Just finished watching for the eon time "Corto Maltese: La Cour secrète des Arcanes," based on the Pratt novel "Corto Maltese in Siberia;" also finished watching the 3 dvds of Corto Maltese adventures for television, produced by Canal+, adapting the stories 'La Ballade de la mer salée,' 'Sous le signe du Capricorne,' 'Les Celtiques and La Maison dorée de Samarkand.'
Corto Maltese is a sailor-adventurer, with a somehow complex character, born in 1887, son of a British sailor and a gypsy Andalusian prostitute, known as "La Niña de Gibraltar."
It was created by Italian comic book creator Hugo Pratt in 1967.
The Corto Maltese series has been translated into many languages. Stories range from straight historical adventure stories to occult dream sequences.
As a boy growing up in the Jewish quarter of Córdoba, Maltese realised he had no fate line on his palm and therefore carved his own with a razor, determining that his fate was his to choose. Although maintaining a neutral pose, Corto instinctively supports the disadvantaged and oppressed.
The character embodies the author's skepticism of national, ideological, and religious assertions. Corto befriends people from all walks of life, including the murderous Russian Rasputin. He also knows and meets various historical figures, including Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, Herman Hesse, Butch Cassidy. His acquaintances treat him with great respect, as when a telephone call to Joseph Stalin frees him from arrest when he is threatened with execution on the border of Turkey and Armenia.
Corto's favourite reading is 'Utopia' by Thomas More, but he never finished it. His name is said to be possibly derived from the Venetian Courtyard of the Maltese.
A must see, watch, read; also, check out the new --& old-- posters made available for sale here
In 'Gli Scorpioni del Deserto' (The Desert Scorpions), Corto Maltese is described as disappearing in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.