On this day in 1927, Hugo Pratt was born. This was a boon to a great many people.
The people who knew and loved him, of course. Those who benefited from his contributions to his community, the economy, and so forth. But notably, too, a more diffuse population: those who love to look. Those who love to look at skillful, clever linework. Those who love visual storytelling and adventure. Those specifically who love to look at comic books. And those who like to look at men. Hugo Pratt scribed and sired Corto Maltese, and Corto Maltese…
Of all the comics that I've always wanted to learn more about but never had the chance to actually read, Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese is at the top of the list. The long-running Italian adventure hero has been a massive influence on some of my favorite creators, but it's never been fully printed in English -- an oversight that will be corrected next week when IDW publishes Corto Maltese: Under The Sign of Capricorn in paperback.
It never rains but it pours. Hot on the heels of the news that IDW will be publishing the whole of Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese in English for the first time, publishers Casterman have announced that Blacksad writer Juan Diaz Canales and Spanish artist Ruben Pellejero have been tapped to author a new, original Corto Maltese story. Due for release in October 2015, the book will be simultaneously released in French, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish, although there is no news yet of a potential English edition from IDW or anyone else.
If you're not familiar with Italian cartoonist Hugo Pratt's sailor and adventurer Corto Maltese, it's likely because you're reading this in English.
Though Pratt is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of comics as literature, releasing the first Corto Maltese story, "The Ballad of the Salty Sea," in 1967, stories featuring the character have been translated into English sporadically. (They were originally published in either Italian or French.) Some have never been translated. IDW's new imprint EuroComics is planning to change that by collecting every single Corto Maltese comic, translated into English, in 12 volumes starting this December.
Villa Comics is a charming bed-and-breakfast hotel in the Gulf of Policastro in Italy. Besides the beautiful beaches and brilliant views of the Basilicata and Calabria mountains, guests are treated to some culture in the form of excellent comic book illustrations that hang in all of the Villa's understated suites...
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