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Almost Gone! The first Corto Graphic Novel. Highly Recommended. By Hugo Pratt. With this book Hugo Pratt leaves behind the short story form he’d used for 21 interrelated tales and presents a truly epic graphic novel. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and the First World War, our young adventurer is engaged by the Red Lanterns–a Chinese secret society made up entirely of women–to find an armored train laden with gold that belonged to the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II. But they aren’t the only ones lusting after the treasure. IDW, 2017.

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With this book Hugo Pratt leaves behind the short story form he’d used for 21 interrelated tales and presents a truly epic graphic novel. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and the First World War, our young adventurer is engaged by the Red Lanterns–a Chinese secret society made up entirely of women–to find an armored train laden with gold that belonged to the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II. But they aren’t the only ones lusting after the treasure.

“Corto Maltese was the first European Strip to advance a mature, artistically serious sensibility within the traditional adventure format.” -Kim Thompson.

Handsome Japan-style softcover with cover flaps, color double-page endpaper maps, and a long bio of Pratt.

The adventure, which shifts from the hidden courts of Venice to the mysterious alleys of Hong Kong, from Shanghai to Manchuria and Mongolia to Siberia, also attracts regular and irregular armies, as well as revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries. For the first time, Pratt has the time and space to fully investigate the complicated and competing motivations of his cast that includes the return of Rasputin and the introduction of the cold and dangerous Duchess Marina Seminova. Also the enigmatic warrior/spy Shanghai Lil, and historical figures such as the “Mad Baron” Roman Ugern-Sternberg, a Russian general who sees himself as the modern-day Gengkis Khan.

For anyone unfamiliar with Pratt, if you’ve read this far, he’s a light-hearted amalgum of Terry from Terry and the Pirates, of Roy Crane’s Buz Sawyer, of Captain Easy…but with an Italian twist, traveling the word over in search of diversion, beautiful women, and maybe a bit of treasure along the way.

Features a new translation from Pratt’s original Italian scripts by Dean Mullaney, the Eisner and Harvey Award-wining editor of the Library of American Comics and Simone Castaldi, Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literature at Hofstra, and the author of Drawn and Dangerous: Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s.

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