If you only know "Corto Maltese" as a war-torn island nation in various DC Comics properties, it's way past time to learn where that name came from. The original Corto Maltese isn't a nation, he's a man. Specifically, he's an enigmatic sea captain who has adventures around the world in a series of comics by the late Italian cartoonist Hugo Pratt. The very epitome of EuroComics, the Corto Maltese stories were first published in Italian, but moved to French when Pratt himself moved to France.
Corto Maltese in Siberia is a landmark in the series, because it's the first epic novel-length adventure in what had previously been a series of short stories. IDW's Eurocomics imprint is publishing a new English-language trade paperback of the book in March.
Flight of the Raven, by writer/artist Jean-Pierre Gibrat, won the Best Artist Award at the Angoulême Festival, and now it's coming to the U.S. thanks to IDW's EuroComics imprint, with an English edition translated by Diana Schutz and Brandon Kander.
Gibrat's graphic novel is set in occupied Paris during World War II, and focuses on Jeanne, a French resistance fighter who teams up with a cat burglar named François to rescue her sister and the rest of their resistance cell from the Gestapo.
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.
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