Marc Bernardin
May 14, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Blacksad

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Juan Diaz Canales, Juanjo Guarnido
publisher
ibooks Inc.

We gave it an A

I like comics about anthropomorphized animals as much as the next guy — which is to say, not very much. But Blacksad, from Spanish-born creators Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido, does more than simply recast detectives as cats in trench coats and sleazy crime lords as trolls. It’s a lovingly crafted homage to the Hammett-Chandler chestnuts of old: Set in a teeming, 1940s-style metropolis, weary PI John Blacksad is after the killer of an old flame, a Rita Hayworth-esque movie star. Canales’ stiff dialogue perfectly suits the pulpy goings-on, and Guarnido’s watercolor panels feel like the unearthed film-noir storyboards of a master.

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