Blacksad 2: Arctic Nation

    (iBooks, 2004)
™ and © 2004 Juan Diaz Canales & Guarnido

Blacksad is a hard-edged, tough-nosed private detective who happens to be a cat. The anthropomorphic crime drama is hard edged, but don’t let the cats, eagles, and bears fool you: they are tough.

A thinly veiled story about racism, Blacksad finds himself caught between white supremacists and their arch-nemesis the “Black Cats” while searching for a missing girl. During his investigation, the detective uncovers marital infidelity, double crosses, and murder on his way to the truth.

Canales and Guardino do a great job with what they have created. Unfortunately, it seems a bit contrived. One must wonder what is the point of animals in a story which seems to take place during a radicalized 1960s America? Down to the way they dress, the white supremacists resemble the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Cats are the Black Panthers. The story of these respective “groups” has been told in the history books, so why does it need to be done here?

Fans of crime noir will probably eat up Blacksad, but anyone looking for more than a who-done-it will probably be disappointed.

— Nate Melby
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