A great classic of adventure novels meets the unique art of Hugo Pratt in a special limited edition of only 450 copies.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Kidnapped” returns to enchant readers in the magnificent comic book adaptation by the undisputed father of drawn literature.
- Lo Scarabeo, June 2019
- ISBN 978-8865276235
- 30 x 41cm (12″ x 16″), 80 pages, hardcover
- Order online: Amazon
As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc.), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.
Another treasure from my recent Lo Scarabeo order, Il Ragazzo Rapito is an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped first published in Corriere dei Piccoli in 1967. A limited edition of 450, mine is stamped as 280. The complete story is presented in its original art boards along with the colour plates. The colour plates are sometimes full colour and sometimes a singular colour, which is addressed in the preface.
The colouring was done in the editorial office, also because the decision to place the episode on four-colour or three-colour pages was taken at the last moment based on the “rudder” of the magazine and the situation.
The art presents very well, with no softness or visual artifacts. The boards appear to be cropped at the margins with a standard border around every page, bearing Pratt’s signature as a watermark along the bottom. There isn’t a lot of ink applied: it appears to be done with a pen or fine tip and wash applied extensively. Some paste-ups are present and some are gone with only the dried rubber cement remaining. Light use of correction fluid, mostly to fix word balloons. With no margins we have no margin notes, and no gradients in the blacks since that isn’t how Pratt drew this story.
A straight forward design with a strong use of the orange from the cover moving throughout. The two-column text layout allows the reader to keep their focus on a manageable area of these large pages, and helps me with Google Translate. The page border works well for uniformity, and Pratt’s signature is clean and works well here. I continue to wonder why the colour plates are included in a work like this, since most of us don’t have a lightbox to see how it reflects onto the art.
Production is excellent: a sewn binding of thick paper stock with a medium gloss, perhaps 200gsm. The book comes shrink-wrapped. The pages lay flat when the center is smoothed, except for where the signatures meet and are glued. The cover is textured and has an excellent tactile grip.
This work was done for a weekly magazine and the art has the look of something done on a schedule: lacking in finer details, but designed for colour. I’ve read a few times that The Ballad of the Salty Sea art is complete and available: let’s hope for an AE format book of his most famous creation.