Aki Solomos

Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.

Prose Review: Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism


Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden team up once again with another must-read hit.  Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism offers a sense of what these artists are capable of with their fine-tuned storytelling skills. They created a side note to an epic, historical event to show off what they can produce from their imaginations.  Well, they succeeded.

What starts out as a warm and sad story in a small Sicilian town during WWII, changes to a feverish and alarming tale of good versus an evil unknowingly conjured from saintly intentions.  With each turn of the page, I was drawn further in to the type of astonishing account one might only hear sitting around a campfire.  I was disheartened, though, by how short the story was.

What I think makes this interesting, are the multiple ironies at play.  In the aftermath of the Allied invasion to oust the Nazis from Sicily, the local children begin to wonder who is more evil after having lost their family during the battle.  While under the tutelage of a church, the orphans begin to question God’s existence – after all, how can God allow such atrocities?  Father Gaetano makes an effort to try to reach the children through puppetry, but it does not play out the way he’d hoped, to say the least.

Spotlighting one of the orphan’s, Mignola and Golden’s depiction of Sebastiano’s sweet innocence, and how he copes with his own past would touch anyone’s heart.  The priest enlists his help with the puppet shows, however, with each biblical story he teaches, things get more and more out of hand.

I like how Father Gaetano’s tasks and responsibilities are described.  The details give insight to what life is like for the clergy.  The passing of time, showing how normalcy begins to return little by little, brings realism to an unreal situation. The taboo thoughts of what might be between Father Gaetano and Sister Teresa is intriguing.  And the portrayal of some of the nuns, comical yet showing their caring and understanding nature was unexpected – they certainly aren’t the cold, stern types I knew from childhood! True to form, the artwork captures the puppets in such mystical detail, it makes them seem as though they want to come alive.

Should you buy this book?  Having modern, iconic names such as these creators on your shelf is a no-brainer.  This particular story would enthrall any reader.



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This entry was posted on November 15, 2013 by in Uncategorized.
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