‘Blacksad: They All Fall Down- Part One’ Writer: Juan Díaz Canales Artist, Colorist, Cover Artist: Juanjo Guarnido Translator: Diana Schutz, Brandon Kander
What an honor it is to talk again about this amazing duo: Juan Díaz Canales and artist Juanjo Guarnido, with this brand-new storyline, fresh from the French (even though the first draft is in Spanish), that is finally coming to Dark Horse.
We talked about all of the previous volumes here, and I stand by what I had to say seven years ago:
The best American comic out there, inspired by the Noir films and themes of 1950s America, is written first in French for the French market and then translated into Spanish and English, usually much later. Let’s call it a paradox.
In all of the previous volumes, a major slice of 1950s American society is shown with amazing taste and wonderful imagery. Be it the murder of a beautiful woman, (by someone with power believing himself to be above law and ethics because of his status), be it nuclear angst and the fear of communism, be it espionage and high stakes politics, be it interracial politics and segregation, it’s all there.
John Blacksad is a black cat in an animal-shaped world. No one has been able to pull off this imagery as well as Guarnido, and he is the source of inspiration behind a much tamer Zootopia.
The private eye has everything you can imagine associated with him: fedora hats, corruption, thugs, beautiful women, jazz, you name it.
This story is all about New York: Blacksad promised Kenneth Clarke, -head of the unions that built the subways-, that he would guard his life with his. However, a hired thug (and the nefarious hand of magnate Lewis Solomon), have rendered him unable to keep his promise.
The adult comic books are filled with so much dramatic energy that it is a wonder the characters don’t burst out of the page (just watch this scene and tell me if you spotted the Edward Hoppers’ Nighthawks homage).
Guarnido is well known for the anthropomorphic features he gives to each animal, using them to render their emotions visible in more than unique ways. He has won countless awards worldwide, deservedly so, and we are very happy to see him get back at his best collaborative work to date.
Diaz Canales must be the best noir writer in the comic verse, and I hope that we get to enjoy these series for years to come.
August 10, 2022
Age range: 18
Featured image by Juanjo Guarnido, all images belong to Dark Horse Comics