Synopsis[ edit ] Rendered in a film noir style, the stories are set in late s United States. All of the characters are anthropomorphic animals whose species reflects their personality, character type and role in the story. Animal stereotypes are often used: for example, nearly all of the policemen are canids , such as German Shepherds , Bloodhounds , and foxes , while underworld characters are often reptiles or amphibians. Female characters are often much more human-looking than their male counterparts.
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Start your review of Blacksad: A Silent Hell Blacksad, 4 Write a review Shelves: comics , In the fourth outing for black-cat detective John Blacksad he is actually going out from the New York metropolis that was the backdrop for the first three albums. His destination is New Orleans, a fictionalized one, peopled with the antropomorphic creatures that give the series its unique flavour, but still one easily recognizable in its landmarks and in its vibrant and colourful street life.
The period is also easily established through the car models, the fashions and the hairstyles : the In the fourth outing for black-cat detective John Blacksad he is actually going out from the New York metropolis that was the backdrop for the first three albums. Blacksad is a return, a revival, a homage paid to the genre and the period.
I already knew what to expect in terms of plot from earlier experiences with the writing of Juan Diaz Canales : it is competent and complex enough, without really shining in terms of originality or mystery. Blacksad is hired by an elderly and terminally ill music producer to find out a missing person - the best jazz pianist in his stable of artists.
The investigation soon starts to run into dead bodies, friends of the missing pianist. Somebody is trying to stop him, by any means, from launching a new protest song and revealing a secret decades old.
I do it for the amazing artwork of Juanjo Guarnido. His characters have more energy and expressivity in their animal faces than most of the human and superhero comic book regulars. His reasearch into the location and the period is faultless. Dark Horse Publishing has treated the readers of this fourth album to an extra 50 pages detailing the creative process, the brush technique, the sketches and the experiments with colour swathes that justify the long inception of each album.
My favorites are a couple of pages capturing the play of light and shadow from the leaves of an overhanging tree on a lunch table set in an old courtyard, several Mardi Grass scenes full of bright colours and the blue-toned flashback to a pre-war small town. He provides a welcome comic relief to the overall gloomier detective. I have also greatly enjoyed the jazz artists: a boxer dog on piano, a donkey on bass, a rooster on guitar and a cool cat on horn. The only complaint I could think about is the use of stereotypes: dogs are faithfull, so they are mostly policemen, a voodoo witch is a monkey, a goat is somehow connected to the Devil, a fat local detective is a hippoppotamus, a stripper is a spotted leopard, etc.
It works in the end through the expressivity of the faces and poses, but it doea feel simplistic at times. An Easter Egg for lovers of the city of New Orleans is hidden in one of the detailed panels of Bourbon Street, where one character in the corner can be easily recognized view spoiler [ he has a lifesize bronze statue in the French Quarter, even if he is a fictional character: Ignatius J Reilly hide spoiler ] Next in line is album no.
They will be available only in France, with no estimate for an English translation, but since I am mostly interested in the artwork and I can read passably well in French, I might not wait for Dark Horse and the English version.
Dark Horse Comics
Blacksad vol 4 – Hell, Silence ………………………
Blacksad: A Silent Hell
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