Sunday, July 26, 2009


"From that day on this would be my world. A jungle where its survival of the fittest. A world where people act like animals. I had chosen to walk the darkest path of life...and I'm still on it." - Blacksad

I have read a lot of comics in my days. For the most part its a combination of superheroes and nostalgic talking animals books. Its rare that I come across something I have never experienced in the medium before. Blacksad is such a book. Europe has a long tradition of graphic novels. I don't think there is a single kid out there that hasn't spent an afternoon enjoying the funny romps of Asterix and Obelisk or the mystery solving adventures of Tin Tin and Snowy. Mobius was always a bit difficult for me to follow and understand when I was younger not having much insight into the french 'new wave' as a ten year old. Blacksad however was a revelation. Put aside the sheer technical skill the artist, Guarnido has and you can't help but be mesmorized by the noir world of talking animals that has been created. Blacksad is the best of every hard boiled private investigator you have ever know. His world is populated by anthropormorphic creatures whose identities reflect the role they play in this society. The killers are rats and snakes, the cops are noble german shepherds and Blacksad himself is a sleek jungle cat - perfectly suited to roam the dark, dirty streets of the city. When I read something that instantly makes me wish for a cutting edge animated version of the same story to be made then you know you are onto something unique and special. You gotta love bit torrent for allowing me to find these three graphic novels starring this gritty kitty (holy crap, I love that phrase -see what I did there?) Written by Juan Diaz Canales and illustrated by Guarnido, you will find yourself looking over the pictures not only for the beautiful art and pacing of the tale but for, as Steranko says in his introduction, the way that the artist gets the most out of the way his characters express their emotions. You can almost see Blacksad bruised and broken heart through a single pained glance. This is among some of the best stuff that has ever been created in the genre. Oh, and Guarnido draws the sexiest animal women...meow. Take a chance on Blacksad.

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