In Pictures: Corto Maltese, From Voyage To Adventure
Written by Jaillan Yehia
I’d never heard of either the comic-book anti-hero Corto Maltese nor his creator, graphic novelist Hugo Pratt when I walked into the latest exhibition of drawings of this traveller-extraordinaire in Portugal, and I’m guessing perhaps neither have you?
But once you realise this is a character on a quest for excitement and diversity, choosing worldwide adventures, freedom and imagination over wealth, safety and the status quo you become enchanted by this imagined son of a sailor and a gypsy. And enthralled in his adventures from Gibraltar to Yemen, Honduras to Rangoon.
Find out more about the comic book creation that is Corto Maltese…
The character of Corto Maltese is meant to represent a modern Ulysses but stuck me as a more fantastical James Bond crossed with the Owen Wilson character in Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris. He was brought-to-life by an author who lived in Italy, Argentina, England, France and Switzerland and he stars in 12 novels – each taking him on unbelievable adventures meeting a cast of famous characters throughout world history, from Stalin and James Joyce to Rasputin and Butch Cassidy, along the way.
Left: two typical images from the graphic novels which appear in the exhibition.
Some illustrations have been backlit to great effect, really bringing the colours and images to life.
See below for examples of how the exhibition at Evora’s Eugenio de Almeida foundation looks.
The exhibition Corto Maltese: From voyage to adventure ran in Evora’s Eugenio de Almeida foundation in 2012
For more information see cortomaltese.com
Tags: Art, Corto Maltese, Evora, Hugo Pratt, Illustration
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