Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Graphic Passions: "Blacksad" by Canales and Guarnido

I do ask The Old Man to get me a copy of  Blacksad for Christmas. I am very pleased to have it.
The Old Man scolds me for reading it too quick... but there are times when he is an old spoil-sport.... and...actually.... the artwork and writing is so good that it encourages you to linger on the pages.
This trilogy of 1950s-set Noir Crime tales by artists Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido proves to be a dream for such a crime fiction/graphics novel fan like I.

Animal-headed (and tailed) characters inhabit the dark streets of an American city. The central character is a black and white-faced cat-man and private eye, John Blacksad... complete with trench-coat and gun.... and this volume, published in 2010, is made up of three stories: Somewhere within the Shadows, Arctic Nation, and Red Soul. Murder, corruption, and themes of racism and America's McCarthy period Communist witch hunt are visited in turn.
But the artist/authors are not American. They are Spanish... with the comics first being published in French by French publisher Dargaud - starting back in 2000. So we have had to wait some time for an English translation.

I think it has all been worth waiting for: wonderfully detailed artwork, good writing, mystery and politics... I likes it. Alright, there are some complaints at the depiction of the female characters but I have to disagree... they are not simply "passion madams" and those that are.... well this is in the spirit of hard-boiled crime noir and I can accept it in exchange for the other political themes embraced in the writing.
And as for those who say they do not like anthropomorphism in graphic novel characters ... I do say....What are you doing reading this series in the first place? Read something else and stop belly-aching!

I am so definitely searching for the next volume.... published by Dark Horse in October 2014....Blacksad: Amarillo HC .

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