Wednesday, June 22, 2016

MISC. MANGA, *Blacksad

This French comic series is an American crime noir, but done entirely with anthropomorphic animals! Printed out in full-sized album books by Asterisk publisher Darguad, this was written by Juan Díaz Canales and superbly drawn by former Disney animator Juanjo Guarnido. There have been 5 albums done in Europe, but released so far as 3 in America through Dark Horse Comics, the first 3 of which were collected into a single volume.

Blacksad ia a black humanoid cat living in an anthro version of our world where he's a former WWII vet now acting as a jack-of-all-trades private eye. The first case we run into has Blacksad investigating the killing of a famous actress he used to date. Next, he teams up with his on-again/off-again partner Weekly, a weasel reporter, to deal with a racial violence in a case with white supremacists, namely animals that are completely white furred/feathered/scaled. The last part of the first volume has Blacksad taking on the task of playing bodyguard to a turtle on a lucky streak in Vegas, which evolves in a Cold War plot with a corrupt senator. The second volume, A Silent Hell, sees Blacksad and Weekly in New Orleans during Mardi Gras to hunt for a missing blues musician whose wife is about to give birth to their child, but his benefactor wants him found mostly to cover up a past medical debacle. The third book titled Amarillo features Blacksad still touring America after New Orleans, and is first charged with taking a travelers convertible back home, but becomes engrossed with a roaming poet whose actions have lead to a series of violent acts after teaming up with the poet's perky publisher.

This series is still going on in France, with future publications said to come in English from Dark Horse. Each story brilliantly balances the worlds of a gritty detective tale with a look at American society during the 1950s, plus the occasional delve into surrealism and how dreams can wash over into reality. You can read any of the volumes separately on their own, or get all of the visual awesomeness as the intrigue continues.

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