So, back in October, I went to the Charity Art Auction at NYCC. Before the auction started, they had a slide show of all the stuff up for bidding. Most of it was recognizable stuff, from a Simonson full body Beta Ray Bill to a Mignola BPRD cover. But there was also a page featuring a cat in a suit. I had no idea what it was from, but it looked pretty cool, so I figured that I might bid on it if it was in my range. To the surprise of nearly everyone in the room, it wound up going for well over a thousand dollars, with only a handful of pieces going for more.
So, I had to find out what it was:
Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido
Great googly moogly, it is brilliant. It's a story of a mid 20th century private eye, something straight out the playbooks of Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett. But the twist is that the characters are all anthropomorphic. It's much more than a gimmick because the animals are carefully chosen to fit their personality or role in the story, from a gorilla boxer to a rooster standing in for Senator Joseph McCarthy. Even single panel background characters like lemmings carrying signs about the end of world are richly detailed and full of personality. The color ranges from subdued to leaping off the page, depending on the scene. When it comes to art telling a story, Blacksad is second to none. Fantastic on every conceivable level, this is absolutely a must read.