A collection of short stories featuring Corto Maltese from Peru to Venice and into the First World War. The last unpublished works of the late Hugo Pratt.
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Hugo Pratt is an Italian comic artist whose best-known character is the existentialist adventurer, captain Corto Maltese. Pratt's own extensive travels are the inspiration for Corto Maltese's adventures. In Pratt's youth he accompanied his parents on journeys first to Venice, and then to Ethiopia - both of which became settings for his future works. The family returned to Venice in the early 1940's, where Pratt entered its Academy of Fine Arts. In 1945, he met Mario Faustinelli, with whom he created his first comic book, Asso di Picche. In these early years of Pratt's career, he became part of what was called "the Venice group." This association of writers and artists drew inspiration from adventure literature by such writers as Herman Melville, Jack London and Joseph Conrad, who were not seen during Mussolini's reign. Finding few opportunities for comic artists in postwar Italy, Pratt and Faustinelli moved to Argentina in 1950. There he created some of his most important comics: Sgt. Kirk, Ernie Pike, Anna della Jungla, and Wheeling. In 1967, shortly after Pratt's move back to Italy he wrote Una Ballata del Mare Salato for the newly founded monthly Sgt. Kirk. This was a brooding South Seas adventure featuring a compelling main character who would later become the famous Corto Maltese.
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