29 May 2006

"Blacksad" Coming To The Big Screen!

Created by writer Juan Diaz Canales and artist Juanjo Guarnido, "Blacksad" is set in an alternate 50s-era America right that James Ellroy and Sam Fuller would feel right at home in, except that this world is populated by anthropomorphic animals ala "Fritz The Cat". In fact, the lead character, John Blacksad, is a humanoid panther, equal parts Kipling's Bagheera and Spillane's Mike Hammer. But "Blacksad" is hardly a gimmicky "funny animal" book, or a freewheeling satire ala the works of "Fritz"s Crumb. It's a deadly serious, often heart-wrenchingly tragic, melodrama featuring honest emotions, gloriously operatic violence, and sly satire (targets have included white supremacy, McCarthyism, and The Manhattan Project). But Gaurnido's stunning art alone makes it worth the purchase.

Director Louis Leterrier (best known for those "Transporter" films with Jason Statham) is attached to helm the feature film (which is still in the financing stage as of this writing)--no hint as to whether or not it will be animated or live-action.

Three volumes of "Blacksad" are available to English readers ( (two serials, one a sketchbook compendium) , well worth investigating. Check out a sample page from the first volume here.