The first Corto Maltese adventure, Una ballata del mare salato, Italian publication cover. Corto Maltese is la ballade de la mer salée PDF series of adventure comics, named after the character Corto Maltese, an adventurous sailor. It was created by the Italian comic book creator Hugo Pratt in 1967.
The series features Corto Maltese, an enigmatic sea captain who lives in the first three decades of the 20th century. Born in Valletta on the island of Malta on 10 July 1887, the son of a sailor from Cornwall, and a gypsy from Seville. In his adventures full of real-world references, Corto has often crossed with real historical characters like the American author Jack London, the American outlaw Butch Cassidy, the German World War I flying ace Red Baron, and many others. Pratt stories published in the first edition of the magazine Sergeant Kirk in July 1967. In 1976, Ballad of the Salt Sea was published in book format and was awarded the prize for best foreign realistic comic album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. Pratt continued to produce new stories over the next two decades, many first appearing in the eponymous comics magazine Corto Maltese, until 1988 when the final story Mu was serialised, ending in June 1989.
On October 7, 2014 Italian publisher Cong who owns the rights to Corto Maltese, announced that a new album was being made by writer Juan Díaz Canales and artist Rubén Pellejero. A « rogue with a heart of gold », he is tolerant and sympathetic to the underdog. The character embodies the author’s skepticism of national, ideological and religious assertions. Corto’s favourite reading is Utopia by Thomas More, but he never finishes it. Corto Maltese stories range from straight historical adventure to occult dream sequences.
This is a list of the twelve original Corto Maltese novels in chronological order. Not all the albums are available in English and some NBM albums do not correspond to any original French or Italian title. The complete edition in English, titled « Under the Sign of Capricorn », was published by IDW in December 2014. The complete edition in English, titled « Beyond the Windy Isles », was published by IDW in July 2015. The complete edition in English, titled « Celtic Tales », was published by IDW in March 2016. English publications being called Corto Maltese in Africa. The completed edition in English, titled « The Ethiopian », was published by IDW in August 2016.