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.
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.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
Guido Crepax is the name that first popped into my mind when I was told, "Hey, we wouldn't mind too terribly if you wrote a little bit about comics for us." Arguably the most important cartoonist whose work remains all but completely unavailable in English, the late Crepax is an artist whose work has enjoyed a bit of an uptick in critical response this year, with much of it oriented around his long-running erotic series Valentina...
For a certain kind of comics and/or illustration fan, nothing could be greater than the privilege of watching their favorite artists at work. This is especially true for admirers of a generation of European creators whose comics seemed like pure imagination drained right out of their minds and onto the pages of countless comic strips and series...
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