Well, it's about time. Ballad of the Salt Sea is the original Corto Maltese adventure, written and drawn by Hugo Pratt, perhaps the premiere practitioner of European adventure comics of his generation, way back between1967 and 1969. This edition is of a new English translation by Hall Powell, that has been colored by Pratt collaborator, Patrizia Zanotti. This is a fascinating work from an artistic standpoint, as you can see Pratt's style evolve before your eyes over the course of the book. Ballad was originally produced for black and white reproduction, so it's appearance here in color, on glossy stock, is less than ideal; but it's certainly a quite welcome development to have this back in print after such a long hiatus, and we certainlyl hope that it presages the North American (re)issuance of the subsequent volumes in this classic and entertaining series featuring the adventures of this appealing rogue plying his trade on land and sea during the opening decades of the twentieth century.
Originally published in 1970-71 in Europe, and partially published in translation in North America in the mid-1980s by NBM, the six stories collected here in Under the Sign of Capricorn mark the official return of Corto Maltese! One of the great creations of European comics, the Corto Maltese saga -- along with it’s creator, Hugo Pratt -- have been justly celebrated for decades in Europe, and won many an adherent here in the states as well – including no less a luminary than Frank Miller, who praises Pratt as “one of the true masters of comic art.” Series editor – and co-translator – Dean Mullaney has taken pains to present this work as it is meant to be seen and the reproduction of the art as well as the production values of the book itself – a large format edition with extra heavy paper stock and scored covers for ease in reading – are both sure to please. Best of all is that there’s more to come, as this is only the first of twelve volumes in what, based on the evidence so far, seems likely to live up to the promise of being “the definitive English language edition.” Take a quick look here.