Comic strips have origins dating back to ancient times, with illustrations accompanying texts on ancient Egyptian pyramids and ancient Greek papyrus scrolls. However, the comic strip as we know it today emerged in 19th century Europe, with publications like the British magazine Punch featuring serialized caricatures. In the United States, comics experienced significant growth with the publication of Superman in 1938 and Captain America in 1940. These comics were followed by many other superheroes that gained widespread popularity among readers. In Europe, comics evolved in a distinct way with the Belgian school of clear line, which focused on storytelling and visual narration rather than action and special effects. This approach was popularized by authors such as Hergé, the creator of Tintin, and Edgar P. Jacobs, the author of Blake and Mortimer. In France, comics also experienced strong growth, with authors such as Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny creating the famous Asterix and Obelix. In Asia, comic strip form manga has experienced tremendous success, particularly in Japan. Manga is characterized by a unique graphic style and a strong emphasis on emotions and character relationships. It has gained popularity worldwide and has contributed to the growth of comics as a recognized art form. In France, comics have been considered the "9th art" since the 1950s due to their narrative and artistic nature. Before this, the visual arts were generally considered to include eight categories: painting, sculpture, architecture, music, dance, poetry, theater, and cinema. Comics have been recognized as a form of art in their own right, deserving a place among these eight traditional arts.
Hugo Pratt is an Italian comic book author, designated for the creation of the series Corto Maltese, sailor and adventurer, who travels through the history of the beginning of the 20th century.
A sort of alter ego of Pratt, himself a great traveler, born in Italy, having grown up in Abyssinia, a soldier of Mussolini at the age of 13, interned in an English camp in Ethiopia two years later, he has everything himself from a adventurer... But also of a narrator who admitted to having many ways of telling his own life; without always wanting to disentangle the true from the false.
It was in 1967 that Corto Maltese was born and Hugo Pratt rose to fame; his work, which goes far beyond recognition, must evolve into comics.