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READ PDF ⚸ Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea ⚹ Treasure hunter, sailor, and adventurer, Corto Maltese remains one of the most popular characters from graphic literature in Europe and maintains a devoted cult following among American readers and creators Originally published in , Corto Maltese The Ballad of the Salt Sea introduces our hero for the first time The story begins with Corto Maltese adrift at sea in the Pacific during World War I He is picked up by a Russian pirate privateer named Rasputin The graphic novel follows Corto and the adventure that ensues Corto Maltese The Ballad of the Salt Sea is sure to appeal to fans of swashbuckling action packed tales and sophisticated readers seeking elegant stories alike I received Corto Maltese as a gift from a comic loving Italian After listening to him talk about the Corto comics for months, naturally I was itching to get my hands on one According to him Corto is a bit of a cult comic an Italian classic, beloved by many, not only for the amazing characters and adventures, but also for Hugo Pratt s stunning artwork Boy, do Italians know their stuff I was pleasantly surprised when I was presented with Corto Maltese The Ballad of the Salt Sea , and man I received Corto Maltese as a gift from a comic loving Italian After listening to him talk about the Corto comics for months, naturally I was itching to get my hands on one According to him Corto is a bit of a cult comic an Italian classic, beloved by many, not only for the amazing characters and adventures, but also for Hugo Pratt s stunning artwork Boy, do Italians know their stuff I was pleasantly surprised when I was presented with Corto Maltese The Ballad of the Salt Sea , and man, was it spectacular experience I ll start with describing the artwork, something I think is evenimportant in graphic novels comics, than the text itself I am a huge fan of your typical good old american pop art, 60s Roy Lichtenstein type of comic illustration It is loud, it is bright, it is in your face kitsch, presented with bold outlines, over the top facial expressions, and color combinations not even a circus clown would wear It s supposed to stimulate your senses on every level and create excitement a style that was so influential, it has been copied by many However, not by Hugo Pratt Hugo Pratt is quite the opposite actually he does not need loudness to crate excitement and get the story going His unique style combines subdued colors with bold dark inking The sometimes scribbly inking and almost lazy watercolor strokes give the illustrations a bit of a dream like quality, but there is always enough movement within the panel to create interest and keep one going Yes, you have your typical POW and SLAP bubbles here and there the comic was created in the late 60s after all , however they are not distracting, and fit with the overall art style As a reader, I should be able to see what a given character is going through just by looking at the artwork be that rage, happiness, confusion etc , without relaying on the text for explanations Pratt has clearly mastered this, as his portraits express a wide range of emotions, even if he s just showing a part of the face for example just the eyes Without too much exaggeration, his characters are beautifully drawn, each with a little something that makes them stand out on their own Ahhh the characters.what a fun bunch Each unique, all full of personality, and with a special role in the story That s right the story has no main character, sidekicks or a comic relief Although Corto s name is in the title, he is not the solo protagonistnor the solo antagonist I actually really like this ambiguity The characters are not portraided as purely bad or good Their behavior is not judged by the author so there is no clear divide of good characters over the evil ones, which makes the story a lotrealistic and compelling This is also something that I think defines a true ballad, which is what this comic is supposed to be The main con I have is the pannel flow For example in one set of panels there is a big fight between two characters, but jump to the next panel and the same characters are fine in a different setting best of buds sipping tea together etc Although, at times I found it to be a little confusing, I think this might have been done on purpose, again, to go with the ballad style Ballads tell a story in short stanzas, but span long periods of time, so it makes sense that some things are left out However, I do agree with the Italian that gave me the comic, that the narrative is dreamy but it can be clunky I also feel like maybe some of this clunky ness might come from the Italian to English translation There were times where I felt that some things might have madesense or be funnier in Italian, but the translation into English might have lost the magic However, the story itself is a great adventure, worthy of the ballad in the title There is a lot of history included, and I was told that Hugo Pratt has based some of the comic on his own adventures around the world, which makes the book so muchinteresting and definitely makes up for any clunky ness The character dynamics, the backdrops, the settings situations make for one fun read Loved it I recommend it 5 stars And my favorite character I like Corto, but Rasputin is hands down my favorite He is just so amazingly crazy And a special grazie to the Italian in my review I have been hearing good things about Hugo Pratt, yet I was still surprised by how much I enjoyed the adventures of his hero, Corto Maltese, in this first album, set in the early years on World War I among the exotic islands of the South Pacific I have come across a quote by Bill Bryson in a travel book I finished only a couple of weeks ago that seems appropriate her Bill visits the Maritime Museum in Liverpool, and laments the passing of the age of sail and discovery Once there was infinite I have been hearing good things about Hugo Pratt, yet I was still surprised by how much I enjoyed the adventures of his hero, Corto Maltese, in this first album, set in the early years on World War I among the exotic islands of the South Pacific I have come across a quote by Bill Bryson in a travel book I finished only a couple of weeks ago that seems appropriate her Bill visits the Maritime Museum in Liverpool, and laments the passing of the age of sail and discovery Once there was infinite romance in the sea exclaims Bryson, and here I am, a few days later, falling under the spell of the Mollucas and the Sulawesi and of all the other spice scented Polynesian coves promising adventure and danger and love under a tropical moon.The year is 1914, and a local catamaran crewed by savages and commanded by a rogue named Rasputin picks up a couple of stray European youngsters from the middle of the ocean A few miles further on and another marooned sailor is brought onboard he goes by the name of Corto Maltese and he has been cast overboard by his own crew over some undisclosed trouble about a woman Soon enough there will be piracy, and warships from Germany, from Japan or from New Zealand there will be cannibals and headhunters, Maoris and sharks and guns going off in the middle of the night there will be singing and invocations of Polynesian deities there will be secrets and an evil mastermind in a hooded cloak who rules the sea lanes from an island that can t be found on any map, called Escondida there will be betrayals and unexpected friendships and a beautiful girl with a fiery temper In the middle of all this stands a tall, dark man with long sideburns, a captains cap on his curly head and a lazy smile around a cigar that seems permanently stuck to the corner of his mouth Who is he and where does he come from What does he want from life Is he a pirate and an outcast like the rest of the wild bunch on Escondida, or is he a secret ally of the two yougsters held for ransom Corto Maltese is all this anda lone wolf, a taciturn man who prefers to keep his own counsel, an opportunist who will strike when he gets the chance for wealth or revenge, a poker player who keeps his cards very close to his chest Hugo Pratt names among his influences the name of Joseph Conrad, and this first album, The Ballad of the Salt Sea , is clearly for me a homage paid to Conrad not so much for the exotic locations, as for the independent and aloof nature of its lead character, for the romantic interest in local cultures and the mysticism of the savage , ultimately for the sense of tragedy and futility that awaits at the end of the journey.Hugo Pratt excells in my opinion in both the storytelling and the graphic aspects of the art of writing comic books I have talked already about the plot, and I would like to add that Pratt finds a good balance between the need for action and for developing strong, memorable secondary characters Cory and Pandorra, the two heirs of an Australian Shipping empire, a German Lieutenant, the nasked Monk who rules on Escondida, the rascal Rasputin, a young Maori navigator, a savage friend of Corto named Cranio each have a role to play in the events, and each has a secret or a surprise up his or her sleeve.I have read the black white version of the album I know there is a coloured alternative, but I very much prefer the stark lines and the dramatic potential offered by the monochrome treatment I believe I can safely say that Hugo Pratt has been a major influence on the work of Frank Miller and that fans of Sin City will be in familiar territory as they peruse the Corto Maltese panels I liked in particular the wide angled vistas of sand dunes, palm trees, seagulls and sails huggind the distant horizon The close ups may look from time to time sloppy and rushed as did some of Frank Miller s , but they never fail to capture emotion, which is the main thing in the end.Corto Maltese will go from Escondida to new adventures all around the world, wherever the salt seas and the trade winds will push him, and I am keen to follow in his footsteps Recommended for fans of realistic, novel style European comics that appeal equally to a younger and to amature audience no need for parental advisory, in my opinion One of the greatest graphic novels ever by the Italian Hugo Pratt, Corto Maltese La ballade de la mer sal e is a beautiful black and white inked comic with the swashbuckling dark and handsome mercenary sailor Corto Maltese with his alter ego Rasputin The art and text are both Pratt s I saw an expo here in Paris at the now defunct Pinacoteque in 2001 where they filled an entire room of the handwritten proofs for the book total nerdgasm You can still find the catalogue around One of the greatest graphic novels ever by the Italian Hugo Pratt, Corto Maltese La ballade de la mer sal e is a beautiful black and white inked comic with the swashbuckling dark and handsome mercenary sailor Corto Maltese with his alter ego Rasputin The art and text are both Pratt s I saw an expo here in Paris at the now defunct Pinacoteque in 2001 where they filled an entire room of the handwritten proofs for the book total nerdgasm You can still find the catalogue around and it is absolutely stunning This is probably my favorite Corto tale, but use it as a gateway into his mysterious but amazing world An absolute classic I read this because Hugo Pratt and his Corto Maltese were and continue to be hugely famous in Europe, and are almost unknown here, not much has been available So it s classic comics history And this is a substantial graphic novel, surprisingly long for the kind of tale it is Corto Maltese is a privateer pirate in this 1967 introduction to him, set in 1914 in the Pacific, and involves swashbuckling type adventure characters such as a guy named Rasputin, Monk, shipwrecks, kidnapping its an adv I read this because Hugo Pratt and his Corto Maltese were and continue to be hugely famous in Europe, and are almost unknown here, not much has been available So it s classic comics history And this is a substantial graphic novel, surprisingly long for the kind of tale it is Corto Maltese is a privateer pirate in this 1967 introduction to him, set in 1914 in the Pacific, and involves swashbuckling type adventure characters such as a guy named Rasputin, Monk, shipwrecks, kidnapping its an adventure story Fun stuff, and pretty darned chaste for a pirate story, I d say, as a single young girl shipwrecked, imprisoned by pirates for ransom from her wealthy parents makes it through the whole tale without so much as being kissed, though she is the eye candy in this one, no question, and you need that as part of the genre, of course.You know, I never read books like this and I found it entertaining As is often the case with translations, this one is suspect, as the dialogue is sometimes a little stilted, and some of that may have to do with it begin older, but some of it is not great writing The art is fine, expressive, but as others have observed, it looks like a copy of a copy, which makes sense as from time to time you see mistakes in the dialogue, you see shifts in the placements of the dialogue bubbles occasionally it looks like it was a rush production job But you know, none of this fundamentally undermines the quality of the tale itself, millions of world readers were not wrong These are pirates, but they all have likable, vulnerable qualities They all seem tough but they are human beings Compare this to contemporary noir and it is very tame, no really terrible bloodshed As with any adventure story, our hero survives several obvious crises I thought it was really great It s not a ballad as it says in the subtitle It s kind of a rambling ride on the high seas, in an exotic environment like Bora Bora and New Guinea The international relations are interesting There s a war on as the pirates scheme a ransom plot so we see the Brits at odds with the Germans The racial politics are interesting as the indigenous Pacific Islanders have to deal with all these white people trying to make profits on their land Why should an adult read this Listen this is my Year of Reading Proust and there is almost NO plot in In Search of Lost Time, so Corto Maltese is the anti Proust, it s a page turner They re antidotes for each other