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Private investigator John Blacksad is up to his feline ears in mystery, digging into the backstories behind murders, child abductions, and nuclear secrets. Guarnido's sumptuously painted pages and rich cinematic style bring the world of 1950s America to vibrant life, with Canales weaving in fascinating tales of conspiracy, racial tension, and the "red scare" Communist witc Private investigator John Blacksad is up to his feline ears in mystery, digging into the backstories behind murders, child abductions, and nuclear secrets. Guarnido's sumptuously painted pages and rich cinematic style bring the world of 1950s America to vibrant life, with Canales weaving in fascinating tales of conspiracy, racial tension, and the "red scare" Communist witch hunts of the time. Guarnido reinvents anthropomorphism in these pages, and industry colleagues no less than Will Eisner, Jim Steranko, and Tim Sale are fans! Whether John Blacksad is falling for dangerous women or getting beaten to within an inch of his life, his stories are, simply put, unforgettable. * Dark Horse is very proud to present the first three Blacksad stories in a beautiful hardcover collection, completely relettered to the artist's specifications and with the latest album, Red Soul, in English for the very first time. * This internationally acclaimed series has won nearly a dozen prestigious awards — including the Angoulême Comics Festival prizes for Best Series and Best Artwork-and is a three-time Eisner Award nominee.


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Private investigator John Blacksad is up to his feline ears in mystery, digging into the backstories behind murders, child abductions, and nuclear secrets. Guarnido's sumptuously painted pages and rich cinematic style bring the world of 1950s America to vibrant life, with Canales weaving in fascinating tales of conspiracy, racial tension, and the "red scare" Communist witc Private investigator John Blacksad is up to his feline ears in mystery, digging into the backstories behind murders, child abductions, and nuclear secrets. Guarnido's sumptuously painted pages and rich cinematic style bring the world of 1950s America to vibrant life, with Canales weaving in fascinating tales of conspiracy, racial tension, and the "red scare" Communist witch hunts of the time. Guarnido reinvents anthropomorphism in these pages, and industry colleagues no less than Will Eisner, Jim Steranko, and Tim Sale are fans! Whether John Blacksad is falling for dangerous women or getting beaten to within an inch of his life, his stories are, simply put, unforgettable. * Dark Horse is very proud to present the first three Blacksad stories in a beautiful hardcover collection, completely relettered to the artist's specifications and with the latest album, Red Soul, in English for the very first time. * This internationally acclaimed series has won nearly a dozen prestigious awards — including the Angoulême Comics Festival prizes for Best Series and Best Artwork-and is a three-time Eisner Award nominee.

30 review for Blacksad

  1. 4 out of 5

    π

    If it`s true that cats have nine lives, then John Blacksad must have a few dozen. A new world, which is now almost like a zoo... Private investigator John Blacksad has a job to do, which is more than just being a detective. With interesting adventures and beautiful artwork, this graphic novel is not-to-be-missed. If it`s true that cats have nine lives, then John Blacksad must have a few dozen. A new world, which is now almost like a zoo... Private investigator John Blacksad has a job to do, which is more than just being a detective. With interesting adventures and beautiful artwork, this graphic novel is not-to-be-missed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List I LOVED THIS BOOK! So the first comic in the book is called: SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE SHADOWS One of John Blacksad's old flames was found dead, her name was Natalia. At one time they were very happy together. But.. Chief Smirnov doesn't want John to get involved, he doesn't listen of course and sets out to find out what happened. He starts by asking some old friends etc. When the story gets more tricky, the chief tells John to get more involved in such a good way. MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List I LOVED THIS BOOK! So the first comic in the book is called: SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE SHADOWS One of John Blacksad's old flames was found dead, her name was Natalia. At one time they were very happy together. But.. Chief Smirnov doesn't want John to get involved, he doesn't listen of course and sets out to find out what happened. He starts by asking some old friends etc. When the story gets more tricky, the chief tells John to get more involved in such a good way. I'm out of the game, but you're not. This is my proposition: Eliminate the murdering son of a bitch and I'll personally cover your back. I love the story and I love the graphics! The next comic in the book is called: ARCTIC NATION Blacksad makes a friend called Weekly, he's a reporter, and although he didn't care for him too much in the beginning, they did become friends. One of the school teachers, Miss Grey, asks Blacksad to look into a little girl (Kaylie) that is missing, but no one, not even her mom has filed a report. Blacksad has no idea he has fallen into a crazy race thing with a bunch of psycho's! It's pretty bad, with people getting killed left and right, hanged in the street or where ever. It's a lot more than just a little girl going missing, but they are all entangled together. It all works out in the end though :-) Not so good for some people though! The last comic in the book is called: REDSOUL This one has to do with a scientist, but once again this goes even deeper. It goes all the way back to Hitler's day! It was a little bit confusing to me, but it was still good. Blacksad gets a little hookup with a lady, but she disappears when some stuff goes down and there seems to be a lot of different things going on... I mean this book is just so awesome! I want to get more, I love the the characters, the graphics, all of it. I really love Blacksad and to me, the way he talks his thoughts out in the book at points make me think of Sin City for some reason :-) It's so good and I highly recommend for all Graphic Novel fantatics!! FYI: Not for younger kids with the sex and violence!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hellen

    Okay, Blacksad. So, I recommend this book for people who love beautifully drawn graphic novels. I also recommend it for people who love andromorphism. And I recommend it to people who'd like a visual example of what's problematic about the way women and men are portrayed. Now I'll start with what I liked about this book, just to get it out of the way. The art. The aht. It's wonderful. I think it may be my all-time favorite. The stories aren't bad either. Read this a while back, can't say anything Okay, Blacksad. So, I recommend this book for people who love beautifully drawn graphic novels. I also recommend it for people who love andromorphism. And I recommend it to people who'd like a visual example of what's problematic about the way women and men are portrayed. Now I'll start with what I liked about this book, just to get it out of the way. The art. The aht. It's wonderful. I think it may be my all-time favorite. The stories aren't bad either. Read this a while back, can't say anything more substantial about those. So, now for the reason I'm writing this review in the first place. In the introduction Steranko writes the following. "In Blacksad's world, the characters are generally unconcerned about their zoological differences; they are cast for their natures and personalities. To the perceptive reader, it's almost impossible not to see a trace of slinky Lauren Bacall in Natalia Wilford or burly Ernie Borgnine in Jake Ostiombe or slippery James Woods in the lizard. It's no accident that, down to the last bit player, they've all been visually crafted to reflect their intrinsic qualities - which might just qualify as overt symbolism." Okay Steranko. This is the breakdown of (sub)species displayed by women and men, including back-ground figures, exluding undetailed ones Women: Cat (14), Bear (5), Dog (17), Giraffe (1), Goat (3), Mouse (2), Ostrich (1), Pig (1), Zebra (1). Men: Arctic fox (1), Alligator (2), Anteater (2), Antilope (1), Bear (7), Beaver, (3), Buffalo (1), Carrion (1), Cat (3), Chicken (1), Crocodile (1), Dog (38), Donkey (2), Duck (4), Eagle (1), Ferret (1), Fox (2), Goat (1), Gorilla (3), Great tit (1), Hare (1), Hippo (1), Horse (1), Hyena (1), Koala (1), Lion (1), Lizard (6), Lynx (1), Mouse (3), Orang-Utan (5), Owl (3), Parrot (1), Pig (2), Polar bear (1), Rabbit (1), Raccoon (1), Ram (4), Rat (5), Rhino (1), Ring-tailed lemur (1), Sheep (1), Seal (3), Snake (1), Swine (2), Toad (1), Tiger (white) (1), Turtle (3), Weasel (2), Wolf (2), Zebra (1) There's several ways to interpret this. This is a noir, taking place in the 1950's, and according to that tradition, there's approximately 3 women in the world - your ma, your girlfriend, and your enemy's girlfriend. The frequency is not the point. The diversity is the point. As Steranko points out in an entirely different context in the introduction; the zoology is chosen to typecast. If we assume that every species illustrates something - a race, a power position, a personality trait - then what does this say about females? And this has been discussed before, but in this book it's just so painfully obvious; females are seen as females first, but males are seen as diverse as they are. Even the women thatare in the book are barely animal - it's hard to tell female cats from dogs and even cats from goats when they all have human-style long head hair and no visible fur elsewhere, unlike the males of their species. All of the "main" female characters are cats, and there's one bear that doesn't look like a bear besides the cute round ears. The point is that they are female before the species they are portrayed as, and if the male species are chosen to illustrate some sort of trait, then it seems like being female is a trait, reducing an equally diverse part of the population to their gender. Please just let me be some sort of Corvidae. In short; absolutely amazing art, okay story, but I will not be pulling this out of the closet for anyone to see for that reason. It's because it makes a wonderful example of how women are portrayed as belonging to their gender before any other, much more interesting traits.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sean Gibson

    I’ve always had a thing for anthropomorphic animals. Not a perverted thing, mind you—though that Cheetara chick from Thundercats was pretty smoking hot…no, no; I’m not even going to pretend on that one. That’s just weird, for two reasons (well, two amongst many, really): 1) she’s a cartoon character in a show where dialogue moves about as fast as my brain when it’s trying to figure out exactly what the hell a cosine is; and 2) she’s a creepy person/cheetah hybrid who probably has strange lady pa I’ve always had a thing for anthropomorphic animals. Not a perverted thing, mind you—though that Cheetara chick from Thundercats was pretty smoking hot…no, no; I’m not even going to pretend on that one. That’s just weird, for two reasons (well, two amongst many, really): 1) she’s a cartoon character in a show where dialogue moves about as fast as my brain when it’s trying to figure out exactly what the hell a cosine is; and 2) she’s a creepy person/cheetah hybrid who probably has strange lady parts that would totally gross me out (not to mention her vigorous and animalistic lovemaking would probably do considerable damage to my delicate giggleberries). Wait, where was I going with this? Oh, right. So, ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved talking animals, whether we’re talking about the slapstick of Looney Tunes, the high drama of Watership Down, or the absurdity of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (okay, so, those aren’t animals…but they sure are anthropomorphic). That fascination has carried on into adulthood, and it may explain, at least in part, why I dug Blacksad. Still, whether you have a talking animal fetish or not, this is excellent storytelling—high-quality art that combines realism with animation techniques, a spot-on noir feel, and stories that contain a mix of big ideas, hard realities, and small moments of levity. Recommended for those in need of some non-superhero comic fun and/or a break from contemplating Miss Piggy for purposes of self-pleasure (not that I’ve ever done that…ahem).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lono

    1 part Walt Disney, 2 parts Raymond Chandler, and 3 parts Kentucky Bourbon. Blacksad is so good I’m definitely going back for a 2nd round. Almost took a pass on this one. Being a father, I’ve read my fair share of children’s books and when I saw that all the characters are animals I almost put this one back on the shelf. Stupid because this shit is GREAT and it’s NO fuckin’ kid’s book. Blacksad smacks of old school noir at its finest. This one's neck deep in double crosses, femme fatales, shitt 1 part Walt Disney, 2 parts Raymond Chandler, and 3 parts Kentucky Bourbon. Blacksad is so good I’m definitely going back for a 2nd round. Almost took a pass on this one. Being a father, I’ve read my fair share of children’s books and when I saw that all the characters are animals I almost put this one back on the shelf. Stupid because this shit is GREAT and it’s NO fuckin’ kid’s book. Blacksad smacks of old school noir at its finest. This one's neck deep in double crosses, femme fatales, shitty bars, dirty cops, rough sex, and dangerous thugs. Juan Diaz Canales provides some of the most entertaining noir I’ve read in any crime novel. The book is a collection of 3 short stories about the private eye, John Blacksad. He’s a cat. That’s the Disney part. Every character in the book is an animal. This was the part I struggled with the most at the start. Don’t let it stop you from getting this book, it’s actually one of the parts I ended up liking the most. Jim Steranko’s introduction said it best when he wrote that while many stories have animals that “act like people, the creators approach is predicated on people who resemble animals.” This was something really unique about this book. The artwork is unbelievable. I really can’t say enough good things about Juanjo Guarnido’s stuff. Ironically, he actually has worked for Disney animation and it shows. He was an instant favorite of mine and a ridiculously talented artist. His stuff speaks for itself. This hardback collection is a must read for any fan of crime fiction, noir, or books like Criminal, Sin City, 100 Bullets, or Darwyn Cooke’s Parker. If you’re a fan of any of that stuff, it’s a sure bet your gonna like this book. Get this review and more at:

  6. 4 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    [9/10] re-read to refresh my memory, in anticipation of volume 5 I am glad to report that the series has lost none of it’s initial appeal, six year after I first followed private investigator John Blacksad through the dark alleyways and rundown tenements of his antropomorphic version of “Sin City”. A black-furred brawling tomcat in a Humprey Bogart trenchcoat is pursuing the murderers of his former flame, a curvaceous feline movie star with a taste for the night life of the city. On one side of t [9/10] re-read to refresh my memory, in anticipation of volume 5 I am glad to report that the series has lost none of it’s initial appeal, six year after I first followed private investigator John Blacksad through the dark alleyways and rundown tenements of his antropomorphic version of “Sin City”. A black-furred brawling tomcat in a Humprey Bogart trenchcoat is pursuing the murderers of his former flame, a curvaceous feline movie star with a taste for the night life of the city. On one side of the law we have an Alsacian dog captain and a foxy faced lieutenant, on the other alligators, lizards, rats ans other cold blooded reptiles, with some support from hired muscles like rhinoceros and mountain gorillas. In the middle, the cat with the bad atitude and the hard-edged monologues. For the plot alone, I don’t think I can justify the top rating. The series really stands out through its artwork. Guarnido knows how to work with light and shadow, and he has studied the unusual angles of the camera from the classic movies – all reflected in his detailed environments, but his true specialty is faces. There is more diversity, expressivity, emotion and body language in the anthropomorphic characters of Guarnido than in any other comic album I have read lately, even compared with the classic penmanship of John Buscema (Conan) or the pastels of Gibrat. Maybe Alex Ross is better, but I know he works from photographs. In this omnibus edition are included: - Somewhere Between the Shadows : Blacksad investigates the murder of a famous actress and former love interest - Arctic Nation : the cat tries to find a missing child, getting caught in a turf war between white supremacists (arctic bear, arctic fox, white bulldog, white ox, etc) and street gangs (black dog, black horse ... you get the picture) - Red Soul Blacksad falls in love with a beautiful writer (some sort of feline), but she is part of a leftist group that is suspected of trying to steal nuclear secrets. References to McCarthysm are very thinly disguised. Inspired by American classic noir movies and novels, produced by a couple of young and extremely talented Spanish artists, the albums first gained fame in France, with its own long history of noir films and novels (Jean Gabin for me is a forerunner of the genre, Truffaut and Goddard revigorated it in the sixties, etc). I have bought the fourth and fifth volumes on my last vacation in Paris, and I can’t wait to get started on them. Recommended for fans of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and for lovers of finely drawn comic books.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Seth T.

    John Blacksad is a cat. Or, at least, he is cattish. And not like kitty-cattish but big-cattish. He's dark and comely, like Bagheera. Maybe he's sort of a pantherish guy. And that's the thing. For all his cattishness or pantherishness, he's definitely a guy—a tough guy with brimfuls of moxie and the good sense to wear a hat that matches his attire. I'm not particularly well-schooled in the history of literally anthropomorphized animals (or are they zoomorphized humans?). There may be some long an John Blacksad is a cat. Or, at least, he is cattish. And not like kitty-cattish but big-cattish. He's dark and comely, like Bagheera. Maybe he's sort of a pantherish guy. And that's the thing. For all his cattishness or pantherishness, he's definitely a guy—a tough guy with brimfuls of moxie and the good sense to wear a hat that matches his attire. I'm not particularly well-schooled in the history of literally anthropomorphized animals (or are they zoomorphized humans?). There may be some long and storied tradition stretching back centuries, but for the time being let's talk about cartoon animal development over the course of the last hundred years. With George Herrimann's Krazy Kat and later Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks' Steamboat Willie, talking animals (usually living the lives of normal people) became more and more popular. Then there came Donald Duck and Bugs and Daffy and a whole proliferation of non-human humans. Many of these were successful and both the newspaper strips and cartoon circuit were inundated with the enjoyable interactions and stories of innumerable Uncle Scrooges, Wile E. Coyotes, and Pogos. By the '70s the trend, while entrenched, began to wear thin. Maybe it was Kennedy. Maybe it was Vietnam. Maybe it was Nixon. At any rate, funny animals comics began to seem juvenile and stopped capturing attention (save for twisted outliers like Fritz the Cat). And just as with every trope that begins to stale through overuse, continued success demanded either renovation or subversion. The '80s marked a revival of the anthropomorphs and gave the idea a new* twist: the animals were no longer funny. (Or if they were, then at the least that was not their primary attribute.) The independent comics scene was flooded with books like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Omaha the Cat Dancer, and Cerebus. One particular book, Usagi Yojimbo , did something kind of neat that I hadn't seen elsewhere previously: creator Stan Sakai put some effort into pairing characters' personality types with appropriate animal representation. So Gen, the grizzled and tough bounty hunter, is a rhinoceros and Hebi, the sly and duplicitous lord, is a snake. (Amusingly the worst villain of the series, Lord Hikiji, is a human.) Check out John Blacksad in the doorway admiring the view. Blacksad creators, Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido, have taken anthropomorphized animals to the destination for which I believe they must have always been intended. Mickey Mouse (who rarely exhibited any mouselike qualities) was merely a nascent form in the evolutionary process of the anthropomorphization of animals, something like the nadir of the genre where Blacksad is the zenith. Guarnido's characters are to be loved with the heart, studied with the mind, and ravished with the eyes. The artist makes the polar-bearish character move and act like a polar-bear person might. The weasely, ferrety rag-journalist acts and moves both weasely and ferrety. Crow-people, lizard-people, tiger-people, turtles, rabbits, rhinos, a German shepherd: they all inhabit their animal skins pretty much as you expect. Which brings us to John Blacksad. Blacksad's animal avatar is a dark panther with white muzzle. He's got plenty of feline qualities (curiosity, predatory nature, fleet violence, and a certain sleekness to his movements), all of which contribute to his occupation as a private dick. He's got luck with the ladies—though perhaps not enough that he can ever keep one for long. He's a tough-bitten customer, but leans toward acts of charity that tend to get him beaten up more than he deserves. Essentially, he's a young Philip Marlowe (maybe Big Sleep-era), only with less verbal wit and penchant for dialogical gymnastics. This volume of the Spanish creators' noirish tales collects three separately published stories about the cattish detective. The first is a standard revenge pursuit (like the first volume of Sin City), the second twists a kidnapping in with WWII-era klansmanship, and the third deals with McCarthyism, immigrant thinkers, and the Bomb. None of the stories are particularly novel, but each is visually well-spoken enough that most readers will never mind. While the mysteries rarely keep ahead of astute readers, the real fun is in devouring this lush, over-detailed world—and the beasts that inhabit it. The Artic Nation will rise again! You shall know them by their pelts. Guarnido is an incredible artist. Not only are his character designs prodigy-level, but his use of these figures is completely liquid. His miniature biography reveals that he's trained in animation. It shows. Characters move in believable, extra-human mannerisms, filling the space of their panels with regality or temerity or fury or pathos or joie de vivre—with whatever aura their stories demand. Guarnido's sense of locale is likewise impeccable, and he supplies a full-fledged world for these denizens to inhabit. And all of this is painted in palettes wholly suitable to moods governed by story concerns. Honestly, I can't say enough kind things about the art. It's simply magnificent. Spooky. Additionally, Dark Horse did a wonderful job in packaging here. The book is gorgeous. It's sturdy and oversized, meaning it will take many multiple readings in which the reader carefully pours over every large drawing before it finally, reluctantly falls apart (if only to prove universal laws of entropy). The only downside is that it doesn't contain four Blacksad stories. Or eight. Or thirty. I can't get enough. No furs allowed, silly. Notes * Of course, doing serious zoomorphs in comics wasn't entirely new. But this was probably the first time it became wildly popular. Eventually, though, even the over-serious TMNT became a kids' show and moved back toward the silly/funny animal zone. _____________________ [Review courtesy of Good Ok Bad]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is the English edition - which in fact contains the first three volumes in one (Blacksad, Artic nation & Red Soul) There are many things I could say about this book but I think the number of accolades and awards this book has collected both in the English version and its original French format speak far more. The quality and attention to details I think are astonishing and I wonder how long each image let alone the story took to design and assemble. The story is also highly engrossing - set This is the English edition - which in fact contains the first three volumes in one (Blacksad, Artic nation & Red Soul) There are many things I could say about this book but I think the number of accolades and awards this book has collected both in the English version and its original French format speak far more. The quality and attention to details I think are astonishing and I wonder how long each image let alone the story took to design and assemble. The story is also highly engrossing - set in the typical noir style of so many gumshoe detective stories - not only do you get a sumptuous book with gorgeous artwork but you also get a trilogy of engrossing stories which really make you want to engage with the characters. And this brings us full circle back to the praise this book and the various editions have collected - its a pleasure to see and read and a great edition to my collection. IF you are looking for something different this a great book to divert yourself too.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    This volume collects the first three graphic novels in the award-winning Blacksad series, which follows the adventures of cool cat private detective John Blacksad as he navigates the 1950's; fighting crime, righting wrongs, and bedding down some sexy pussycats while he's at it. It reads like the classic hard-boiled tales of Chandler, Hammet, and Spillane, with many familiar genre conventions on display. In the debut story, Somewhere Within The Shadows , John investigates the violent death of a This volume collects the first three graphic novels in the award-winning Blacksad series, which follows the adventures of cool cat private detective John Blacksad as he navigates the 1950's; fighting crime, righting wrongs, and bedding down some sexy pussycats while he's at it. It reads like the classic hard-boiled tales of Chandler, Hammet, and Spillane, with many familiar genre conventions on display. In the debut story, Somewhere Within The Shadows , John investigates the violent death of a beautiful actress, who also happens to be an old flame of his. It's a great intro to the character and the world, even if it's a little too simple and pretty derivative by design. The next story, Arctic Nation , is an overall improvement with higher stakes and deeper themes, as Blacksad searches for a missing child in a town brimming with racial tension. It's the best story in the collection. And the final story, Red Soul , finds our hero in the middle of a conspiracy involving Communist witch-hunts and the nuclear fear that was everywhere during that time period. I like that Canales tries to expand his stories beyond just detective tales and tackle bigger issues. Although storywise there really isn't much that's new and original here, if you enjoy hard-boiled mystery stories, you'll love this. The real star here is the drop-dead gorgeous, Eisner-Award-winning artwork by Juanjo Guarnido, who laces every page with lovingly detailed watercolors. The whole thing is a real pleasure to look at and I can gaze at these spreads all day. A must-have on bookshelves.

  10. 5 out of 5

    William Thomas

    A recommendation from Stan Lee on the cover. A private-eye packing heat and nine lives. I figured I'd give it a try. Typically, anthropomorphism in stories makes my stomach turn. I find it hard to swallow outside of Aesop's fables, Disney movies or general mythology. I thinks it's cheesy, not experimental. There is hardly ever a time when the characters in those stories are animals for any specific purpose. They mainly act like humans, talk like humans, walk like humans. Their animal traits are A recommendation from Stan Lee on the cover. A private-eye packing heat and nine lives. I figured I'd give it a try. Typically, anthropomorphism in stories makes my stomach turn. I find it hard to swallow outside of Aesop's fables, Disney movies or general mythology. I thinks it's cheesy, not experimental. There is hardly ever a time when the characters in those stories are animals for any specific purpose. They mainly act like humans, talk like humans, walk like humans. Their animal traits are muted and it makes me wonder to what end? Why then make the story about anthropomorphic animals instead of humans? I get it. Sometimes we need to see something at a distance to ge tthe point. Sometimes we need to see animals acting in a human fashion, acting out things like race-hatred and greed to see just how inane some of these things are in real life. But for the most part, I feel it is wholly uneccessary. But here was a gorgeous graphic novel that I just couldn't put down and read straight through. Set against a backdrop like a Hollywood pulp movie right out of the 40's or 50's, this book packs a lot of punches. The main character, Blacksad, is a private investigator who practically mimicks Chandler's Marlowe, right down to the sappings and blackouts and running into trouble with the law. But even as a near clone of Marlowe, I didn't see it as a negative. Yes, the book is derivative of almost every wise-ass PI ever came out of the 50's. But it was so solid, so very tangible, that it felt like it was written right alongside those characters and not 50 years after. It had everything that made 50's noir so fantastic- predatory bad guys, femme fatales, murder, vengeance, darkened alleys and city streets, cocked guns and cocked fists. You can call it derivative all you like, but that in and of itself isn't a criticism. This work speaks at volumes so high, it drowns out all of those voices in your head telling you that it's just a recreation of something lost and gone. Like when you watch a Tarantino film. Yes, the entire first scene of Inglorious Basterds is stolen from John Fords The Searchers. But while you're watching it, it's just so good that you don't give two shits. As for the art, I have to give thanks to such a masterful hand. It didn't matter one single bit that these were anthropomorphic animals. Every line on the paper was fluid, creating movement in every panel that tricked your brain into thinking you were watching a live-action movie. The art was just absolutely brilliant. It was exaggerated in certain aspects, especially in the facial expressions and movements of the characters, in order to make us understand without a doubt what was happening in each and every panel. There was no ambiguity in the artwork or panelling. The color tones are purposefully washed out to remind us of what a throwback the setting is supposed to be. But when you look at the art, page after page, you see how vibrant it really is no matter the washed out color. Guarnido knows exactly what he's doing when he puts the inks on top of those colors because the contrast could knock you out of your seat. And that's really what the art in this book is all about- contrast. The contrast of the facial expressions and the action to the muted colors. The contrast of the line and action. The contrast of the colors to the stark black inks. A highly recommended book for anyone who enjoys noir, pulp, anthropomorphism, guns, booze and broads.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kogiopsis

    'Fables of the Flying City' is on hiatus. Objectively, I know this is for a very good reason - like, say, Jared Axelrod writing all the episodes of the next season so that there's no delay in them being released. Subjectively, I want more podcast NOW PLEASE. So it's a good thing that while the hiatus is going on, Axelrod is doing another sort of podcast, with the assistance of a graphic novel artist. They're calling it 'Jared and Steven Like Comics', and it's released two reviews of graphic novel 'Fables of the Flying City' is on hiatus. Objectively, I know this is for a very good reason - like, say, Jared Axelrod writing all the episodes of the next season so that there's no delay in them being released. Subjectively, I want more podcast NOW PLEASE. So it's a good thing that while the hiatus is going on, Axelrod is doing another sort of podcast, with the assistance of a graphic novel artist. They're calling it 'Jared and Steven Like Comics', and it's released two reviews of graphic novels to date. 'Blacksad' was the second one reviewed, so naturally when it caught my eye at the library today I simply could not pass it up. I pretty much agree with everything those two said in their review, but since not everyone is going to go out and listen to it (even though they should, and then go on to Fables of the Flying City because it's awesomes) I guess I just have to write my own review. Damn. Anyhow, first off: an objection. This is something that was mentioned in the podcast, and I'm not sure I would have noticed it if they hadn't made note of it - but then again, it's pretty annoying, so maybe I would have. All the characters are anthropomorphic animals. This is fine - except that the main female characters are drawn more as humans with ears and maybe a tail than they are as actual animals, whereas all the males and lesser characters of any gender are very clearly animals first, human-like second. It's clear just from the first page, the cover of the story 'Somewhere within the Shadows', where the extremely feline Blacksad, our main character, is standing with a rather human - if cat-eared - woman. The biggest difference is in the eyes, I think, because his look like animal eyes (if not necessarily cat eyes, at least in that particular image) but hers look extremely human. She even has distinct eyelashes and eyebrows! And her mouth is a human mouth, not a cat's. This is annoying. It's part of a pattern, too. Main female characters rarely appear in poses that aren't sexually suggestive and anatomically impossible - last time I checked, spines did not bend that way - and in the sex scenes, much is made of the female body. (I was particularly annoyed with one in which the woman was completely naked and Blacksad was almost fully clothed - wtf?) It's a very European book, by the way, so if you're a sensitive American reader offended by nipples and other such things, beware. That being said, I can understand why it's drawn this way. Blacksad is very much a child of the old-school detective story, with the hard-bitten loner sleuth who sleeps his way through a city full of beautiful women and eventually loses all of them. He's the usual 'every girl wants to be with him, every guy wants to be him' sort, too - at one point this is shown, in a scene where he walks down a hallway in a university. Only his torso is visible in the panel, so the reader's eyes are drawn to the people around him - of which all the girls are staring with wide appreciative eyes and all the guys are glaring. Since this book is... well, not quite a satire, but not entirely played straight either... I'll let it slide. However, this kind of hero does generally annoy me. Blacksad himself is a cut above the usual stock in that he is a generally likeable guy, but that doesn't give him or his creators complete free liscense. One of the interesting things about this book is that it's sort of historically based - names are changed, but it's hard to miss the Joe McCarthy character, or the Alan Ginsburg - and in some ways (the third story) this works out beautifully. In others (the second) it's not a very good canvas. Racial tension could work in a world of anthropomorphized animals, but making it straight 'whites versus blacks' doesn't really work given the variety of colors and markings displayed by different species. Also, the fact that race doesn't play into the first story makes the second feel really jarring. Blacksad is, as his name might suggest, a black panther - if racism was a part of this world, we should have seen something of it in the first part. On the positive side, the art in this book is really quite lovely. All the characters are interestingly drawn, other objections aside, and the colors are gorgeous. Some scenes are extremely compelling - one, in particular, of a crowd in Las Vegas watching a mushroom cloud (presumably from White Sands, though there's no evidence that such a test would actually have been visible in Vegas). All the characters are expressive and show their emotions well, which makes some scenes compelling. There's one who goes pretty much crazy and his breakdown scene is difficult to read. Talk about epitomizing the atmosphere of the Red Scare. There's also a nice clever dig at writing tropes - in the scene where a character is explaining his actions to Blacksad, our hero is visible in the background looking more and more confused as the other continues to speak. (Seriously, why is it hereos always understand the metaphorical musings of someone else without any effort?) All in all - a decent comic. Very well-drawn, somewhat less well-plotted. The third story is the best, I think. This is not one to pick up if you're in the mood for comedy, but it's also not an extremely challenging read. Some mature content - brains get blown out and people have sex, and both things occur on the page. Like I said... European. Blacksad is an interesting character and while I'm not sure he could carry a longer story without some genuine development, he definitely manages this relatively short trio. The mysteries aren't the focus of each part, by the way - it's really more about characters, which is fine. One last note: the second story features some KKK-related scenes. Vivid ones. There are hanging bodies. This is a particular kind of unpleasant for some people, so I might as well mention it. You can also probably skip the second story without missing anything relevant to the third, so don't let it stop you from reading the others.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    Noir stories that deal with contemporary issues like racism, the Holocaust,etc, along the way.... the stories are solid, interesting, compelling, if you like crime stories... but the twist is that these are animals dressed as humans as main characters.... Given THAT change, there isn't that much about the fact that they are animals that fundamentally changes the pretty standard plot structure. But the real greatness of this work is the gorgeous art, each frame a sumptuous painting. Really fine w Noir stories that deal with contemporary issues like racism, the Holocaust,etc, along the way.... the stories are solid, interesting, compelling, if you like crime stories... but the twist is that these are animals dressed as humans as main characters.... Given THAT change, there isn't that much about the fact that they are animals that fundamentally changes the pretty standard plot structure. But the real greatness of this work is the gorgeous art, each frame a sumptuous painting. Really fine work.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ΕιζΝιnΕ

    Guarnido and Canales Create the Best European Comic of the 'New' Millennium Artist Juanjo Guarnido met writer Juan Diaz Canales while both men worked as key artists and conceptual designers at Disney's now defunct Animation Studio in Spain. Canales makes the transition from artist to writer amazingly well; the sheer brilliance of Guarnido's artwork in Blacksad make it easy to miss just how damn good the plotting and dialogue are, capturing the mood and culture of cold-war America as the grip of Guarnido and Canales Create the Best European Comic of the 'New' Millennium Artist Juanjo Guarnido met writer Juan Diaz Canales while both men worked as key artists and conceptual designers at Disney's now defunct Animation Studio in Spain. Canales makes the transition from artist to writer amazingly well; the sheer brilliance of Guarnido's artwork in Blacksad make it easy to miss just how damn good the plotting and dialogue are, capturing the mood and culture of cold-war America as the grip of the Red Scare tightens. The artistic education Guarnido acquired at Disney serves him well here, his anthropomorphic animal characters displaying the exaggerated facial expressions of films like 'The Jungle Book', but adapted for the detailed line-work and painted coloring of 'Bande Dessinee' masters like Milo Manara, Vittorio Giardino, and Liberatore. This exquisitely designed omnibus edition, published in English for the first time since 'I-Books' attepted it several years ago, collects the first three European albums. Printed on heavy, glossy, high-quality paper (Dark Horse, unlike DC, spares no expense producing their deluxe hardcovers; even their TPB's are higher-grade), Guarnido's art is displayed to excellent effect, capturing his subtle palette and intricate representation of light and shadow. The three stories in this 190-page collection deal with racist conspiracies and shocking secrets, drug dealers and junkie musicians, the red scare and the political witch-hunts that followed - don't let the animals fool you; this is hard boiled comics-noir in the tradition of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Jim Thompson. Despite the comic-relief characters like Blacksad's driver/sidekick, this is a serious book aimed squarely at an adult audience; using animals to tell a tale has precedents like George Orwell's 'Animal Farm', Art Spiegelman's 'Maus', and Bryan Talbot's 'Grandville'; it is a device used for pointed satire and making relentlessly dark material more palatable... it is also a very clever way of building emotional bonds between characters and readers - the instinctive affection people possess for cats, dogs, and horses make them perfect choices for protagonist roles; the qualities we naturally ascribe to these species are automatically ascribed to the character as well, an instantaneous rapport requiring no exposition, Conversely, we know the bear is a powerhouse, mostly good-hearted, but tempermental and capable of sickening violence; the crocodile, the vulture, & the wolf - all make excellent villains, known as indiscriminate predators and scavengers. Canales and Guarnido use these shortcuts to character development efficiently, unafraid to subvert our preconceptions and surprise us. As great as the stories are, the standout is Juanjo Guarnido's art. He is one of the greatest artists in the history of the medium, breathing the same rarefied air as Moebius, Giardino, Ladronn, Geof Darrow, Manara, Charles Burns, Mezzo, Killoffer, Dave Cooper, Jim Woodring, Schuiten, Thomas Ott, Paul Pope, Eduardo Risso, J.H.Williams III, Katsuhiro Otomo, Katsuya Terada, Blanquet, Blutch, Crumb, Joost Swarte, Jordi Bernet, Alex Toth, Gene Colan, John Severin, Will Elder, Al Feldstein, Alex Raymond, Hal Foster, Milt Caniff, Geo Herriman, and Winsor McCay...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mohammed

    The rating is mostly for the art that is stunning, original and its own storyteller. John Blacksad almost doesn't need the writing to be a compelling PI hero. The writing is good too and the stories are among the coolest hardboiled PI comics. The world is so atmosphere rich, alive and the charcters are so humanlike. The first story is lightwight and simple PI story but the other two are stronger, smarter and makes me want more, much more of Blacksad and his world. The rating is mostly for the art that is stunning, original and its own storyteller. John Blacksad almost doesn't need the writing to be a compelling PI hero. The writing is good too and the stories are among the coolest hardboiled PI comics. The world is so atmosphere rich, alive and the charcters are so humanlike. The first story is lightwight and simple PI story but the other two are stronger, smarter and makes me want more, much more of Blacksad and his world.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elena C.

    Not even Juanjo Guarnido's stunningly beautiful art (and it really is gorgeous) can make up for this load of trite noir-esque cliches and ridiculous, cheesy dialogues. Well, all right: that the story has nothing new to add to the noir genre wouldn't be that big of a deal, per se. But Blacksad also gleefully basks in its more problematic tropes: so, for example, women only come in *one flavor, the Sexy Damsel in Distress. That she's dead or alive matters very little, as the SDiD has absolutely no Not even Juanjo Guarnido's stunningly beautiful art (and it really is gorgeous) can make up for this load of trite noir-esque cliches and ridiculous, cheesy dialogues. Well, all right: that the story has nothing new to add to the noir genre wouldn't be that big of a deal, per se. But Blacksad also gleefully basks in its more problematic tropes: so, for example, women only come in *one flavor, the Sexy Damsel in Distress. That she's dead or alive matters very little, as the SDiD has absolutely nothing to contribute to the story but to show her curves - in fact, we're served numerous close-up on dead hot chicks in lingerie (die sexy, girls! You never know who'll show up to ogle at your mutilated corpse, you want to make a good impression!) - and to make Blacksad feel generically "guilty" (guilty of what, exactly, isn't specified: I guess he feels overprotective of sexy ladies, and considers it a pity when they're gruesomely murdered?) and grim (you know, like all PIs are, cuz they've seen way too many good boobs go to waste and now they're Disillusioned About Life). Add one of the most appalling portrayal of a disabled character I've seen around in recent times and you have a couple of authors who should probably have left the tackling of topics such as racism and racial tensions in some more capable - or less lazy: don't know what their problem is, don't care - hands. They didn't, and Arctic-Nation (Get it? Arctic Nation! Here's where the authors get serious and talk about white supremacism, polar bears and other white-furred beasties!!! Isn't that, like, super clever?! And you know how black activists call their collective? Claws!!! Tee hee!) was an intensely cringey read for me. Things get noticeably better in Red Soul so maybe there's hope for the next two issues? Not sure I can be bothered, but despite my complaints... heh! it's hard to resist the pull of a badass black cat. * Oops, my bad: I forgot, there's also the Sexy Unfaithful Woman. She's called Jezabel, in case you didn't immediately get the drift (Díaz Canales' writing is usually so subtle I'm actually surprised he went for the biblical rather than just calling her Treacherous Horny Slut or something).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Vacca

    After an old flame is found murdered, private eye John Blacksad looks into the last few months of her life only to find himself stalked by a slick hitman who wants to keep our hero away from his wealthy employer. When a little girl goes missing, the only person who seems to care is an elderly neighbor who hires Blacksad to find the girl and bring her home. The only trouble is that between him and her is a white supremacist cult, an aging millionaire and his mentally handicapped son, a corrupt pol After an old flame is found murdered, private eye John Blacksad looks into the last few months of her life only to find himself stalked by a slick hitman who wants to keep our hero away from his wealthy employer. When a little girl goes missing, the only person who seems to care is an elderly neighbor who hires Blacksad to find the girl and bring her home. The only trouble is that between him and her is a white supremacist cult, an aging millionaire and his mentally handicapped son, a corrupt police chief, his scheming wife, a nosy reporter, some militant black panthers, and at least one or two buried secrets. Down on his luck, Blacksad takes to guarding an eccentric gambler, only to run into an old friend, an atomic scientist, who is being harassed by a red-baiting senator and a paid killer in lizard-leather boots. As Blacksad questions the professor's circle of communist friends and colleagues, he quickly realizes that his friend's past isn't as squeaky clean as it may seem, and that some bygone horrors never completely fade away. What else is there to say about this collection of three graphic novels? These are mysteries rendered in sexy illustrations with a beautiful palette of colors. Also, they will make any fan of old-school, hard-boiled PI noir's heart soar, while still doing interesting things with the societal aspects of its post-WWII setting. Oh, and all the characters are anthropomorphic dogs, rats, iguanas, sheep, crocodiles, rabbits, foxes, turtles, owls, roosters, rhinos, lions, bears and, of course, some cool cats like our hero, PI John Blacksad.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    Comparable in terms of quality to Criminal, Goldfish and Stumptown and I can't wait to read the rest of the series. Comparable in terms of quality to Criminal, Goldfish and Stumptown and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jesse A

    Not too shabby detective/noir story where all the characters are animals for whatever reason. 3.5 stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    "A jungle where it's survival of the fittest—where people act like animals." In the world of Blacksad, the film noir-styled stories are set in late 1950s America, where all of the characters are anthropomorphic animals, and like all black cats, John Blacksad is one of bad luck. Originally published by French publisher Dargaud, this comic album series by Spanish authors Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido are telling three traditional detective stories in the style of Philip Marlowe and Raymond "A jungle where it's survival of the fittest—where people act like animals." In the world of Blacksad, the film noir-styled stories are set in late 1950s America, where all of the characters are anthropomorphic animals, and like all black cats, John Blacksad is one of bad luck. Originally published by French publisher Dargaud, this comic album series by Spanish authors Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido are telling three traditional detective stories in the style of Philip Marlowe and Raymond Chandler, with an animalistic twist. The first arc is about Blacksad investigating the murder of a famous actress, who was his former flame. It is very much a classic conspiracy thriller exploring the dark side of Hollywood stardom. The second and best arc shows our eponymous hero taking on a missing person case in a town where interracial violence and racial segregation are a recurring presence. And finally, in the third arc, Blacksad tries to solve a series of murders during the Red Scare. These stories may be overly familiar for those who have read and watch the fiction of film noir, but through the creativity of these Spanish minds, this pseudo-America where these characters whose species reflects their personality, character type and role in the stories feels very relevant to what is still going in the world. Especially in the second arc that explores economic depression, sexual repression and perversion, just turn on the news and you'll see these same subjects. However, given the familiarity of its narratives, the characters are an absolute delight whether they're showing moments of darkness and levity. Blacksad himself is your classic flawed detective from film noir where he can both tough and vulnerable and can find humour even in the stickiest situations, especially in the company of his occasional sidekick, the brown least weasel Weekly. With its noir settings, Juanjo Guarnido's detailed watercolour illustrations gave a dirty and realistic feel that felt distinct from the 50s America that we were familiar with. Balancing the grittiness where sex and violence is graphically depicted, due to Guarnido's expressively cartoonish character designs, there is attention to the smallest details where humour is cleverly placed. Throughout these three stories, there is enormous fun in reading this fresh spin of anthropomorphism that is up there with Art Spigelman's Maus.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    High quality graphic novel with excellent illustrations. I love that the characters are all animal-people. Great expressive faces by illustrator, Juanjo Guarnido. Black tomcat John Blacksad is a detective, and the three stories bound in this volume address societal issues, such as rich vs. poor (greed), racism, and facism/communism, all couched in a crime format. Really looking forward to reading the next two stories. 4.5 stars.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    I ended up loving this book. I'm not sure where I found out about this, but the art sold me. The art in Blacksad is breathtaking, maybe some of the best in the biz. I liked the anthropomorphic style too. Kind of reminded me of Usagi Yojimbo, but darker and more animal references. I have two more books to finish to claim a favorite story, but you can kind of read these separate, but I wouldn't really suggest that because there are hints to other books as the series progresses. I ended up loving this book. I'm not sure where I found out about this, but the art sold me. The art in Blacksad is breathtaking, maybe some of the best in the biz. I liked the anthropomorphic style too. Kind of reminded me of Usagi Yojimbo, but darker and more animal references. I have two more books to finish to claim a favorite story, but you can kind of read these separate, but I wouldn't really suggest that because there are hints to other books as the series progresses.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Well, that was something else. Blacksad is a remarkably well written and sumptuously rendered collection of detective noir stories. Created by Spanish writer Juan Diaz Canales and artist Juanjo Guarnido, the series is orignally published in French and Spanish, before being translated into other languages. Due to the translation process and the hand-painted artwork there have been a few years between each book, but fortunately Dark Horse Comics have collected the first three stories (each around s Well, that was something else. Blacksad is a remarkably well written and sumptuously rendered collection of detective noir stories. Created by Spanish writer Juan Diaz Canales and artist Juanjo Guarnido, the series is orignally published in French and Spanish, before being translated into other languages. Due to the translation process and the hand-painted artwork there have been a few years between each book, but fortunately Dark Horse Comics have collected the first three stories (each around sixty pages) into one must-read hardcover collection. Set in 1950's America, the world of Blacksad features anthropomorphic characters (humans depicted in animal form), giving the book a unique charm. Black cat John Blacksad is a hard-boiled private investigator, drawn into a case involving the murder of an old flame in opening story Somewhere Within The Shadows. This is the most basic of the three tales and serves as an effective introduction into the detective and film noir stylings of the series. The personality of each character is driven home by their animalistic appearance. There's a boxing gorilla and hired muscle in the form of a rhino and bear. A sneaky rat leads feline Blacksad into a tricky situation, while dogs and foxes man the police department that play a key role in the narrative. It gives the series an appealing aesthetic that, in tandem with the artwork, really drives the story home. Indeed, Guarnido has received countless praise and awards for his incredible art. The detailed scenery, environments and rich atmosphere created here are truly remarkable. While Somewhere Within The Shadows was already an enjoyable detective story, there was a moment during the final pages that took the story to the next level. (view spoiler)[Blacksad confronts Ivo Statoc, the man/toad responsible for the murder. He holds him at gunpoint but Statoc calls him out on being unable to pull the trigger. He tells Blacksad the thing he's missing that allowed him to get to the top is "cold blood" and Guarnido matches Statoc's incredible smirk with Blacksad's barely-contained anger. The first panel on the next page, it's over. You don't need to see the gunshot because the artwork sold the moment perfectly. (hide spoiler)] It was a gripping climax to the murder mystery, one that will make you glad the next story is just a few pages away. The second story, Arctic Nation, was easily my favourite. An outstanding five-star read that tackles the issue of race through "white pelt supremacy", among many other themes. Like any noir story, no-one really wins in the end. The lines between right and wrong become blurred and nearly everyone gets hurt along the way. It's the remarkable characterisation and perfect use of the anthropomorphism that makes this story hit just that little bit harder. (view spoiler)[Not to mention a wonderful two-page homage to Batman! (hide spoiler)] The final story Red Soul deals with communism and fallout from actions taken during the Second World War. It's a more personal story for Blacksad, but also a slightly lighter read at times thanks to some humourous additions to the artwork and dialogue. While all three books included here are great stories in their own right, this over-sized hardcover makes them not only must-read, but a must-own collection, too. Blacksad is a book filled with wonderful characters, writing and artwork and comes with a very high recommendation. In fact, I had this book recommended to me originally and hopefully, if this review helps to make any new fans of Blacksad, they will pass along a recommendation themselves so that more readers can experience this exceptional series. This is a book not to be missed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melania 🍒

    3,2/5 || The read harder challenge 2018 - A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC or Image ||

  24. 4 out of 5

    Althea J.

    Were it not for the Panels Read Harder Challenge task, "Read a comic book starring anthropomorphic animals," I would not have picked up this book and I would've missed out on the brilliance that is Blacksad. This is one cinematic graphic novel - the pacing, the shots, the tightly woven noir crime tales. (Link to image) And the way Guarnido uses animals to embody the characterization is brilliant. Even with the background characters, he nails it. I get a sense of who that koala-man is without him n Were it not for the Panels Read Harder Challenge task, "Read a comic book starring anthropomorphic animals," I would not have picked up this book and I would've missed out on the brilliance that is Blacksad. This is one cinematic graphic novel - the pacing, the shots, the tightly woven noir crime tales. (Link to image) And the way Guarnido uses animals to embody the characterization is brilliant. Even with the background characters, he nails it. I get a sense of who that koala-man is without him needing to say a word. And same for that donkey-man. (link to image) My GR friend Lono's review pretty much says what I wanted to say and includes more art from the book, so I shall link it HERE

  25. 5 out of 5

    Estelle

    Pretty good and original, but too damn short and quickly resolved.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    This book collects the first of the three "episodes" of the Blacksad graphic novels/comics/whatever. It's basically a neo-noir thing taking in place in the 50s but everyone's talking animals. The first one's a pretty generic noir thing (murder, corrupt officials, gangsters, lots of smoking). The second one deals with race and the Klan and stuff and the third one deals with the Red Scare. I don't think the authors handled either topic particularly well. The plots are also pretty ridiculous with l This book collects the first of the three "episodes" of the Blacksad graphic novels/comics/whatever. It's basically a neo-noir thing taking in place in the 50s but everyone's talking animals. The first one's a pretty generic noir thing (murder, corrupt officials, gangsters, lots of smoking). The second one deals with race and the Klan and stuff and the third one deals with the Red Scare. I don't think the authors handled either topic particularly well. The plots are also pretty ridiculous with lots of buildup but immediate resolution due to dei ex machina every time. Also the art is pretty sexist in my opinion. The male animals all have heads that more or less just look like regular animal heads but the female animals are all much more anthropomorphized, to the point where a woman might just be human looking but have sort of a cat nose and cat ears. One can only imagine why given that both authors are, as far as I can tell, straight men. And some of the shots of women are very gross. (view spoiler)[For example, the drawing of one woman after she's been killed is posed in such a way that you can see her underwear. In order to do this, the artists had her body turned in such a way that I don't think is even anatomically possible. It's pretty disgusting. This is also specifically a case of racialized misogyny/misogynoir here because the character is supposed to be black. (hide spoiler)] So yeah I wouldn't recommend this except to people who are really into like neo-noir movies or whatever.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Relstuart

    It's good. Very good. The writing and art together really drew me into the story and world like only the best writers are able to accomplish. It's a hard world with some mature elements that makes this one unsuitable for the kids but it never feels like it's including adult situations just because the author can. The art is fantastic and it's so smooth you have to stop and force yourself to stare at it sometimes to recognize just how detailed it really is. It evokes an older noir past and create It's good. Very good. The writing and art together really drew me into the story and world like only the best writers are able to accomplish. It's a hard world with some mature elements that makes this one unsuitable for the kids but it never feels like it's including adult situations just because the author can. The art is fantastic and it's so smooth you have to stop and force yourself to stare at it sometimes to recognize just how detailed it really is. It evokes an older noir past and creates the ambiance for the author to present the story in a very believable fashion, especially considering we have anthropomorphized characters. The animal selection really matches the different types of personalities displayed by the characters. While the story is fairly straightforward it fits the feel of the book well. Steranko wrote the intro to this book, a fact I was not aware of until after I bought the book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This isn't Disney. For which we should all be very thankful. First, let me say that the artwork is stunning, in particular how certain real figures were shown as characters in this book. But the thing, the real thing, is the plot. Blacksad is a private detective whose first tale involes solving the murder of his former girlfriend. The best part, however, is the second story in this book, with the last running a close second. The second story is a look at race as told by the animal figures that inhab This isn't Disney. For which we should all be very thankful. First, let me say that the artwork is stunning, in particular how certain real figures were shown as characters in this book. But the thing, the real thing, is the plot. Blacksad is a private detective whose first tale involes solving the murder of his former girlfriend. The best part, however, is the second story in this book, with the last running a close second. The second story is a look at race as told by the animal figures that inhabit the world. Quite frankly, any novel, graphic or otherwise, that can reference "Strange Fruit" and get it correct deserves an award. In the best tradition of animal stories, this graphic novel makes you think about the human condition.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Václav

    Blacksad is a true jewel of European comics. And there is a lot to love about it. Beside story (or rather stories), which is a brilliant noir-ish detective adventure with calm pace, but still very thrilling. the take on the fifties is significantly better than most comics, playing that era, before and after. And there are animals instead to people to better illustrate the points, but it's still believable because Canales and Guarnido did an excellent job to capture American fifties in all its fo Blacksad is a true jewel of European comics. And there is a lot to love about it. Beside story (or rather stories), which is a brilliant noir-ish detective adventure with calm pace, but still very thrilling. the take on the fifties is significantly better than most comics, playing that era, before and after. And there are animals instead to people to better illustrate the points, but it's still believable because Canales and Guarnido did an excellent job to capture American fifties in all its forms. Gently picking parallels with real history and real persons, using lyrics or poems as here and there to test its coherency - and they resonate with that created world perfectly. Mentioning Guarnido, art is amazing. The sense of perspective and the movie-like camera still, but perfectly arranged to work in means of sequential art, is mesmerizing. And with a combination of perfect ink lines and watercolours, it looks good. So good. It's not poster material (mostly), but it's art which takes you inside the picture. And in the picture, you are the observer. The investigative story doesn't want you to be the one who's solving the crime. That's Blacksad's role. So the story is written that way, holding clues behind the corner, not letting you jump ahead. Because the story is about the world and mainly about John Blacksad, and even if the feeling that the main character is one step ahead may be unusual at first, it's actually quite refreshing once you'll get used to it. And you better should, because Blacksad is awesome.

  30. 5 out of 5

    মাহাতাব রশীদ

    would've given it 6 stars if I could. would've given it 6 stars if I could.

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