Monday, September 1, 2014

Death As a Character - Coda # 1

Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), Hugo Pratt (a), Stefan Stocen (c), "Tierra enemiga," Misterix # 345, May 6, 1955.

Readers of Misterix just needed to look at Hugo Pratt's art and Stefan Strocen's colors (with his somewhat reduced warm palette - it's a shame that only 22 out of 120 pages are in color in "El pais de los mungos") to see that something changed for the better in the Sgt. Kirk series at the end of "Tierra Enemiga" [enemy land] (page 104 - 608 of the series above), but especially during most of "El pais de los mungos"' [Mungo country's] run (from issue # 348, May 27, 1955, until issue # 377, December 23, 1955). After that Hugo Pratt's art went in a downfall until his Frontera years (maybe he lost interest in Sgt. Kirk - to the point that, in an interview with Dominique Petitfaux, 1528 pages seemed like 5000 to him). I don't know what happened exactly in Hugo Pratt 's private life during his Abril (and "El Sargento Kirk") years, but he's not known for being a workaholic exactly. Maybe he decided to, at least, moderate his nocturnal adventures in 1955 because this work stands out as some of the best that he ever created. I particularly like how it's Autumn at the end of "Tierra enemiga", with leaves falling from the trees, and the series continues through Winter in "El pais de los mungos", with snow falling and snow covered landscapes (see below).  

Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), Hugo Pratt (a), Stefan Strocen (c),"Tierra enemiga," Misterix # 345, May 6, 1955: Autumn.

Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), Hugo Pratt (a), "El pais de los mungos," Misterix # 359, August 12, 1955: Winter.

What about Oesterheld though? It's not that easy to realize at first sight that a story is greater than the one preceding it. Well, Oesterheld's narrator (see below) charged himself with the task of explaining to us that, after Dinard and General Harper died, this was not "an adventure like the previous ones..." 

Héctor Germán Oesterheld (w), Hugo Pratt (a), Stefan Stocen (c), "El pais de los mungos," Misterix # 356, July 22, 1955.

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