Tags Matching: Blacksad

Blacksad.

Another one from the crime comics from other countries file, Blacksad’s main character is the other quintessential noir lead character: the hard drinking, chain smoking, always a suspect in very the crime he’s investigating private detective. But the thing is, this detective is an anthropomorphic black cat.

Created by Spaniards (Juan Díaz Canales and the INCREDIBLE Juanjo Guarnido) yet published first in France, Blacksad so far has only had 3 of it’s 4 volumes translated and published in America. The first two were originally published here in a pair of oversized/magazine style paperbacks by the late and semi-lamented iBooks, and then Dark Horse Comics reprinted them along with the third book in the hardcover collection above. In the three stories, Blacksad investigates the murder of an ex-lover, the kidnapping of a child set against the back drop of racial segregation, and a murder set during the beginning of the Red Scare and the nuclear arms race. And in all cases, all of the character are anthropomorphic animals whose species fits the stereotypical traits of their characters. The police chief is a German shepard. The white power leader is a polar bear, the black power revolutionaries include a black stallion and a black bull. The nuclear physicist is an owl. And so on.

Not that the plots aren’t great stuff, but in the end they are pretty run of the mill noir, and really it’s hard to get an idea of just how good a writer is when they’re works being translated by someone else. No disrespect intended, but the real pleasure in Blacksad is the artwork. The attention to detail and variety of animals depicted (even in crowd scenes, Guarnido doesn’t repeat a beast) is just marvelous. In fact, I would even say that if you can only get your hands on the French or Spanish version, you should do it for the art alone.

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