Portrait of Hugo Pratt, the creator of Corto Maltese. He discusses the ocean, the success of the Corto Maltese series, and Robert Louis Stevenson.
Before he gained fame from his tales of Corto Maltese the sailor, Italian cartoonist Hugo Pratt (1927-1995) led an eventful life. After a Venetian childhood and an African adolescence where his father was serving in Abyssinia, the events of a war that forced him into the German marines and to become an interpreter for the Allies, came a time for travelling: to Argentina, where Sergeant Kirk (1952) came to life, to England for the War magazine, to Brazil, to Africa once again, to Ethiopia, to Keny, to Tanzania...
In 1967, within the pages of Italy's Sergeant Kirk magazine, the first pages of Ballad of the Salt Sea were printed, where Corto Maltese was still nothing but a secondary character, before going off on his own adventures starting in 1970 in the pages of Pif magazine. Thereafter, it was in other publications such as France Soir in 1973, Tintin in 1974, Pilote in 1977 and Métal Hurlant in 1980, where Corto's stories appeared, alternating along with other series, such as The Scorpions of the Desert.
From 1975 on, when his comics were published in book format, especially by Casterman, Hugo Pratt became one of the world's most famous comic strip authors. In 1992, he finally made the pilgrimage that he had dreamed about for so long, to Stevenson's grave in the Samoan Islands.