So, in the post today I got the Blacksad hardback collection from Dark Horse. Collecting the three graphic novels so far of the titular Detective John Blacksad, the feline sleuth in a gritty 1950s world of racism, corruption and red fear. Written by Juan Diaz Canales with art by Juanjo Guarnido.
So far, I’ve only read the first story, Somewhere in the Shadows, and it’s bloody brilliant.
The art is superb. It’s like Disney grew up and went noir. And it’s lush, vibrant, and simply beautiful. The sense of space in every panel is astounding, and the emotions on the characters face is brilliant, and always spot on. It makes you read the book slowly, taking in as much detail of the stunning artwork as possible.
The story is pretty much a standard detective noir, and doesn’t really bring anything new to the table; however, it’s a very good detective noir story, in a world where all the characters just happen to be anthropomorphised animals. To take that twist and not seem twee shows some skill indeed, and it’s a very accomplished story. It also manages to leave the impression in the reader that the following stories can only get better.
I had heard of this book before, but never been able to find it. Then the artist who works with me on my own comic projects, Gavin Mitchell, really recommended it too, as he also adores the art.
Now I just have to figure out how to write something that allows Gav to do similarly gorgeous artwork. Luckily, the man is a genius, and he can work out a way to make anything I write rock.
Coming next in the post is Greg Rucka's and J H Williams III’s Batwoman: Elegy, originally printed in their stunning and critically acclaimed Detective Comics run. I always admire and find myself wowed by Williams’ work, and Rucka writes brilliant female characters. Not to mention the fact that his handling of the lesbian Batwoman was critically looked upon as excellent, so I’m looking forward to it.
Nice to think that occassionally DC allow a creator to do LGBT characters justice.
Anyway, links to purchase Blacksad is here, and I sincerely recommend getting it.