Blacksad by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido
This review was originally posted at Goodreads and imported here later with next to no spell/grammar checking.
Blacksad is about as noir as you can get. The main protagonist is a private detective operating in the morally grey area but with a strong internal compass. There are bars, smoking, talking to oneself (i.e. the reader), femme fatales, booze, fights, betrayal, intrigue, shady characters, conspiracies and tits.
Set in the U.S. sometime around the 1940s, you could easily write it off as one huge cliché. It tackles the societal and political issues with the subtlety of an axe.
And yet, I’ve had a ton of fun reading it. Sometimes a bit of uncomplicated noir is exactly what the soul needs. Unlike say the Sin City, Blacksad leaves one pleasantly sated rather than in the state of deep depression and disgust. The stories are enjoyable, the characters are cool and I grew to love the main protagonist.
I also really really like the pictures (it’s a comic book). The facial expressions in particular really work for me.