- All Animation Is Disney: Inverted. Guarnido worked for Disney, but it's really hard to tell (except for some of the facial expressions).
- Alternative Character Interpretation:
- Karup is quite despicable in several ways, given his leadership of a KKK-type organization and his personal history of Domestic Abuse against his previous wife, but is he really a pedophile? It's never confirmed either way, although the hints are there.
- Abraham Greenberg; just a smug asshole with Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor and Too Dumb to Live tendencies, or is he borderline suicidal, constantly antagonizing his obviously mentally unstable, nervous wreck of a friend with purpose of making him reach the breaking point and kill him in retaliation? Considering Abraham's absolutely random, chaotic and self-destructive lifestyle and some of his rants, one can't help but wonder if early death is something he'd consider the only logical and preferrable conclusion to such a lifestyle.
- Awesome Art: Guarnido's expertise as an animator really shows through; the characters are very expressive and full of personality, and the coloring looks fantastic.
- Complete Monster:
- Somewhere Within the Shadows: Ivo Statoc is a powerful businessman who serves as the primary villain of this first album. Most of the other villains in the series get tragic backstories or redeeming traits, but Statoc is evil and depraved to the core. He made film star Natalia Wilford his mistress, but when he found out she cheated on him, he personally tortured her lover to death, killed Natalia in cold blood, had his way with her corpse afterwards, and threw money at it to make it go away. When one of his associates has had enough and tries to blackmail him with his crimes, Statoc arranges the man's death. Later, he taunts Blacksad by boasting that unlike his foe, he isn't limited by such silly things like ethics and moral scruples, and is so successful because of his cold-bloodedness. The only thing that really interests him is pure, unadulterated power.
- Arctic Nation: Huk is The Starscream to Hans Karup, the leader of the racist Arctic Nation, of which Huk is the spokesman. Huk also inspires lynchings against "black" animals and praises the lynchings in public as a defense of the noble "white race." While seemingly loyal to Hans Karup, Huk schemes to overthrow him and steal his wife in the bargain. During his affair with Karup's wife Jezabel, Huk has the daughter of Karup's black maid kidnapped to frame Karup (who is suspected to be a pedophile), but murders her mother when he decides she might talk. He then tricks Karup's followers into lynching him, taunting Karup he'll see to Karup's wife and then tries to hang Blacksad's friend, a journalist who'd been spying on Huk. Manipulating a harmless old crow into helping him, Huk decides to murder the little girl as well and shoots his unwilling accomplice when he demands Huk save the girl from a burning building before leaving her to burn.
- Genius Bonus: When explaining why his son couldn't possibly be a child's father in a phony blackmail case, one white tiger businessman in Arctic Nation points out that he's severely mentally retarded, which Blacksad attributes to inbreeding. Said son is a cheetah, and in real life, cheetahs are deeply inbred (due to a natural near-extinction event which reduced the population long ago). (Unfortunately, this renders Blacksad's "sometimes mixing isn't such a bad thing" racism metaphor a non-sequitur Broken Aesop, since that would indicate that even if he is married to someone within the same town's gene pool, it's not to another white animal.)
- Hidden Depths: Neal, a lawyer who practices narcissism and womanizing almost as a religion, is shown to be genuinely friendly with Blacksad's kid nephew.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: Smirnov's police colleagues are mostly dogs, but count among them one fox with an incredibly smug smile.
- LGBT Fanbase: John Blacksad is quite the Stupid Sexy Flanders. Some gay readers have discovered the series after first encountering its LGBT Fanbase.
- In fact, the characters themselves get shipped a lot, particularly Blacksad and Smirnov.
- Moe: The children in this series, Kaylie especially. So cute that it hurts.
- Nightmare Fuel: The trip that Blacksad has when he nearly drowns in A Silent Hell, where he sees anthropomorphic animals dissected in what looks like a slaughterhouse.
- One-Scene Wonder:
- The lynx with the chest tattoo of mermaids who saves Blacksad from drowning in the fourth volume. He is not named and appears in only one page, but has already become quite popular. The endpaper illustration shows him rescuing a noticeably younger Blacksad, confirming like his dialogue they indeed previously met.
- Smirnov's fox lieutenant, although he appears later in "Red Soul" he is mostly remembered for his sly attitude when he covers Blacksad's murder.
Fox: Pfft, the usual.
- Tear Jerker:
- The end of album 2. The person behind it all realizes that Vengeance Feels Empty, and a little girl has lost her mother.
- And the end of album 3. John's biggest chance at happiness, ruined by a corrupt senator.
- And the end of album 4. The entire fate of the town of Caldonia, in fact.
- What an Idiot!: John would probably never have found the connection between Ribs and Laszlo if the latter didn't make a bomb way too complex for the hitman specialized in shanking to build.
- The Woobie:
- Kylie, her mother and her grandmother.
- Big Bill, he is happy go lucky despite everything thrown at him and every attempt to bring justice or reunite with his friends lead to heartbreak, it doesn't help the last we see of him is his traumatized expression as he killed Ted to save Blacksad.
- Jerkass Woobie: Jezebel. Sure she was blinded by revenge and led to Kylie being an orphan but given how much she had to go through for that it's hard to not feel bad about her.
YMMV / Blacksad