This isn't Disney.
For which we should all be very thankful.
First, let me say that the artwork is stunning, in particular how certain real figures were shown as characters in this book. The series is about a panther who exists in a world similar to our own, but instead of humans, animals.
In the first collection, the thing, the real thing, is the plot. Blacksad is a private detective whose first tale involves solving the murder of his former girlfriend. The best part, however, is the second story in this book, with the last running a close second. The second story is a look at race as told by the animal figures that inhabit the world. Quite frankly, any novel, graphic or otherwise, that can reference "Strange Fruit" and get it correct deserves an award.
In the best tradition of animal stories, this graphic novel makes you think about the human condition.
The second volume of the series, Silent Hell, takes place in the South, and despite the use of animals, actually does chronicle a story inspired by true events. The question here is about music, truth, and testing. Blacksad is accompanied by his reporter sidekick, and the second volume links nothing into the third volume of the series.
The third volume is the only volume that does not deal directly with race, at least not in the same way as the first two volumes of the series. There are subtle hints in Blacksad’s sister and his nephews, but that is about it. The third volume does refer to the lives of the Beat poets so it does have that tie in, but the overarching social look is missing a bit.
I do wish that Idris Elba would play Blacksad, simply because it is a role that seem so suited for him.