Hugo Pratt’s classic graphic novel The Great Man of the North (also known as Jesuit Joe or L’uomo del Grande Nord) makes its English language debut this month thanks to US publisher IDW.
A graphic masterpiece, this short story was first published in the French magazine Pilote in 1980, then in France as a graphic novel entitled Jésuite Joe, and in Italy as L’uomo del grande nord, published by Dargaud and CEPIM, respectively.
Set in the snowy wastelands of Canada around 1912, The Great Man of the North is a provocative story that deals with complex moral choices. Jesuit Joe, the protagonist, is of French-Canadian and Mohawk descent and is embarked on an obsessive religious search for the Absolute. His actions reflect a disturbed personality with an unorthodox ethical code. He kills with terrible ease and reveals an unmatched cruelty and ferocity, yet when his mood suddenly shifts, he is capable of unexpected acts of kindness and compassion.
He wears the red serge jacket of the Canadian Mounties that he found in a hut — which gives rise to a series of misunderstandings when he is mistaken for a member of the Canadian Mounted Police — and is tracked by his nemesis, Sergeant Fox, whose mission is to capture Jesuit Joe and bring him to justice.
The story has been adapted into a film directed by Olivier Austen and starring French actress Laurence Treil – and this edition also includes additional scenes Pratt created as storyboards for the live-action adaptation, as well as an unfinished second adventure that picks up where the first tale ends.
The Great Man of the North is now available for purchase in specialty comic stores and everywhere else on November 21st.
The Man From the Great North
8.5” x 11”, 112pp., $24.99
• Official Hugo Pratt web site: www.cong-pratt.com/en