When I first read Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido's initial "Blacksad" chapters back in the mid 2000s, I couldn't help but think -- and I'm paraphrasing a bit -- "Man, this is like a Don Bluth movie for people who like awesome things." Naturally, I was pretty crushed when the series' initial American publishing schedule came to a halt, but thanks to Dark Horse's freshly re-lettered English localization of the series' first three installments in the form of a 184-page hardcover (out today), I can once again spin my disdain for "Rock-a-Doodle" into praise for "Blacksad." Better still, I can show you what I'm talking about by way of an 8-page preview from the publisher.

Confused? Don't be! Read DH's far more nuanced synopsis of the new release:

Private investigator John Blacksad is up to his feline ears in mystery, digging into the backstories behind murders, child abductions, and nuclear secrets. Guarnido's sumptuously painted pages and rich cinematic style bring the world of 1950s America to vibrant life, with Canales weaving in fascinating tales of conspiracy, racial tension, and the "red scare" Communist witch hunts of the time.

Read the 8-page preview after the jump.