Graphic Novel Reading Group discussion

Blacksad (Blacksad, #1-3)
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Group Monthly Discussions > 2nd Optional Book Club Discussion: Blacksad by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido - January 2013 (may contain spoilers)

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message 1: by Sérgio (last edited Jan 02, 2013 06:03AM) (new)

Sérgio | 459 comments Hi everybody. This is the topic for our 2nd Optional Book Club Discussion for January 2013, Blacksad by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido.

The discussion will occur during this whole month of January.

If your post will contain spoilers, then please type SPOILERS in capital letters at the top of your post (or use the html code for spoilers) so that members who are still reading or have not yet read the book can avoid critical details that can spoil their reading.


Enjoy our optional book club discussion everyone.


message 2: by Sérgio (new)

Sérgio | 459 comments I'll lead this discussion if no one minds.

I think the simplest way to do this would be to discuss the book as a whole in the first week and then discuss each single story during a week.

Do you gals/guys agree?


message 3: by Sérgio (last edited Jan 04, 2013 07:57AM) (new)

Sérgio | 459 comments Ok, let's start this.


///WEEK 1 DISCUSSION: THE BOOK AS A WHOLE\\\



Here's my opinion.

It’s a really popular comic in France and some other European countries. I have the first two volumes of it and personally enjoy much more the art than the stories.

I really enjoy the detail of the art and how Guarnido can give such strong human expressions and personalities to characters with animal heads.

The stories are a different matter. They’re entertaining but a bit clichéd but I think there was a big leap in quality from the first story to the second.


Dora The artwork is so stuning that I decided to read the Sandman first and then read Blacksad Vol.4 (although it isn't included in the group reading).
What I really like is how the animal form tells pretty much about someone's personal characteristics (professor Liebber being an owl)and the end of the first volume adds much to it. It made me wonder if the characters are humans after all and the authors wanted to show us what we really are behind our masks.
I can't really complain about the story (because I love clichés), but what nerves me at some places is splitting the panel: sometimes it worked and sometimes it seemed overused and unnecessary.


Paul | 286 comments While reading these, I couldn't help but see images from old 50's movies of the same genre. I'd have to take another look-see, but I'm certain I came upon a certain image and immediatelt "saw" Peter Lore...



Also, a great music to listen to whilke reading this would be Jon and Vangelis "Friends of Mr Cairo"


Meran | 115 comments What I really like is how the animal form tells pretty much about someone's personal characteristics (professor Liebber being an owl)and the end of the first volume adds much to it. It made me wonder if the characters are humans after all and the authors wanted to show us what we really are behind our masks.

I so agree! Loved this one the first time I read it a couple years ago.

I'm a fan of Noir.. and yes, it's campy and SO done, but that's expected of these types of stories. It's NOIR... would you read Tarzan and NOT expect "Me Tarzan, you Jane"? Of course not ;) The clothing styles are also of the time period (50s or thereabouts). Mostly. I'd like to see more men wearing hats, though that would be difficult on anthropomorphic art.

I enjoyed the story lines. They definitely took us through Blacksad's life as it is. (btw, how is his name pronounced??? Sad and is 'sad' or as in 'sod'?)

I will be checking my local comic book store. I hear the second hardcover GN is out.


'kris Pung | 135 comments WOW this one surprised me and I ended up loving everything about it!

The art was amazing all the stories seemed original for a noir type book it was basically the perfect graphic novel in my opinion. Of the 3 stories my favorite was 2 followed by 1.


message 8: by Marta (new) - added it

Marta Masana far | 3 comments The art is amazing. Just for that they already have me.

In my opinion Blacksad it's more about aesthetics and less about elaborated storytelling, that being not necessarily bad. Guarnido and Díaz Canales are expressing the illusory, 'cool and retro' New York that not-American people unavoidably think about when they imagine it.

It's about raincoats, cigarrettes and guns, not about quality crime plots.


message 9: by Sérgio (new)

Sérgio | 459 comments Marta wrote: "In my opinion Blacksad it's more about aesthetics and less about elaborated storytelling, that being not necessarily bad. Guarnido and Díaz Canales are expressing the illusory, 'cool and retro' New York that not-American people unavoidably think about when they imagine it.

It's about raincoats, cigarrettes and guns, not about quality crime plots. "


That a very good point Marta, but I wanted a little more. :)


message 10: by Sérgio (new)

Sérgio | 459 comments ///WEEK 2 DISCUSSION: BOOK 1 - SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE SHADOWS\\\

So, what did you think about the first story? Was it a good introduction to the series and its main character? What did you think of it as a detective story? And finally, what did you thought of the ending?


message 11: by Dora (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dora I'm not a big fan of detective stories, but I do believe the readers should have an opportunity to deduce who could be the villain. And here all we have is some guy in the shadows for whom we know he has some personal interest in this murder only to find out later that he is the actual killer. It would be disappointing, but the ending is somehow saving the whole book, this question: was it morally right to kill Statoc? Blacksad wanted revenge and Smirnov justice and they didn't end up being better than him.


message 12: by Reev (new) - added it

Reev Robledo (reevrobledo) | 8 comments Sérgio wrote: "///WEEK 2 DISCUSSION: BOOK 1 - SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE SHADOWS\\\

So, what did you think about the first story? Was it a good introduction to the series and its main character? What did you think of ..."


So much human emotion...for a bunch of animals! :) The dialogues just flow, the artwork so expressive. Bravo! I just finished Book 2. Will post my other thoughts later. Have a great day, everyone!


message 13: by Sérgio (last edited Jan 17, 2013 03:33AM) (new)

Sérgio | 459 comments ///WEEK 3 DISCUSSION: BOOK 2 - ARCTIC NATION\\\

In this second book Blacksad has to go against a white supremacy group made entirely of polar animals. There's also a black power group, betrayal, vengeance, an obnoxious sidekick and a poor blind bird who dreams to get to Las Vegas. I thought this was a pretty fun story and the art is great, as always.

So, what did you folks think of this story?


message 14: by Dora (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dora I got totally lost on this one, but introducing Weekly as sidekick/comical element was one of the best things that could happen to this book!


Cyndi (bookchick64) I loved this. Noir stories, good writing and beautiful artwork.

I liked the use of the animals, nice layering technique to the characters.

My favorite tale was the one that dealt with racism. Great story, wonderful use of "Strange Fruit" (always in Billie Holliday's voice). That one really resonated with me.

Glad this was an option.


Meran | 115 comments I don't think he was... But it could be made to look that way, which would destroy his life. A way to coerce him..


Cyndi (bookchick64) I came away with the same idea...Karup not actively doing anything wrong, but the idea of it being enough coercion.


Kirsty (halucinagenia) | 2 comments I'm glad this was an option, I've been meaning to read it since Boing Boing highlighted it.

I really enjoyed these, but agree the storytelling stepped up in the 2nd story.

The artwork is really that, a piece of art in each panel. I like noir but haven't been saturated in it so the clichés didn't distract too much for me.

Overall a better than average graphic novel.


message 19: by Sérgio (new)

Sérgio | 459 comments ///WEEK 4 DISCUSSION: BOOK 3 - RED SOUL\\\

I haven't read this story but I know it's about commies, cold war and atomic bombs or something. What did you thought of this? Am I missing out for not having read it yet?


message 20: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike | 289 comments Sérgio wrote: "///WEEK 2 DISCUSSION: BOOK 1 - SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE SHADOWS\\\

So, what did you think about the first story? Was it a good introduction to the series and its main character? What did you think of ..."


Just getting to Blacksad now and just finished the first story. A very cliched noir story but it was executed so well I didn't mind. Definitely a good introduction for Blacksad and seems to have set up some nice character threads for the other stories. The art is INCREDIBLE. Was fine with the end, but I hope it has some effects either in terms of consequences or characterization going forward.

It reminds me a lot of Lackadaisy: Volume #1, another noir-ish comic with anthropomorphic animals and amazing art. Lackadaisy is a speakeasy/prohibition story rather than a detective one, and has more interspersed humor.

Back to Blacksad - great start and I'm looking forward to reading the rest.


message 21: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike | 289 comments Finished the second story. Wow that was heavy. It avoided cliche as much as the first story embraced it and yet they both had the same "feel" and quality to them.

The racism backdrop was intense and utilized very well as it's effects twisted through the plots and motivations driving the mystery. And of course the art continues to impress. Great stuff.


message 22: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike | 289 comments Finished. The third story may have been the best. Just great stuff all around in this collection.

My full review


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