Blacksad: Amarillo – Alternative Comics Beat


Alt Beat


Ken Porter 

Blacksad: Amarillo


Created by:

Juan Diaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido

Published by: Dark Horse Comics

An unexpected trip

Feline Detective John Blacksad is hired to drive a yellow Cadillac Eldorado across America. The only problem? The car is stolen. Even worse — Blacksad is a suspect! The fifth in a series of volumes from Canales and Guarnido, Blacksad: Amarillo is a standalone story worth picking up. Because If there’s something I love just as much as detective stories it’s road trips, and this story has both elements in spades.



A work of art

This is one of the most stunning books I have on my shelf. I’d heard of Blacksad in the past, but never took the time to look into the series. Canales and Guarnido have already done four volumes previous to this installment, and I can only hope they’re as well written and illustrated as this new adventure. The characters are well-written, the environments are rich, and the artwork makes me wish this volume was another hundred pages longer.



Why it’s a great alternative

What I like most about this story is that it’s visually different than most major comics in the United States. Blacksad doesn’t have the traditional American comic book style, and the story structure doesn’t feel like a four-issue mini-series or one-shot. The narrative rolls off the pages like a novella or a film instead of being segmented and divided into issues or chapters. Usually, with things shorter than graphic novels, you don’t get that kind of storytelling in a single volume.



Who would like Blacksad: Amarillo?

Fans of animated Disney films were the first people I thought of after reading this comic. While it doesn’t feel like a Disney story it still has that anthropomorphic animal element that made movies like Robin Hood a delight. It’s definitely for people who love detective stories, beatnik characters, and road trip narratives. If there’s room on your list for this beautiful hardcover then don’t hesitate to grab it for your shelf.

Ken Porter also writes comic books including “Ink Ribbon” from Visionary Comics. Ken was also the winner of last year’s Top Cow Talent Search contest and was recently published in “Artifacts” #33.