Corto Maltese - Ensemble de Deux Strips "La Jeunesse de Corto" - First edition - (1981)

Corto Maltese - Ensemble de Deux Strips "La Jeunesse de Corto" - First edition - (1981)
Hugo Pratt - 48 cm x 32 cm soit 15 cm x 15 cm par Case - Near mint - 2 Original artwork

All collectors of original illustrations would be very proud to highlight in their library a ‘Strip’ or an ‘Original Plate’ of this remarkable album designed by Hugo Pratt in 1981: ‘La Jeunesse de Corto Maltese’.

As the original illustrations of this album are rare on the market, very few collectors realized that these strips are quite large, 15 x 15 cm, and therefore more than 45 cm x15 cm for a whole strip, which makes the framings very spectacular.

This lot offered in this Catawiki sale is thus quite exceptional, since it does not offer one, but TWO CONSECUTIVE STRIPS in this collector’s auction. Because this lot is framed, this set is really spectacular with the frame included measuring 49 cm x 63 cm, which will allow to make a prestigious decoration element in a private lounge or in a beautiful library.

This album is very famous in Italy and in the French-speaking countries for the following reasons:

- Pre-publication by individual strips in 1982 in Italy (magazine L’internauta: The Gionivezza) and in France (Le Matin de Paris) in 1981 and 1982 (A suivre, Casterman).

- Many publications in albums and reissues, black and white + colour, including illustrations found on the Internet are presented as documentation in this lot.

- Exceptional encounter between Corto Maltese, Rasputin and Jack London to make a mythical trio in the history of the European comics, only in this album.

This strip is very evocative of this famous first war between Russia and Japan from 1904 to 1905 and, especially of this ambivalent atmosphere of end of war which starts from the first plate of this story, with Rasputin killing a Japanese soldier while the end of the war is announced, and will serve as a framework of the whole story...

In this regard, these two strips are especially important in this whole album, since the first panel is the one where Rasputin meets with Jack London:... 

‘Bonjour, Je m’appelle London..... Ah....’

Hugo Pratt had the intelligence to mix fictional characters, such as Corto Maltese,.... with other characters more rooted in reality, such as Jack London, the American... and Rasputin the Russian.

As for the second strip, the last box is quite fundamental in the narrative, since it creates the whole continuation of the story: Rasputin’s crime will not remain as is, since Captain Suto points out that Rasputin wears a Japanese major uniform....

These two large sized strips still carry the original text in Italian language with the original writings of Pratt in pencil, not erased, which is a ‘little miracle’, while these strips were published several times in French in different books (please take a look art the illustrations detailing the successive publications), and the text in Italian could have been erased for the purposes of successive publications, including with the colours of Patricia Zanotti, for the album published by Casterman in 1983, and which pictures are shown for information in this lot.

This very decorative lot is very attractive for Italian or French collectors. It will be perfect in a library with its pretty frame that will enhance the prestige of a large collection.

Guaranteed 100% authentic by Bernard Soetens, international Hergé expert and editor of the sale ‘Catalogue Scriptura’ of comic books and of original illustrations in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for over 25 years, (Catalogue shipped upon request to this remarkable set of two strips by Hugo Pratt is an opportunity to enhance a collection of original high quality illustrations.

Free registered shipping worldwide, and for sure, to Italy...

Lot details
Original artwork
No. of items
Corto Maltese
Ensemble de Deux Strips "La Jeunesse de Corto"
Year oldest item
Near mint
First edition
Hugo Pratt - 48 cm x 32 cm soit 15 cm x 15 cm par Case
Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 50,000 special objects up for auction every week.
or Sign in