, concise, and absolutely dripping with what feels like real, tangible lore. I, personally, don’t know how many if any of these stories are based upon existing lore, but I wouldn’t doubt it if some were. They feel right. They feel like classic Catholic legend. More-so than that, they have a gravity. This is aided by the art, of course, but these short segments are weaved like they are myth and legend already. Some are incredibly powerful, and I especially found the story of the hanging man well orchestrated. The putto himself, Xavier, is a unique character. He is somber, matter-of-fact, and reminded me of the detective from a noir movie.
Art: AJ Bernardo’s art in this series is flawless. It feels vintage. It is basic black and white, on simulated weathered pages. The shadows are intense. The page layouts are masterful. I’m amazed by how many panels he seems able to fit into the page at times, and yet and doesn’t ever feel cluttered. There is a certain quality to it that almost reminds me of Mignola, though that may also be the influence of the content seeping in.
Conclusion: This comic will not be for everyone. Even the comedy in it has a dark tinge. It’s definitely a serious, artistic read, and one that should intrigue fans of religion and mythology or maybe even horror. For me, it’s nearly perfect, everyone else will have to decide for themselves. The website needs a touch of work, but I definitely think it’s worth the time to check it out.