"When I am working I live in an imaginary world, and after that, as I go to sleep or doze off for a while, I dream - again. Then what is reality? I do not know and I do not even care, and I like it. My characters tell me stories about a world that I like to hear about. Even if I have a nightmare, I know that I will wake up after a couple of minutes."

Hugo Pratt was born June 15, 1927 in Rimini, Italy. He lived in Venice till he was 10, while his father Roland Pratt worked in an italian Abyssinia.

Pratt lived in North Africa from 1937 to 1942, but moved back to Italy when his father died in a British internment camp. He enlisted at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts, but had to break study as he was drafted for the fascist army. He was eventually captured by Australians and put in an internment camp.

In 1945, upon his return to Italy, he made his first comic, "Asso di Picche" (Ace of Pictures), with Mario Faustinelle and Albert Ungaro. Pratt moved to Argentina in 1950, and continued his comic work there, making "Sgt. Kirk", "Ernie Pike" and "Anna della Jungle" (Anna of the Jungle), in 1953, 1956 and 1959 respectively.

Pratt then moved to England, to work for a newspaper in London, but moved back to Italy after a short return to Argentina to edit the magazine "Mister X". In Italy, he began working for Corriere dei Piccoli (the childrens' section of Corriere della Sera), and later for a monthly "Sgt. Kirk" series in 1967. It was during this hectic time that he created "Una Ballata del Mare Salato" (A Ballad of the Pacific Ocean), a World War I story introducing the sea captain Corto Maltese, Pratt's most recognized character.

Corto Maltese became a regular in the Belgian comics magazine "Tintin" (named after Hergé's character), and later published as albums. Corto Maltese is a typical Pratt story, with very changing tempi, sometimes using several pages showing landscapes, sometimes fastpaced fighting sequences.

Pratt has worked with his friend Milo Manara several times, making Indian Summer among other things, and has even acted as a character in some of Manara's books, namely the Guiseppe Bergman stories.

Hugo Pratt died August 20, 1995

See also other Comics creators. Thanks to Albert Herring for some corrections.

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