I discovered Corto Maltese by Hugo Pratt when I was ten or so, in Pif Gadget, one of the French comic magazines my uncles on my mother's side used to read. It was one of the stories from The Celts, featuring the Red Baron, when Corto is merely an observer. I was blown away all the same. I then read other stories featuring him. Years later, in my early twenties, I bought my own albums and I rediscovered him. I have decided to do it again this year. Corto Maltese is an archetypal laconic rogue hero, a gentleman of fortune. His adventures are set during/around World War 1. While some are straight pulp adventures, others have elements of supernatural in it, even sometimes psychedelic.
His stories were originally published in black and white. It has since been coloured, but the original black and white graphic novels remain the best. The colours just denature the work of Pratt. I have gathered many titles in French, I thought I would buy some in English here to complete my collection, although I am also tempted to purchase some in Italian, just to try my luck with the language.
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