Posted January 17, 2013 by Tony Tuason in Columns

SNEAK PEEK: BLACKSAD by Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido

Welcome to our first SNEAK PEEK column here in Flipgeeks! In this section we’re gonna give you a peek, at some of the geeky stuff that we come across with such as comics/graphic novels, books and even take a look at what’s inside DVD and gaming (PS3, Xbox, PC, etc) packaging . And to start it all we’re gonna show you this awesome comic book from Dark Horse Comics — BLACKSAD (Deluxe Hardcover Edition). Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Garnido

It was in 2011 that I read about Blacksad, I also found out that the book was made by Spanish creators. The book having  non-american creators was a plus for me since I was looking for other books that are different from what I usually read especially from US publishers like DC and MARVEL Comics. Even though the book’s creators were Spanish, it targeted a French audience. The book was really big in Europe especially in Spain and France. I was first disheartened when I knew that it would be hard to find a copy especially an English translation. But thanks to Dark Horse, I found out that they have printed all 3 volumes in one single deluxe edition. The first volume printed by Dark Horse includes: Somewhere Within The Shadows, Artic Nation and Red Soul.

I bought a copy right away through amazon and when I finally got my hands on it and read the book… It was AWESOME. Now let’s take a peek at BLACKSAD, written by Juan Diaz Canales and illustrated/co-authored by  Juanjo Guarnido.

The deluxe edition has 184 pages, and the paper they used have really great quality and has the thickness that I like.  It has a nice introduction by Jim Steranko, then jumps straight to the cover for the first volume “Somewhere in the Shadows”. The cover which features the protagonist John Blacksad, was first published by iBooks on December 2003.

After you flip the title page, you can immediately start to notice how wonderful the artwork of Juanjo Guarnido really is. The world of Blacksad is a world full of animals, and some of you might compare this to a Disney book or movie. Guarnido draws the characters so well, full of expression and each character even if it shares the same kind still looks very distinct. Back then, Guarnido used to work at Walt Disney Studios and was the lead animator for Sabor – the leopard villain in the movie ‘Tarzan’. So, as you can see Guarnido really knows how to do his stuff with animal characters.

Each volume is around 45 pages and after each one ends, we get a 2-page spread of beautiful Blacksad artwork.  Pretty neat, huh?

Even though it might appeal to others that it’s a children’s book, mainly because it has animals for characters, then you’re wrong. Blacksad is not a superhero, adventure book, winnie-the-pooh or any disney book. It focuses on crime, noir, has violence and even nudity (animal nudity heh) too. So let’s just say it’s has a PG-13 rating.


The stories crafted by the creators of the book are ‘serious’, and it even have themes like racism and other social issues. Notice the white colored animals in the pic below? The animal choice (and it’s color) by Canales and Guarnido for specific characters are displayed very effectively to the readers.



Here’s a look at the cover for the second volume “Arctic Nation”. 


And here’s the cover to the final volume in the book, “Red Soul”.

The only downside that I see from the book is the back section. When I buy hardcovers especially the deluxe editions, I expect to get a little extra like — artist sketches, writer’s notes or alternative covers that weren’t used. But I guess that’s why we got those extra 2-page spreads, right? And at the back, Dark Horse recommends some of their books that you would like after you read Blacksad, and I must admit they’re actually good recommendations. Of course, don’t let this be a huge let down to you! Blacksad is really a wonderful book.

So I guess, that’s it for our first peek at Blacsad, written by Juan Diaz Canales and illustrated  Juanjo Guarnido. Hope you guys enjoyed what we just shared with you and would actually buy the book! Make sure to check out SNEAK PEEK from time to time, to get a chance to have a peek at the cool and geeky stuff that we want to share.

Also, if you want us to share a particular product please let us know !



Tony Tuason

Tony is just your average guy who loves comics, toys, games, movies, and all those geek goodness.