Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blacksad - Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido

I know that I said I do not like stories about animals. Especially when they can talk. I always find it to be so tacky and it makes me feel like the tale (tail?) is actually intended for children.

That being said, I read another graphic novel centered around animals. And again, as with WE3, I loved it. It seems I am going to have to admit to liking these types of stories soon if the graphic novel community doesn't stop proving me wrong.

Once again, the cover of the graphic novel turned me off immediately. A story about a cat detective, solving crimes in a very film noir-esque setting? It seemed ripe for parody and hilarity. I did not start reading with a serious interest. Immediately, as with WE3, I changed my mind. The graphic novel is split into three separate stories, each depicting a different adventure of the main character, detective and occasional bodyguard John Blacksad. Who also happens to be a cat. Each story has a gritty realist quality, and there do not seem to be any boundaries for the characters. The men are crude and violent, cigarettes hanging out of their mouths as the obtain their desires in whatever way they feel necessary. The women are voluptuous and sexy, depicted by Guarnido's artwork as desperate and dangerous.

I think that the aspect of this graphic novel that made it the easiest to accept so quickly is the fact that the characters are not actually intended to be animals, but are instead anthropomorphic. The characters are referred to at different times throughout the text as 'people', depicting them as human despite their appearances. The animal appearances instead come from the personalities of the characters. However they act and interact with others is emphasized through their appearances.

I give this graphic novel a 4/5. Once again, I was proved wrong when it comes to animal stories. Once I was able to look past my initial uneasiness with the idea of it, I fell in love with the character of John Blacksad. And no, it isn't just because I am a cat person.

1 comment:

  1. all of these graphic novels are only increasing my desire to own more and moar comic books! this one looks awesome