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Blacksad is a hardboiled and successful private detective. He can be cynical and harsh but he has a good heart and is dedicated to justice. He is incredibly unlucky in matters of the heart, but has a wide network of connections.
- Badass Boast: Emphasis on Badass(a large member of a black gang moves to put black paint on Blacksad's white muzzle)
Blacksad: (pokes his gun into the guy's belly) You give me so much as a freckle and I'll end you.
- Badass Longcoat: One that he is very fond of.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: He has a bunch of fake badges that he flashes when convenient. He admits this is a cheap trick and seems to have abandonned it when his custom worker one didn't work.
- Cats Are Mean: Averted. He's polite and genial until you hit his bad side.
- Cats Are Snarkers: Always, but especially with Weekly.
- Combat Pragmatism: When the odds are against him, best example is in the first book where he has to deal with two Made OF Iron security guard who already beaten him badly once, Blacksad knock them with a fire extinguisher by surprise.
- Cool Uncle: Revealed to be one to his sister's son in the fifth album.
- Cultured Badass: He appreciates the finer things and is often quite eloquent.
- Dark and Troubled Past:
- In Somewhere Within The Shadows he said he had learned one or two tricks in the slums. Then proceeds to parry his assailant's knife and headbutt's him.
- In Arctic Nation we learn that he was a World War II soldier and from what he says he wasn't glad about it.
- In Red Soul we learn that Blacksad had a rough childhood and grew up in a rough neighborhood.
- In Amarillo we learn that for some reason he and his sister have mostly lost contact with their father.
- Guile Hero: His best attribute is not his fist or his aim with a gun, it's his quick thinking. He explains it in red soul that the only reason a rich and powerful man like Gotfield would sell his friends to the government is if he was promised something better not made public, in this case a place in a bomb shelter reserved only to the senator Gallo's friends, and therefore has one last recourse in case he is caught. Comes with being a good detective.
- Hardboiled Detective: A private investigator, with a somewhat cynical outlook, prone to the occasional Private Eye Monologue, and his stalwart determination and ability to think quickly helping him through most situations? He is pretty much the trope to a T.
- Hurting Hero: often enough to give him an existential crisis by the beginning of Amarillo.
- Mr. Fanservice: In universe, this is played for humor. Otherwise, it's played straight.
- Scary Black Man: In a sense. The way his black fur is perceived by other persons, especially in Arctic Nation, has many allusions to how African-Americans was perceived in the 50's, and there is the fact he often employs his looks for intimation.
- Smoking Is Cool: Smoking was fashionable in the 50's after all.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: He is one big and handsome black cat, as most female characters would attest.
An intrepid reporter with an odor problem and a perverted mind. Weekly befriends Blacksad during the latter's child abduction case in 'The Line.' Despite Blacksad's initial dislike of Weekly the two have become good friends and they work together often. His name comes from an office rumor that he changes his underwear only once a week.
- Aside Glance: After Blacksad and Alma 'borrow' his apartment.
- Bumbling Sidekick: Averted. Weekly has proved very useful to Blacksad.
- Casanova Wannabe: Hilariously played for all it's worth in Hell, Silence: Week gets women coming on to him all over the place but is too busy snooping to pay any attention to theľ (BUMP) "Oops, pardon me."
- Intrepid Reporter: Odor problem aside, he's not a bad reporter.
- The Pig Pen: His weird personal odor is commented much upon.
A police commissioner and friend of Blacksad. Because Smirnov realizes the failings of the justice system, he helps Blacksad to reach criminals that he himself cannot.
- Friend on the Force: Given that he's the police commissioner. Notably, he provides Blacksad with a pretty waterproof alibi after he has shot and killed Statoc.
- Happily Married: "Red Soul" shows us his family, a wife and two kids.
- Heroic Dog: A damn good police officer.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: With him being the police commissioner.
- Smoking Is Cool: Believe us when we say that a German Shepherd letting out a drag of smoke is pretty darn cool.
Somewhere Within The Shadows
- Bodyguard Crush: Reason why she fell in love with John.
- Old Flame: Was John's lover in the past.
- Posthumous Character: Given that the comic starts with her death, we only get to known her in flashbacks.
- Pretty Little Headshots: How she died. Despite being shot point blank in the face, her visage was still untainted.
- Stalker with a Crush: Was the victim of this, which is when she hired Blacksad to deal with the guy.
- Big Bad: The one behind Natalia's murder.
- Pretty Little Headshots: How he died.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: He thinks he can get away with murder because he's rich. John proves him otherwise.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Statoc tries this on Blacksad. Ironically, his smug Evil Gloating is what Blacksad himself attribute for making him decide to shoot him.
- Abusive Parents: Gets her daughter involved in a convoluted revenge scheme against the girl's grandfather by staging her disappearance, but starts to feel guilty about it.
- Best Served Cold: The reason why she went along with the plan to frame Karup. Things went wrong though and didn't get to live to see the results.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Being one of the abandoned daughters of Karup.
- Disappeared Dad: We do find out who her father is later on.
- Distinguishing Mark: She has a white mark on her chest.
- Mama Bear: Only in name.
- Polar Opposite Twins: She is hot-tempered and impulsive compared to Jezebel. Further punctuated by the opposing color schemes, including their birthmarks.
- She's Got Legs: In her work uniform.
- The Stoic: Tries to be one, fails. She eventually finds herself unable to keep her emotions bottled-up and considers backing out of The Plan, which leads to Huk killing her.
- You Killed My Father: The reason why she wants revenge upon Karup, her own father, is for their leaving her mother to her death. Unlike her sister however, she has obvious doubts because the plan puts her daughter Kylie in harms way.
- Children Are Innocent: The only one innocent in this whole fiasco, and what's worse it leaves her orphan.
- Disappeared Dad: With her being raised by her mom.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: She is just adorable.
- Dragon Ascendant: Karup's right hand man.
- The Klan: Is part of it.
- Pedo Hunt: Frames Karup for Kylie's disappearance and by planting rumors about Karup being a pedophile.
- The Starscream: Betrays Karup in more ways than one.
Chief Hans Karup
- Et Tu, Brute?: Betrayed by Huk, his right hand man, in more ways than one.
- Friend to All Children: Played for drama, as it causes people to believe that he's a pedophile.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With his wife. Both of them.
- The Klan: The grandmaster of it no less.
- Large and in Charge: He is huge, and he is not only the local police chief, but also the grandmaster of The Klan.
- Lysistrata Gambit: Victim of this. For a good reason.
- Parental Incest: Although he was unaware of it and her daughter made sure that it would be a platonic marriage.
- Pedo Hunt: Becomes the victim of this.
- Pedophile Priest: The director of the church's children choir. He may or may not be a pedophile... point is, by the end all the townsfolk believe it.
- The Sheriff: He is the police chief at his town.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Used to be a genuinely nice guy in his youth, until he started to buy into the whole racial purity thing.
- Unwitting Pawn: Of Huk and Jezebel's machinations.
Jezebel Karup nee Smith
- Best Served Cold: The reason why she did everything to get at Karup, including using her own niece in a kidnapping plan.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: She teamed up with Huk, in more ways than one, to bring down Karup.
- Byronic Hero: From a Certain Point of View, and a failed one at that.
- The Chessmaster: She had a great plan. It worked, but she lost more than she bargained for.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The abandoned daughter of Karup.
- Disappeared Dad: Her dad is not mentioned at the start of the story, then we find out who her father is.
- Distinguishing Mark: She has a black mark on her chest.
- Heel Realization: She gets this during her My God, What Have I Done? moment. Specifically, upon realizing that her vengeance cost Dinah's life, and made Kylie an orphan, which was the whole reason she wanted revenge on Karup.
- Lysistrata Gambit: There's a reason for this: she's Karup's daughter, which he's unaware of.
- Manipulative Bitch: She orchestrated Karup's fall.
- Meaningful Name: Her name is Jezebel, what did you expect?
- My God, What Have I Done?: Upon realizing that her plan ended up killing her sister, Dinah, thus leaving her niece, Kylie, an orphan, just like she once was.
- Parental Incest: Played with. She went to great lengths to get back at her own father, including seducing and marrying him. Although it's hinted they never had sex.
- Polar Opposite Twins: She is more cold and calculating than Dinah. Further punctuated by the opposing color schemes, including their birthmarks.
- Walking Spoiler: It's hard to discuss her because of how central she is to the plot, even if she's just in the periphery of the story for the most part.
- You Killed My Father: The reason why she wants revenge upon Karup, her own father, is for their leaving her mother to her death. Unlike her sister however, she becomes completely consumed with revenge.
- Your Cheating Heart: Played with. She never loved Karup, given that he's her father, but still cheats on him with Huk.
- Adults Are Useless: Averted.
- Cool Teacher: Mixed with Cool Old Lady, in that she cares enough about her students to hire a private detective when one goes missing.
- Parental Substitute: To Kylie, in that she is the only adult figure in the girl's life who legitimately cares about her well being and contacts Blacksad to find her when Dinah refuses to do anything.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Blacksad's narration refer to her as a person that looks frail but with firm and dignified spirit. The illustration makes a good job to show it too.
- The Atoner: Twice. His first failure was becoming a supporter of the Nazi regime. The second is when he passes nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union in hopes of restoring the balance of power. He ultimately returns to Germany to help with rebuilding his destroyed country.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: He and his father helped John during his childhood, thus earning John's loyalty.
- Dirty Communists: Believed to be one given that he's a left-leaning benefactee of Gotfield. He was actually a Nazi.
- Freak Out: When he goes back to his old neighborhood and sees the rundown state it is in.
- Herr Doktor: Yeah, he's German, yeah, he was a Nazi, yeah, he even worked with and met Hitler. But he's atoning for that.
- Karma Houdini: Escapes punishment even after trying to give state secrets to the Russians, flees to Germany and helps in the reconstruction of his country while serving as a school teacher.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: With the variant that he's actually alive.
- The Mole: Selling secrets to the Russians.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: At least according to Herzl.
- Never Live It Down: In-Universe. His Nazi past, sorta.
- The Space Race: Herzl hints that Liebber was recruited by the US and worked at Los Alamos thanks to Operation Paperclip.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Hinted, specially given his last name.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: The more he drinks, the more of an ass he becomes.
- Driven to Madness: Oh boy, he ends up digging in his backyard to make a bomb shelter and hear sirens of imminent attack. Blacksad is saddened by that view.
- Dirty Communists: Is the benefactor of twelve left-leaning intellectuals. Spills the beans on them when pressured by Senator Gallo.
- Freak Out: Suffers one during and after spilling the beans on his benefactees.
- The Informant: He spills the beans to Senator Gallo on all the activities of the left-leaning people he was financing.
- Dirty Coward: He quickly gives in to pressure from Gallo in order to try to save his hide.
- Sanity Slippage: The Red Scare really scares him.
- Stepford Smiler: He appears confident in public, but he is highly insecure and prone to being an idiot once inebriated.
- Dirty Communists: Believed to be one given that she's a left-leaning benefactee of Gotfield.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Granted, originally she was all business.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Well, she was pretty, but she bloomed after she changed her hairstyle.
- Someone to Remember Him By: Alma and John were supposed to hook-up at Niagara Falls once everything was over, but because he's caught by the FBI, and made it seem he betrayed Liebber, she disappears. Whether she kept John's child, or even carried to term is never revealed.
- Woman Scorned: Although John never intended that to happen.
- Your Cheating Heart: Cheats on Gotfield with John.
- Defiant to the End: Which is why the truth serum kills him.
- Dirty Communists: Believed to be one given that he's a left-leaning benefactee of Gotfield. Actually a Communist.
- The Mole: Was selling Liebber's secrets to the Russians.
- Murder by Mistake: He accidentally dies at the hands of the FBI when they use truth serum on him.
- Retired Badass: Being a former russian soldier.
- Title Drop: The painting which he was gonna use to give the H-bomb secrets to the Russians was titled "Red Soul".
- Dirty Communists: Believed to be one given that he's a left-leaning benefactee of Gotfield.
- Retired Badass: Being a former spanish soldier.
- Last Name Basis: His first name is never revealed.
- Murder by Mistake: He was murdered when the assassin mistook him for Liebber
- Dirty Communists: Believed to be one given that he's a left-leaning benefactee of Gotfield.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Has a rivalry with Liebber. Most think it's because the scientific community like Liebber more than Herzl, in reality it's because Liebber is a former Nazi, and Herzl is a Holocaust survivor.
- The Holocaust: A survivor of it.
- Jewish and Nerdy: A renowned chemist.
- Karma Houdini: Never really got his comeuppance for his involvement in Otero's murder. Or at least it's never seen.
- Nazi Hunter: As a Holocaust survivor, he's been keeping tabs on Dr. Otto Lieber for his Nazi past.
- Corrupt Politician: It is revealed his program was gonna save only those close to him.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's a stand-in of Senator Joseph McCarthy, being a fanatical anti-communist U.S. Senator in the 1950s.
- Punny Name: Gallo means Rooster in spanish.
- Red Scare: Uses it to wield his power in Washington.
A Silent Hell
Faust LaChapelle Dupre
- Big Bad: He set things in motion that ends with several musicians dead.
- I Have No Son: Subverted. Even if he doesn't see eye to eye with his son Thomas, he still cares about him and wants to leave him a good legacy.
- Incurable Cough of Death: He has cancer and is dying.
- Manipulative Bastard: Being the guy that kickstarted the main events.
- Meaningful Name: He's a very Faustian character.
- Snake Oil Salesman: The person of Life Everlasting, a supposed health product responsible for many cases of birth defects, including Lenoir and Fletcher.
- That Man Is Dead: Tries really hard to move away from his past as Dupre and all the bad things he caused, and he is not afraid to do anything to stop you if start sniffing around.
- Title Drop: He mentions his idea of Hell is a place where everything is silent, where there is no music.
Sebastian "Little Hand" Fletcher
- Addled Addict: Zig-zags between this and Functional Addict. His Survivor's Guilt doesn't help.
- Disabled Love Interest: He is Hannah's.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Has a smaller right arm and hand, still plays a killer piano and a great jazz musician.
- Meaningful Name: Or nickname, which refers to his shorter right arm and small right hand.
- Perfect Poison: They tainted his heroin, making it seem like an overdose.
- Survivor's Guilt: In the sense that he's the most well-off and famous of his friends, all thanks to the person responsible for all their birth defects.
- Troubled, but Cute: For varying degrees of cute.
- Calling the Old Man Out: He pretty much abandon his father after one too many dispute.
- The Dutiful Son: Tried to be this, but it always seemed it was never enough for Faust.
- Green-Eyed Monster: He's jealous of Sebastian, but he does care about him and Hannah.
- Red Herring Shirt: It's made seem that he's the bad guy initially, but is later revealed he cares about both Hannah and Sebastian.
- The Unfavourite: He always felt his father would dote more on Sebastian.
- Instant Birth, Just Add Water: With the help of Thomas and a midwife.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: She is the person that starts this whole thing rolling by showing Faust the new lyrics for a song Sebastian and Lenoir were working on, a song about Faust's old life as Dr. Dupre and the damage his product, "Life Everlasting" did to the children of Caldonia.
- Someone to Remember Him By: Gives birth to a child the same night Sebastian dies.
"Big" Bill Lenoir
- An Arm and a Leg: Was born without one of his legs.
- Bilingual Bonus: Speaks Gullah when angry, you can kind of get what he says if you know English.
- The Drifter: Being pretty much poor, he spends his time "walking" through all of New Orleans.
- The Pollyanna: Despite being poor, in poor health including missing a leg, he seems to be a happy fella'.
- Putting the Band Back Together: Tried to with his childhood friends, but failed.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: After he found out the truth about "Life Everlasting" and the origin of his condition, he reached out to his friends, which resulted in his friends getting killed and his own life threatened.
- "Blackmail" is Such an Ugly Word: Tries to convince John to blackmail Faust together,
- Fat, Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit: More like brownsuit, but you get the idea.
- Implacable Man Takes 3 shots and close range to the gut and is hardly worse for the wear; it takes Lenoir hitting him with a pickaxe to the back of the neck to kill him.
- Leave No Witnesses: Reason why he started to kill Faust's musicians.
- The Starscream: Originally working for Faust LaChapelle, but once he found out about "Life Everlasting" he thought of blackmailing him instead.
- Stout Strength: Despite his weight, he's incredibly strong, as befits a hippo.
- We Can Rule Together: Tells John that the two could have blackmailed LaChappelle over "Life Everlasting".
- Accidental Murder: Kills Abraham in a fit of rage. Is involved in Polyphemus and Elmore's deaths. Accidentally kills Neal.
- The Atoner: Tries to. succeeds in the end.
- Cradling Your Kill: Neal, after accidentally pushing him to a bus.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Kills Abraham in a fit of rage after the latter took away his manuscript and tried to mail it to the Dalai Lama.
- It's All About Me: He is a jerkass that only cares about himself and his novel.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Four times.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He is based on Jack Kerouac
- Poisonous Friend: Of Abraham. Put the two together, and inebriated, and they're completely self-destructive.
- Rescue Romance: With Luanne after they rescue each other.
- Sympathetic Murderer: He is directly responsible for two deaths, and involved in the accidental death of two others. Given the circumstances, you can't help but to feel at least bad for some of what happened to him.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Thanks to his early cameo in "Red Soul"
- Early-Bird Cameo: Appears in "Red Soul" in a couple of panels, but hardly is of consequence in that story.
- Dirty Communist: Was one of Gotfield's benefactees, and was even arrested in "Red Soul"
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He is based on Allen Ginsberg.
- Poisonous Friend: To Chad. All Chad learns from him is how to be auto-destructive.
- Accidental Murder: Gets accidentally killed by Chad.
- Amoral Attorney: Averted. Despite seeing like an ambulance chaser, he's a really jovial guy.
- Blood from the Mouth: As he's dying.
- Die Laughing: Starts laughing at John's joke before passing away.
- Friend to All Children: Despite looking like a slimy lawyer, he's a good guy and and gets along well with Ray, John's nephew.
- Handsome Lech: Hits on several women, including John's sister.
- Nice Guy: Despite being a lawyer, he is really nice, even happily hanging out with Jay, John's nephew.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Chad after one too many self loathing idiocy from him, being sick of his angsty artist persona and tells him that he can't just drag people with him.
Luanne Eva Lange
- Dark and Troubled Past: Was 14 when she ran away from home after her family forced her into an abortion. Also, she's the granddaughter of a newspaper magnate.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Actually forced into one by her family in order to avoid a scandal.
- Ms. Fanservice: Part of her job at the Circus.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When she kills Polyphemus, her would be rapist, saving Chad in the process.
- Rescue Romance: With Chad, after they rescue each other.
Donna & Ray
- Disappeared Dad: Donna's father, as well as Ray's. Donna and John's father just fell off the map. Ray's moved away after the divorce.
- Green Eyes: Both Donna and Ray.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Donna triggers this from John when Neal wolf-whistles at her.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Ray is just adorable.
- Accidental Murder: Falls of a train when attacking both John and Chad.
- The Hypocrite: Wanted to execute Chad for killed a fellow circus member, but was quickly to jump at the chance to turn in Luanne for a big reward. Gets called on it by Simon, the circus manager.
- Knight Templar: Will stop at nothing to make sure the circus survives, even if he gets expelled from it.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Dies in a lousy way after betraying his own circus code by trying to capture Luane for a reward.
- Sad Clown: Only while on the job.