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Hugo Pratt

Hugo Pratt (June 15, 1927 - 1995) was an Italian cartoonist and the creator of Corto Maltese.

Hugo Pratt was born in Venice, Italy. His father was a professional soldier and 1937 his family moved to Ethiopia after Mussolini's Italy had conquered it. His father died 1941 in a combat between Italian and British troops. Pratt was interned into a prison camp where he bought comics from friendly guards.

After the war Pratt joined so-called Venice Group with other Italian cartoonists like Alberto Ongaro[?] and Mario Faustinelli[?]. Their magazine Asso di Picche begun to appear in 1945. It concentrated on adventure comics.

1949 Pratt moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he worked for Argentinean publisher Editorial Abril[?]. He also met South American comics artists like Jose-Luis Salinas[?] and Solano Lopez[?]. He returned to Italy in 1962. His most famous series, Corto Maltese, begun in 1962.

Due to his rather mixed family ancestry, he learned snippets of things like kabbalism and lots of history.

Many of his stories are placed in real historical eras and events, like 1755 war between French and British colonists in Ticonderoga[?], colonial wars in Africa and both World Wars. He made lots of research for both factual and visual details and sometimes the characters are real historical people or closely based on them. Many of the minor characters cross over into other stories in way that places all Pratt’s stories into the same continuum.

Among his inspiration he stated writers like Joseph Conrad, Fenimore Cooper[?], Herman Melville and Jack London, but also Milton Caniff[?] (of Terry and the Pirates) and Will Eisner.


  • Asso di Picche / L'As de pique / Ace of Spades (1945-49)
  • El sargento Kirk / Sgt. Kirk (1953-59) (Together with Hector Oesterheld[?])
  • Ticonderoga (1957-1958)
  • Ernie Pike (1957-1959)
  • Ann y Dan / Anna nella giungla / Ann of the Jungle (1959)
  • Capitan Cormorant (1962)
  • Wheeling (1962)
  • Corto Maltese (1967-92)
    • La Ballade de la mer salée (1967)
    • Sous le signe du Capricorne (1970)
    • Corto toujours un peu plus loin / The Banana Conga (1979-1971)
    • Les Celtiques / The Mid-Winter Morning's Dream (1971-1972)
    • Les Ethiopiques (1972-1973)
    • Corto sconda detta Arcana / Corto Maltese en Sibérie (1974-1975)
    • Favola di Venezia - Sirat Al-Bunduqiyyah / Fable de Venise (19)
    • La casa dorata di Samarcanda / La Maison dorée de Samarkand (1980)
    • La Jeunesse de Corto (1981)
    • Tango...y todo a media luz / Tango (1985)
    • Evetiche / Les Helvétiques (1987)
    • Mu (1988)
  • Gli scorpioni del deserto / Les Scorpions du Desert / The Scorpions of the Desert (1969-92)
    • Les Scorpions du désert [episode 1] (1969-73)
    • Piccolo chalet... (1975)
    • Vanghe Dancale (1980)
    • Dry Martini Parlor (1982)
    • Brise de mer (1992)
  • Sven - L'homme des Caraïbes (1976)
  • La macumba du Gringo (1977)
  • À l'Ouest de l'Éden (1978)
  • Jesuit Joe (1980)
  • Tutto ricominciò con un'estate indiana / Indian Summer (1983) (Together with Milo Manara[?])
  • Cato Zulu (1984-88)
  • El Gaucho (1991)
  • Saint-Exupéry - le dernier vol (1994)
  • Morgan (1995)

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