And Then I Read: BLACKSAD

Images © Juan Díaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido.

I’ve been wanting to read BLACKSAD for years, having heard many good things about it, and this new Dark Horse hardcover collecting the three European albums published so far (with English translation) was the perfect chance. And the book itself is about as close to graphic and story perfection as I’ve seen in some time. Blacksad is a private detective operating in a film noir world, playing on all those themes, and weightier ones like racial hatred and political demagogery. Extremely well written, the characters spring to life immediately, greatly helped by artist Guarnido’s wonderful use of character “acting,” expressive lighting and exciting action scenes. His quiet moments are even better, and I’ve seldom seen an artist who “gets” body language so well. Oh, did I mention that all the characters have essentially human bodies but the heads and some attributes of a variety of animals? It sounds dubious, I know, but it works brilliantly.

Guarnido’s training in animation shows on every page, but more than that, so does his amazing artistic talent. Diaz Canales’ scripts rise to the same level: smart, moving, poignant and thrilling. I could go on to describe the stories, but I think instead I’ll just say: if you pick up only one new graphic album this year, it should be this one. It’s a must read.

2 thoughts on “And Then I Read: BLACKSAD

  1. El Torres

    Blacksad is one of the most famous GN here in Spain and France. Guarnido’s art is impressive. There was an exhibition of the original artwork (watercolors) in Granada and it was all “Wows” and “Ohs”.

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