Hugo Pratt is considered to be one of the greatest among comic artists for his versatile fantasy and use of graphic freedom, and the combination of these factors resulted in very strange stories. In his tales, reality can change into dream and vice-versa, and in this way he took his readers into the strangest lands and even through time. He is thought to be one of the first comic artists to mix literature with adventure. Hugo Pratt has been a great inspiration to comic artists all over the world. In 2002 a full animated feature film was made called 'Corto Maltese: La cour secrète des Arcanes' (2002).
In 1999 the French newspaper Le Monde compiled a list with 100 Books of the Century they considered to be essential reading. The 'Corto Maltese' album 'Ballad of the Salt Sea' ended at 62th place, as one of the few comics in that list.