cover image Blacksad


Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido, Dark Horse, $29.99 (184p) ISBN 978-1-59582-393-9

First making waves a decade ago, Blacksad, created in Spain, published in France, has since garnered well-deserved critical success and status as an international bestseller. Writer Díaz and illustrator Guarnido take the detective noir genre and breathe new life into it with a trio of anthropomorphic animal gumshoe dramas centering around John Blacksad, a methodical PI who conducts his investigations in early 1950s America, a post-WWII society deals with upheavals involving racism and the "Red Scare." Within this atmosphere of ready-to-explode tension, the creators weave what can only be called narrative magic. This current edition collects the three graphic novels that have been released to date, the first being a standard (though beautifully executed) murder mystery, the second centering on the machinations of a white supremacist organization and those whose lives it has thrown into a very personal bedlam (perhaps the most affecting of the lot), and the third addressing the perceived threat of communism within the United States. All of this material is riveting, and Guarnido's artwork is atmospheric and full of indelibly captured characters—he's a true master of the form. Blacksad is a comics classic, and American readers are fortunate to have these first three in one volume. (June)