- Paperback: 54 pages
- Publisher: IBooks; 1st Ibooks Ed edition (December 9, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743479912
- ISBN-13: 978-0743479912
- Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.2 x 0.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #910,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blacksad 1 (No. 1) Paperback – December 9, 2003
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Top customer reviews
It was worth the wait! The artwork is magnificent, and the storyline is worthy of any of the Film Noir classics of the late 1940's and early 1950's.
In an alternative world, where people have animal features, John Blacksad, a black cat detective, investigates the murder of a film starlet...his ex-girlfriend. Along the way, he uncovers the usual trademarks of Film Noir...corruption, betrayal, intrigue, sex, violence...and redemption.
The artwork...well, the book has won major awards in Europe (where books like this sell in the hundreds of thousands, even millions), and the detail is staggering. One can get lost in each and every panel in this book. One panel features Blacksad walking down a tree-shaded street, and the shadows of the leaves are on all of the figures in frame.
There already is a second book in this series (Arctic Nation), and I hope there will be more. This is a classic work of graphic storytelling.
If you're a Film Noir buff, a detective novel junkie, or an anthropomorphics fan, let this black cat cross your path. You won't be sorry!
(Is it just me, or does John Blacksad look a lot like Stacy Keach?)
To be fair, I have only read this, the English translation, and much of what I find to be problems with the story could be nonexistant in the original text. However, while these two books were gorgeous to behold, I found them unworthy of the huge amount of praise bestowed upon them.
The dialogue often seemed forced and wooden, and speech patterns barely varied between characters. On my first read of the books, I even came across several typos. In both books, but especially the first, the story seemed to be propelled at such a pace, that Canales barely had time to get all of his plot points in, much less teach us anything about the characters he introduces us to. I wanted very much to like, even love, this rough, handsome private eye, but I found it difficult to even get to know the character, much less establish any kind of empathy.
Also, taking away from the gorgeous scenes depicted in each panel, were the often awkward panel progressions. Canales and Guarnido seem to need more work in learning to utilize the medium they have chosen to work within. Simple things, such as the use of establishing panels at the top of the page, and putting suprise panels after a page turn could have helped the books immensely. In addition, I would occassionally run across two panels which I had to sit and puzzle over how the characters actually moved between them, disrupting the flow of the page.
In summary, the art in these books is some of the most vivid and impressive I have seen in some time. To be able to just look at the pretty pictures is enough to justify the cost of the two graphic novels. However, I found the writing to be subpar, and at times just silly. The stories weren't inherently bad, but suffered from what appears to be a translation which is mediocre at best, and being condensed to such a short length. Either of the books could easily been fleshed out to be twice their length, while doubling both my attachment to Blacksad and the suspense within the pages. Also, while the particular animals used for characters always seemed apt and appropriate, the allegories they presented, especially in Arctic Nation, were tired and abundantly obvious. In short, buy these books for the art, and don't expect too much from the genre specific writing.
Totally beautiful images , totally moveable stories, and totally feeling words compose the greatest graphic novels. You shall not miss this seris.
The coloring work alone is worth the $12.95
Blacksad 1 is jsut the start.