Corto Maltese. The Early Years
Barely seventeen, Corto finds himself at the side of two incredible characters, the writer Jack London and Rasputin, his future companion of adventures. At the time he is too young to comprehend the importance the two will have in his life, but as he himself admits at the outset, “Today I am able to tell you two or three things about them that I did not understand then.”
“In 1904-1905, during the russo-japanese war, i got to know jack london, and first met rasputin. Two men of extraordinary courage.”
This short adventure tells the backstory when Corto Maltese first meets Rasputin at the end of the Russo- Japanese War in 1905. The protagonist of this tale, actually, is not the 18-year-old Corto, but Rasputin, a deserter from a Siberian rifle regiment, and the writer Jack London, who was a war correspondent in the region at that time.
London is already friends with Corto and introduces the sailor to the unpredictable Russian who even as a young man kills with disconcerting ease and is ready to lie and betray without hesitation. It is, however, “the beginning of a beautiful friendship” that continues throughout the series. As a bonus, the book includes additional material that sets up the entire series, as well as several never- before published pages that Pratt intended for a continuation of the tale, in which Corto and Rasputin were to embark on a search for King Solomon’s mines.