Corto Maltese. Beyond the Windy Isles
“If I had to choose between an unpunished crime and a justice like yours…I would choose the former!”
Some hallucinogenic mushrooms, a small suitcase that keeps changing owners, a witch hunt in the middle of the Caribbean, a boy who is trying to evade his fate, and a treasure that has no intention of being found.
Latin America is the stage for these six adventures of Corto: stories that speak of idealists and of the gullible, of traitors and of loyal companions. Six tales that comprise one incredible journey in search of places enveloped in myth–such as the legendary Eldorado–and in pursuit of an impossible goal: that of trying to escape from one’s own self.
“Mushroom Head” begins and ends in Maracaibo, Venezuela, where Corto meets the recurring character of Levi Colombia, an antiquarian obsessed with finding the gold of the legendary Eldorado. “Banana Conga” addresses the struggle of small nations emerging from the yoke of colonialism and introduces the periodic antagonist and assassin Venexiana Stevenson. “Voodoo for the President” moves the action from Barbados to the fictional island of Port Ducal and presents a completely different angle on the struggle for autonomy. The intriguing theme of cowardice is developed in “Sweet Dream Lagoon” when a British deserter ends up among the noxious fumes of a South American jungle. Another jungle, in the Peruvian Amazon, is the site of “A Tale of Two Grandfathers” where Corto and Professor Steiner set off to find a missing white child who is presumed to be living among a tribe of Jivaro headhunters. At each turn, Pratt’s peripatetic sailor finds that there’s a new story beyond another windy isle.
5. A Tale of Two Grandfathers
4. Sweet Dream Lagoon
3. Voodoo for the President
2. Banana Conga
1. Mushroom Head