The "Corto Maltese" comic book series by Hugo Pratt is an essential work of graphic literature. It follows the adventures of Corto Maltese, an adventurer and mercenary in search of hidden treasures and lost knowledge. The character of Corto Maltese was created in 1967 and has since been the hero of several albums featuring his adventures in different parts of the world. Pratt used this series to explore a variety of themes such as history, politics, and philosophy. Pratt's style is known for its precise drawings and subtle colors, which bring the characters and landscapes of his stories to life. His panels are often filled with details and references to history and culture, adding an extra dimension to his stories. Among the latest famous albums of the series, we can mention "Corto Maltese: La Ballade de la Mer Salée", which follows the adventurer in his quest for hidden treasures in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, and "Corto Maltese: La Cour secrète des Arcanes", which plunges him into the plots and intrigues of the court of Tsarina Catherine II.
Although born in Italy and raised in Venice (which he superbly put into drawing in the 80s), Hugo Pratt is first and foremost a cosmopolitan traveler. From everywhere and from nowhere, he goes where his desires lead him, without any other justification..
It was after the war, in 1945, that he started drawing, under the influence of American Comics that he discovered while he was a prisoner of an internment camp in Ethiopia, with his mother in 1942/1943..
In 1949, he moved to Argentina for about ten years, while continuing to move, to publish (once in Buenos Aires, once in London), to discover new lands, to store new landscapes..
The long silhouette of Corto Maltese was first encountered in 1967 with the publication of the first pages of The Ballad of the Salty Sea. Still a minor character, at that time, he reappeared in 1969, in Pif Gadget, for a few more pages, but it was not until 1974 that the complete album was published and that the mutinous and detached hero of Pratt came to the fore.
Awarded at the 3rd Angoulême Festival, the album opens a formidable series that will make the fortune and glory of its author..
Established in Switzerland in the mid-1980s, Hugo Pratt passed away in 1995, leaving behind a secret hero, with no strings attached and free as air... The perfect alter-ego of its author!