Comic Review: Corto Maltese: Fable of Venice TPB (IDW)

IDW’s English translation of Italian Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese Fable Of Venice is a real eyeopener. It’s a 64-page trade paperback, with color covers and black and white interiors. Corto […]

IDW’s English translation of Italian Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese Fable Of Venice is a real eyeopener. It’s a 64-page trade paperback, with color covers and black and white interiors.

Corto Maltese is a sailor, looking for an emerald in Venice. That said, the search is not a linear adventure. Picture the French artist Moebius meeting film director Stanley Kubrick (Eyes Wide Shut), surrealist Salvador Dali, and animator Walt Disney for supper. Together, their minds might have conjured up this tale of Freemasons, persistent policemen, exotic females, dreamscapes with explorations of the history of the Bible and ancient civilizations, and on and on. But it’s all the product of the mind and hand of Hugo Pratt.

Fable Of Venice, if you are to read every word in every panel, is an exhaustively detailed historical drama, punctuated with fights, shootings, surreal imagining, and the most beautifully realized drawings.

Pratt was a genius in placing shadows in his drawings in just the right place, and for moving the reader from panel to panel so gracefully. The drawings are so well executed and composed.

You really must check out Hugo Pratt’s work in this volume. If you like what you see, there is more of it, four additional books available from IDW’s Euro-Comics. Softcover priced at $19.99

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words… the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let’s see!!