Monday 28 June 2010

Swoon Now! Blacksad

Has it really been that long? A month? Aahh that's just the wait between issues of your favourite comic. Anyway, many apologies for the delay between posting. It's going to take some effort getting the momentum back covering highlighted releases of the last few weeks but for now I'd like to draw your attention to Blacksad (Dark Horse). Written by Juan Diaz Canales and with painted art by Juanjo Guarnido the first Blacksad Story was released to huge acclaim back in 2000. A simple idea - John Blacksad is a private detective who, like all the characters have animal heads - there were three stories written in total each one growing in ambition thematically (from murdered starlets in the first story to nuclear armament in the third) and this collection brings all three together for the first time. Blacksad is a glorious exercise in style and I don't mean that to sound shallow its just that the hard-boiled crime-noir style is a very familiar genre that plays to certain guidelines. However the book is simply a joy to read. The stories have heart, good characterisation and pacing whilst the painted art is beautiful brimming with detail in the backgrounds, life within each face and perfect layouts. Hopefully the anthropomorphic appraoch to the characters won't put people off because it isn't just a gimmick. Personality traits associated with particular animals are utilitsed nicely for and against type. John Blacksad's sleek black panther makes him an attractive star, a slightly down on his luck victim of fate but never the vice-ridden loser sometimes seen in such crime series. An engaging solid crime drama elevated by spectacular artwork. Available now £22.50

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