Hugo Pratt

Born in 1927 - Italy


Hugo Pratt is a famous comic artist born in 1927 in Rimini, Italy.
His father joined Mussolini's army very early and in 1935, he took his son and wife to Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) just invaded by Italy.
When World War II was triggered, Hugo's father encouraged him it to join the colonial army. He was only 13 years old. His father was captured by the British and died in captivity.
Detained in a prison camp with his mother, Hugo Pratt bought his first "comics" from the guards.

His mother and him were repatriated to Italy in 1943. Until 1946, he did performances and organized shows for the Allies.
Since his childhood, Hugo Pratt loved to read and draw action novels. He was particularly fond of comics by Milton Caniff.
In 1945, he met Mario Faustinelli and Alberto Ongaro who offered him to work for the magazine Albo Uragano by drawing "L'asso di Picche"( "Ace of Spades"). Those days, he began to travel to South America and Europe. "Ace of Spades" was acknowledged by the Argentinian publisher Cesare Civita who decided to publish it in his magazine in Argentina. Hugo Pratt therefore left for Buenos Aires to work.
In 1959 he moved to London. Following this, he decides to leave for Brazil, for Sao Paulo, but eventually returned to Argentina in 1962. However, due to the major economic crisis in the country, he was forced to return to Italy.
In 1967, he met Florenzo Ivaldi who published "Una ballata del mare salato"( "The salty sea Ballade") in his magazine, a written and drawn adventure by Pratt featuring Corto Maltese, a character who later became the iconic hero of the artist.

In 1969, Claude Moliterni offered Hugo Pratt to publish his work in France. The latter then decided to move to Paris. He wanted to use the character Corto Maltese for a cartoon on the theme revolving around travel. He published twenty two episodes of "The Secret of Tristan Bantam.". After a trip to Ethiopia, he returned to France and published "The Ballad of the Salted Sea," which talks about the adventures of the Maltese sailor and is extremely successful. Due to this success, several magazines abroad offer to publish his work.

Hugo Pratt moved to Switzerland in 1985. He kept traveling around the world, and visiting all the continents.

His passion for travels and adventures have a major influence on his work. The comics he created are based on many themes like melancholy, poetry, travel, mystery and adventure. They are like a reflection of his own life, always on the move and full of twists.

In 1995, Hugo Pratt died in Switzerland with colon cancer.

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