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Blacksad logo.png
Blacksad - Si c'était un film, a "behind the scènes" art book
Sketchbook Guarnido

Blacksad is a French comic book series created by writer Juan Díaz Canales and artist Juanjo Guarnido, former Spanish animators at the now defunct French branch of Walt Disney Feature Animation. The first volume, titled Quelque part entre les ombres in France and simply Blacksad in the United States, was published in November 2000 by Dargaud, the largest French comic book publisher.

The story is set in a film noir environment, in something that looks like the USA of the 1940s. All of the characters are anthropomorphic animals, their specific species reflecting their personality and their part in the story.


Though it was the creators' first attempt at a comic book, the first volume saw immense success, selling more than 200,000 copies in France. The book was quickly translated to German, English, and Spanish as well. Juanjo Guarnido received a large number of prizes for his impressive, lavish visualisation of the story. Juan Diaz Canales received several prizes as well, among these three nominations for the Eisner Awards in 2004.

In the wake of success, the two creators published a book about the creation of the first volume, entitled Les dessous de l'enquête. In March 2003 the second volume of the series, Arctic Nation, was published.

Blacksad won two Will Eisner Comic Industry Award at San Diego Comic-Con International 2013 for Best U.S. Edition of International Material and Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art; Juanjo Guarnido).[1]


  • John Blacksad – A hardboiled private investigator, John Blacksad (a black cat), was raised in a poor neighborhood and spent much of his youth running from the police. This and his service in World War II likely account for his above-average marksmanship and fighting skills. He also spent a year in college as a history major before being expelled. Like other hardboiled detectives, Blacksad narrates his stories, adding cynical commentary on the evils of the world around him. Unlucky in love, he never seems to be able to form a lasting relationship, often due to circumstances beyond his control. He usually wears a dark suit and trench coat, and uses the alias John H. Blackmore on several fake IDs, including debt collector, FBI agent and customs officer.
  • Weekly – Blacksad's occasional sidekick, Weekly, a brown Least Weasel who doesn't like soap and water and has an odor problem, has a near-constant optimistic attitude, working as a muckraker for a tabloid called the What's News.
  • Smirnov – A police commissioner and friend of Blacksad, Smirnov (a brown German Shepherd), sometimes helps him to reach the rich and powerful which he himself cannot touch due to "pressure upstairs".


Quelque part entre les ombres (Somewhere Within the Shadows)[edit]

Main article: Somewhere Within the Shadows

Somewhere Within the Shadows is the first graphic novel of the Blacksad series, published in 2000 for the French market by Dargaud. In the United States, the book was simply retitled Blacksad by now-defunct publisher iBooks in 2003.

Arctic Nation[edit]

Main article: Arctic Nation

Arctic Nation is the second title in the series. It was published in 2003 by Dargaud for the French-speaking market, and republished in the United States in 2004 by iBooks for the English-speaking market.

This volume deals with inter-racial violence and racial segregation of the 1950s in a pseudo-American suburbia called The Line. The book also obliquely addresses issues of economic depression, sexual repression and perversion, all intended to expose the social malaise and prejudice that exist beneath the apparently harmonious surfaces of communities.

Âme rouge (Red Soul)[edit]

Main article: Red Soul

In the third volume, Blacksad gets involved with a former Nazi scientist, Communist Sympathizers, and the FBI. This mirrors the 1950's elements of McCarthyism, fear of nuclear warfare, and the Red Scare.

L'Enfer, le silence (A Silent Hell)[edit]

Main article: Hell, Silence

In 1950's New Orleans, John Blacksad gets hired by Jazz producer Faust to find the missing pianist "Slow Hand" Sebastian, a gifted pianist with a difform arm and an addiction to hard drugs. While looking for him, Blacksad gets entangled in a past pharmaceutical scandal - and all goes to Hell when the music stops...


Main article: Amarillo

Taking place immediately after the events in Hell, Silence, Blacksad is hired to deliver a Cadillac Eldorado to Tulsa. When it gets stolen by a down and out writer on the run from a murder, Blacksad finds himself in pursuit.


  1. Will Eisner Comic Industry Award page on the San Diego Comic-Con International website. Retrieved July 21, 2013.

See also[edit]

Blacksad on Wikipedia

External links[edit]

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Blacksad by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido
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