- Hardcover: 184 pages
- Publisher: Dark Horse; 01 edition (20 Oct. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159582393X
- ISBN-13: 978-1595823939
- Product Dimensions: 22 x 1.8 x 28.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Blacksad Hardcover – 20 Oct 2010
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About the Author
Juan Diaz Canales is a Spanish animation artist and comic book author. He is best known as the cocreator of Blacksad series with artist Juanjo Guarnido. Originally published in French and Spanish, the series has been translated into many languages and won two Eisner Awards and an Angouleme Prize.At an early age, Juan Diaz Canales became interested in comics and their creation, which progressed and broadened out to include animated films. At the age of 18, he entered a school for animation. In 1996 he founded, together with three other artists, a company called Tridente Animation. Through this, he has worked with European and American companies, providing plots and scripts for comics and animation films, as well as directing animated television series and animation movies. During this period he met Juanjo Guarnido, with whom Canales decided to create comics based around a private investigator, Blacksad. After contacting several editors, Guarnido and Canales finally signed on with French publisher Dargaud, and in November 2000, Somewhere Within the Shadows was published. It was a great success with both critics and the public, and was awarded the Prix de la Decouverte at the Sierre International Comics Festival and the "Avenir" Prize at the Lys-lez-Lannoy Festival, in Switzerland and France respectively. In March 2003 the second album Arctic-Nation, was released. It was once again a great success, winning the Angouleme Audience Award and the Festival Prize for Artwork in 2004. The third instalment of the Blacksad series, Red Soul, was published in 2005. In 2006 it was awarded the Angouleme Prize for a Series. The author lives in Madrid, Spain.
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Blacksad: Somewhere within the Shadows
This is a classic noir detective story where the human characters are portrayed with animal faces and characteristics according to their natures. Originally published in French, Blacksad refers to the main character, private detective John Blacksad.
The art in this book is superb, as you would expect from ex-Disney artist Juanjo Guarnido. The glossy Technicolor medium of comics finds it hard to do noir effectively without it just becoming murky. Guarnido's amazing watercolour work and profound understanding of lighting is a superb fit. This truly is a cinematic book, just "like a film on paper" as Jim Steranko's introduction puts it.
The animalisation of the characters is so appropriate it becomes transparent. What better detective than a curious cat right? Just the faces look like animals the rest of the body is human but does retain their particular colouring. The rest of the world is human too with classic automobiles and cityscapes straight out of film history.
Although a translation everything looks and feels appropriate. All the street signs, matchbooks and newspaper headlines are in English. The boxes and balloons are oversized to make substitution easier which is a little disappointing as it covers much of the art and draws too much attention to them.
The plot is classic noir staple and our hero suitably embittered, troubled and far too curious for his own good. Very enjoyable in every respect. A classic Thumbs Up!
Blacksad: Arctic Nation
Cats and racism. Not something you would instantly think of putting in the same book. Detective John Blacksad takes on the case of a missing girl and uncovers a murky world of prejudice.
This is a difficult book. The setting has shifted from generic Western country to unmistakably USA. A noire pulp detective story is hijacked by a civil rights, Nazi, KKK theme in a most unsubtle way. There is also a lot less polish evident as some clunky bits of dialogue or translation spoil the flow.
Beneath these awkward elements is a very good detective story, although you never get enough details to figure it out yourself and must wait for the reveal at the end. The art works very hard and the varied locations give a lot of scope to showcasing Guarnido's talent. The lighting isn't quite as majestic as the previous volume but there are some really good choices in terms of colour and tone. There is more sex and violence in this book and both are handled successfully.
Not the most convincing follow-up but worth checking out for the elaborate plot. Thumbs Up!
Blacksad: Red Soul
This is an outstanding tale. A Hitchcockian thriller with communists, bohemians, fascists and a beautiful woman. You even get to find out what animal Hitler would be. Blacksad is more of a witness to unfolding events than a detective solving the case. He does however have a proper romantic entanglement like every gumshoe should.
The art is great as always with a fantastic scene at an aquarium. There are some wonderful colour contrasts too with real emotion being conveyed through the palette. There is more sex in this volume but it is beautifully and tastefully portrayed and conjures a real sense of intimacy.
A strong Thumbs Up!
You follow John Blacksad, a feline humanoid and Private Investigator, as he takes on various cases. I loved it.
The story is told in classic murder mystery / cops and robbers style. A similar atmosphere to "Dick Tracey", "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "Fish Police" the cartoon. The characters are anthropomorphic, in that they are animals that walk and talk like humans. I purchased this purely because I am an anthropomorphic comic book fan. If you like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", or "Usagi Yojimbo" you will love this book. But because the artwork is so realistic, I think it would appeal to any comic book fans craving a serious read. What I love about this series is how seriously detailed it is.
The creators put as much realism into the characters and story as any human based story does, but the characters just happen to be animals. All the animal puns are quite funny, but it's dark too. Blacksad is a tough, darkly portrayed character, but he's also the hero.
If you love comic books, cats, animals, murder mystery or just a good "tail", then I think this would be a great choice.
I recommend this and hope for more. ^w^
This book collects 3 separate stories into one book. The books that come after this are a silent hell and Amarillo.
I hoping a 3rd comes soon so I can but them all together.
I can't recommend this book enough buy it now.
PS: It's better than Maus!
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