h EISNER AWARD and HARVEY AWARD NOMINEE h Best U.S. Edition of International Material “One of the Ten Best Graphic Novels of 2015. A world classic of the comics form…. American readers have been waiting decades for an edition to match its lofty status. Now EuroComics/IDW is releasing the stories in a series of deluxe trade editions, with new introductions, high production value and crystal-clear reproduction of the stunning black and white artwork.”
Rob Salkowitz, Forbes “Classic adventure comics for adults, enjoyable but with depth. Strongly recommended.”
Library Journal Hugo Pratt in Ethiopia, 1982.
“Hugo Pratt is simply one of the greatest cartoonists to ever walk the Earth.”
James Romberger, Comics Beat “Corto Maltese Under the Sign of Capricorn brings one of the most exciting and original adventure narratives in the world of graphic novels to American shores with the beauty and intelligence of the author intact.… The perfect introduction to the character. Corto Maltese is as timeless as Batman or The Man With No Name in the Sergio Leone film series that made Clint Eastwood a star… Classic adventure literature of the highest order.”
The New York Journal of Books “The wordly magic of Hugo Pratt…an Italian masterpiece is coming to America.”
Publishers Weekly “The first two volumes are impressive…lost civilizations, espionage, and star-crossed romance set in exotic ports and on uncharted islands. But there’s an added dimension here; the disillusionment of the post-colonial era, when European governments were expelled from Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia, sets a cynical mood over the Corto Maltese stories. It’s grown-up adventure that grapples with the legacy of centuries of imperialism.”
Matthew Everett, The Knoxville Mercury “These are the lines of a master, bringing you far-flung escapist adventures that take place in the early part of the 20th Century, a romantic world of rogues and scoundrels.”
Dan Greenfield, 13th Dimension “The second volume in EuroComics’s definitive English language presentation of Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese is no less a treasure than the first…Pratt’s storytelling, a mix of Hemingway and Caniff with all sorts of other flavors for seasoning, is captivating.”
$24.99 • EuroComics.us • idwpublishing.com
C O R T O M A L T E S E
Hugo Pratt (1927-1995) is considered one of the great graphic novelists in the history of the medium. His strips, graphic works, and watercolors have been exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris and the Vittoriano in Rome, and a landmark show in 2011 at the Pinacotèque in Paris drew 215,000 visitors, hailing Pratt as “the inventor of the literary comic strip.” His far-flung travels—he lived on three continents and was multilingual—gave him a healthy skepticism toward nationalistic, ideological, and religious dogmas, as well as a sympathy for the underdog that was reflected in his fictional creations, providing them a verisimilitude rarely seen in comics. Born on June 15, 1927 in Rimini, on the Adriatic coast of Italy, he spent his childhood in Venice, where he was raised in a meltingpot of races, beliefs, and cultures. From his mother, Evelina Genero, he was exposed to esoteric studies, including Kabbalah and cartomancy. His father, Rolando, a soldier in the Italian army, was transferred to Abyssinia in 1936, and the family followed. When Hugo was just fourteen he was forced to join the colonial police. It brought him in contact with an international menagerie of soldiers and the charm of those different uniforms, crests, colors, and faces would remain steadily present in his work. Simultaneously he made friends with his Abyssinian peers, which allowed him to learn the local languages and integrate into a world that most colonizers never knew. He eagerly read adventure novels by James Oliver Curwood, Zane Grey, Kenneth Roberts, Robert Louis Stevenson, and others; and discovered the early American adventure comic strips, particularly Terry and the Pirates by Milton Caniff, which impressed him so much that he decided to become a cartoonist. After his father’s death in 1943, Pratt returned to Italy and, because of his facility in English, became an interpreter for the Allied army until the end of the war. His comics career began in Venice in 1945 and in 1949 he was invited with several other cartoonists to become part of the thriving comics community in Argentina, where he lived for nearly twenty years, with a brief detour drawing comics in London in 1959-1960. Pratt’s Argentine years were productive—he published many series including Sgt. Kirk, Ernie Pike, Ticonderoga, Capitan Cormorant, and Wheeling—and he discovered Latin-American writers such as Octavio Paz, Leopoldo Lugones, Jorge Luis Borges, and Roberto Arlt. In the early-to-mid 1960s he split his time between Argentina and Italy, and drew children’s adventure stories for an Italian magazine. In 1967 Pratt and Florenzo Ivaldi published the magazine Sgt. Kirk to reprint his Argentine comics in Italy. The first issue also contained nine pages of a new story entitled “The Ballad of the Salty Sea” featuring the enigmatic sea captain and adventurer Corto Maltese. Two years later he resurrected Corto for the French weekly magazine Pif and moved to Paris, while continuing his travels throughout the world. The success of Corto Maltese in France spread first to Italy and then to many other countries. From that point forward, all of Pratt’s works would ultimately be collected in graphic novels. He was made a “Knight of Arts and Letters” by the French Minister of Culture. In addition to Corto Maltese, Pratt also created the series The Scorpions of the Desert and four graphic novels in the One Man, One Adventure collection, among others. He eventually moved to Grandvaux, Switzerland, on the Lake of Lausanne, where he died on August 20, 1995.
Praise for HUGO PRATT and CORTO
“Corto Maltese was the first European strip to advance a mature, artistically serious sensibility within the traditional adventure format.” —Kim Thompson This series at long last affords Hugo Pratt’s masterpiece an American edition presented in the original oversized black-and-white format in which Pratt created the work. When Corto Maltese arrives in the Middle East and Africa in 1918 the shifting sands and loyalties reveal colonial powers still battling for domination over each other and the indigenous people. The desert of Yemen, controlled by the fading Ottoman Empire, is the setting for “In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate,” where Corto meets Cush, the Danikil warrior with whom he establishes a close yet conflicted relationship. In “The Coup de Grace” the stubborn racism of an English commander of a small fort in British Somaliland leads to conflict with Cush and the Dervish army of Sayyid Mohamed, whom the British call “The Mad Mullah.” The action moves to Ethiopia amidst inter-tribal conflict in “…and of Other Romeos and Other Juliets,” as Cush introduces Corto to the mysterious and powerful shaman Shamael, who hears the voices of the dead and of devils. German East Africa is the background of “The Leopard-Men of the Rufiji,” where Corto is engulfed in a dreamlike atmosphere that reveals how African justice operates outside the constraints of “white” law. This EuroComics edition features new translations from Pratt’s original Italian scripts by Dean Mullaney, the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning editor of the Library of American Comics, and Simone Castaldi, Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Hofstra, and the author of Drawn and Dangerous: Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s (University Press of Mississippi).
A caravan in the Sibabi Hills in the Danakil desert, Ethiopia, around the time of Corto Maltese’s adventures with Cush, the Danakil warrior.
EDITED AND DESIGNED BY Dean Mullaney
Lorraine Turner Patrizia Zanotti
ART DIRECTOR AND CO-COVER DESIGNER CONSULTING EDITOR
Lettering font based on hand-lettering by Frank Engli.
EuroComics.us EuroComics is an imprint of IDW Publishing a Division of Idea and Design Works, LLC 2765 Truxtun Road San Diego, CA 92106 www.idwpublishing.com Distributed by Diamond Book Distributors 1-410-560-7100 ISBN: 978-1-63140-696-6 First Printing, June 2016 IDW Publishing Ted Adams, Chief Executive Officer/Publisher Greg Goldstein, Chief Operating Officer/President Robbie Robbins, EVP/Sr. Graphic Artist Chris Ryall, Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief Matthew Ruzicka, CPA, Chief Financial Officer Dirk Wood, VP of Marketing Lorelei Bunjes, VP of Digital Services Jeff Webber, VP of Licensing, Digital and Subsidiary Rights Jerry Bennington, VP of New Product Development THANKS TO:
Diana Schutz, Bob Schreck, Justin Eisinger, and Alonzo Simon. © 1972 Cong S.A., Switzerland. Corto Maltese ® and Hugo Pratt™ © Cong S.A. Art © 2016 Casterman, Bruxelles. Translation © 2016 Dean Mullaney and Simone Castaldi. All rights reserved. The IDW logo is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. All rights reserved. The EuroComics logo and colophon is a trademark of The Library of American Comics, LLC. All rights reserved. With the exception of artwork used for review purposes, none of the comic strips in this publication may be reprinted without the permission of the publisher. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in Korea.
Surah 93: [the morning sun] recited toward Mecca. eleven verses. (but for us the first four will do.) 1... 2... 3... 4...
by the morning sun and by the night when the darkness spreads Your Lord has not forsaken you, nor is he displeased Your hereafter will be more rewarding for you than your present life
...I prefer the desert.
you may not know that I studied at Oxford, in London, New York, and Paris, but...
it won't be easy to enter the fortress at turban. That’s your problem, El Oxford.
Why?...Why ? ... you’re always asking questions...
My miission is to take the boat to Zanzibar.
isn't it written in surah 115, also known as [The Maltese,] seventh verse:[Ask and you will be answered] ?
because it’s clean.
misSion...MisSion... let's not split hairs. you are being paid to perform your task.
Fine, let's put it that way, if you prefer... but why didn't you hire a Yemenite sailor for this trip ?
Corto, damned infidel bastard, son of a scorpion...There is no Surah 115 also known as [THE OKay...don't get sore, EL Maltese] in the Koran. There oxford...and stop treating me are only 114. like an infidel...most of The one perus in Malta are taining to you partly Saracen, hasn’t been Anyway. written yet !
Malta, Malta ...we thought that a Maltese like you would be less likely to betray us than a sailor from Aden or Somalia...we’ve learned to distrust everybody...look down over there!
Bah!...All I see is a fort with soldiers practicing drills by the walls...they're not very good, either...
it's Turban, the fortress where little prince Saud is kept prisoner. His uncle Abdul is holding him hostage.
...if the Turks and the Germans win this war, Abdul will get rid of the young prince and, with their support, have himself crowned kinG. if on the other hand the English win, he will So this Abdul will have himself designated regent come out a winner until young Saud comes of age. either way@
Yes, unless we can free the boy, Abdul will continue to hold a knife at our throats.
Because unfortunately to ancient traditions
Why are you so interested in this little prince ?
The day of A populAR revolution is still far away...
our people are still bound and family obligations, and all that comes with it.
Even I, who studied abroad, am still sentimentally tied to my family and to many other things...it's not easy to renounce everything to start a new life...
i've been waiting for you since yesterday.
Ah...it's you, Cush...you're right, but we had to take a long detour to avoid running into the Turk patrols and the Beni Lahej.
Yes, but in the 10th Surah it is written...[A friend will not blame a friend.] But enough of this now. Did you see the little prince ?
isn't he also one of Noah's offspring? Mustn't we open our heart to all sons of the earth ? Corto is one of us, Cush...he's a friend.
Ugh! But isn't it written...[Making excuses for yourself won't reward you with camels] ? ...there's no point in explaining the reasons for your delay. You're late and that's it @
He's fine. he's like a young male camel among a group of females...
What are you doing with this infidel dog?
now let's drink tea...and your friend better be silent because the sound of his voice disturbs the silence of the desert.
He has his religion and we have ours. He must not drink wine...and eat forbidden things...
A strange time to drink tea...you act like old British ladies.
Hmm...ask him if he has any objections to my shelling a few peanuts.
Bedouins and The Danakil love to drink tea before a battle... and deeply despise those who drink coffee... Cush is very faithful to the laws of the Koran.
Don't you start too, Corto. Cush is already in a bad temper...don't make things even more difficult Okay, mom! for me.
A Few Turkish and Arab soldiers and some infidel prisoners ...they don’t expect an attack. it will be easy to get in...harder to get out.
Why are you talking to this infidel dog...you, who like me, walk on the Paths of truth?
to the North the british troops and Lawrence of Arabia have reached Damascus. The Turks in the fort know that they’ve lost their war. Our enemy, the emir Abdul, will keeps the young Saud hidden to avoid possible retaliation from the English and The other Arabs... we need to hurry.
Hurry? Yes...you're right, Cush. We should hurry, but it's easier said than done...Do you have a plan, Cush ?
Oh, I see ... ...Cush has much more common sense than we do.
Yes, like you, I walk the paths of truth, Cush...but along those paths you find many stupid men...and if you continue like this you'll become one of them...now tell me about Fort Turban!
Yes...first we should get inside Turban. we’ll figure out the rest once we're there...Talking out here isn’t going to accomplish anything.
Corto, you will wait for us by the edge of the oasis. Cush and I will enter the fort.
Allah's will be done! Let's go!