John Blacksad

Created by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido

In JOHN BLACKSAD's world, the femme fatales really do have claws...

I hate to break it to you, but the dapper, world-weary hard-boiled private eye hero of this award-winning hard-boiled comic series Blacksad is a cat.

And not as in "cool."

As in “meow-meow.”

I'm not kidding.

But for those of you willing to take a walk on the imaginative side, the anthropomorphic dogs, cats, hyenas and apes that populate this world are more than up to the task. Played totally straight, this is the real deal when it comes to two-fisted private eye action, hard and bittersweet, featuring some of the most richly rendered, fucking gorgeous art of any graphic novel I've seen.

Set in a gritty, big-shouldered world of early fifties America, WWII vet turned gumshoe John Blacksad works a variety of cases, ranging from child abductions to spy games and, of course, that old standby -- murder. Hr comes face to face with post-war racial tensions, the Communist witch hunt and Cold War paranoia, not to mention switchblade-flashing lizards, scholarly owls, rat snitches, weasel reporters and professional heavyweights who just happen to be gorillas. Real gorillas.

If you can imagine Bogart and Bacall in The Big Sleep as a couple of cats you’re almost there.

This internationally acclaimed series, by Spaniards Juan Diaz Canales, who writes it, and Juanjo Guarnido, who supplies the beautiful watercolor-rendered artwork, first appeared in French in 2000 and sold over 200,000 copies in France alone, and soon nabbed numerous prestigious awards, including the AngoulÍme Comics Festival prizes for Best Series and Best Artwork, and is a three-time Eisner Award nominee. The first three Blacksad stories were collected, translated and published by Dark Horse in 2010 for the first time, and followed in 2012 by A Silent Hell, with more reprints promised.


  • Quelque part entre les ombres (2000, aka "Somewhere Within the Shadows")
  • Arctic-Nation (2003)
  • Âme Rouge (2005, aka "Red Soul")
  • L'Enfer, Le silence (2010; aka "A Silent Hell")
  • Amarillo (2012)


Translated into English

Collects the first three Blacksad stories.


  • Blacksad: The Sketch Files (2005; by Juanjo Guarnido)....Buy this book

Guarnido discusses and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the series, including never-before-seen production sketches and concept art.


Going to the dogs, the cats and worse.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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