[Comic Book Review] BLACKSAD: The Collected Stories TPB from Dark Horse Comics

PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of BLACKSAD: The Collected Stories TPB from Dark Horse Comics. Available Wednesday, July 14th, the creative team for this collected edition features writing from Juan Díaz Canales, art from Juanjo Guarnido, and lettering from Studio Cutie, Tom Orzechowski, and Lois Buhalis.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

BLACKSAD: The Collected Stories TPB

Story: Juan Díaz Canales
Art: Juanjo Guarnido
Letters: Studio Cutie, Tom Orzechowski, Lois Buhalis

In Shops: July 14, 2020

Blacksad is constantly up to his ears in trouble. Sticking his nose into mystery after mystery, often getting involved with women almost as dangerous as the criminals he thwarts. Be it solving the murder of a famous actress or keeping nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands, Blacksad’s grim work often provides a mirror for real world conflict and human issues, never turning a blind eye to racism, political tensions, or brutally sudden violence.

This volume collects the following Blacksad stories: Somewhere Within the Shadows, Arctic Nation, Red Soul, A Silent Hell, Amarillo; and the comic shorts “Spit at the Sky” and “Like Cats and Dogs”.

* This series has won nearly a dozen prestigious awards along with praise from comics’ most highly esteemed creators including Stan Lee, Will Eisner, and Jim Steranko.

* Now a video game from Pendulo Studios!

Features new materials never published in English.


PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
BLACKSAD: The Collected Stories TPB

Writing: Juan’s writing for the various BLACKSAD stories is pure gold. It is full of some of the best themes of the film noir and detective genres, but presented in ways that go beyond the typical material one expects. The character of John Blacksad is more than just a shamus with a keen nose for clues. He is complex and that complexity rings out to the other characters of his adventures. The world they inhabit is an amazing and engaging one. All thanks to Juan and his storytelling skills.

Art: Juanjo’s artwork is the sort that is both eye-popping and exhilarating. Readers will literally feel the intensity and the power throughout his pages. The art makes the stories crackle with the same exciting energy of classic films like “The Maltese Falcon.” It is the sort of comics art that captures the imagination and puts a reader directly into the world of John Blacksad, right smack into the middle of whatever adventure he finds himself in. There’s something magical at play here, and Juanjo has cast a powerful spell with his gift.

Letters: Lettering for comics is as much a window into the souls of the characters as is the art and stories. The right letterers with the right creative team can take two-dimensional figures and make them as solid and real as can be. For BLACKSAD, the lettering from Studio Cutie, Tom, and Lois achieves that in spades. Especially with John’s internal narrations. Every time this reviewer started reading one of those narration boxes, there was an overpowering feeling that John was in the room, dictating his thoughts and adventures. That requires talented individuals with a knack for top-notch lettering.


BLACKSAD is everything one would expect from comics of the film noir variety and more. The world of BLACKSAD is more than just guns, fights, and problems which need solving. There are hang-ups and hang-overs, angels and demons. These are the sorts of comics that light a fire, one that will blaze on in the hearts and minds of readers for years to come. That spark is adventure, the sort of adventures that promise a lot of excitement, heart-ache, and serious reflections on the world, all through the eyes of a detective like John Blacksad.

5 out of 5 stars


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Writer – Juan Díaz Canales

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Artist – Juanjo Guarnido

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Letterer – Studio Cutie

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Letterer – Tom Orzechowski

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Letterer – Lois Buhalis

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Publisher – Dark Horse Comics

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