Beasts of Burden

Beasts of Burden

[Vol. 1], Animal Rites

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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Welcome to Burden Hill-a picturesque little town adorned with white picket fences and green, green grass, home to a unique team of paranormal investigators. Beneath this shiny exterior, Burden Hill harbors dark and sinister secrets, and it's up to a heroic gang of dogs-and one cat-to protect the town from the evil forces at work
Publisher: Milwaukie, Or. : Dark Horse Books, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781595825131
1595825134
Branch Call Number: [GH] FIC/DORKIN
PN6727.T455 D67 2010
Characteristics: 180 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
Alternative Title: Animal rites

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skyekilaen
May 17, 2016

I picked this off the library shelf because of Jill Thompson’s name. She’s well-loved by us for The Little Endless series and her own series Magic Trixie and Scary Godmother (see my kids’ comics post for those). I’m so glad it caught my eye! It’s fantastic. Five neighborhood dogs and one cat summon a “Wise Dog” to help a friend in trouble: a dog whose doghouse is haunted. After this first encounter with the supernatural, the six friends become a sort of paranormal detective group under loose supervision by the Wise Dogs. They battle witches and investigate disappearances. They make terrible, soul-crushing mistakes, but they also save lives. It’s more emotional than I would have thought possible from a comic book about animals. Both the storytelling and the art are some of the best I’ve ever seen.

j
Jean-Pierre Lebel
Nov 27, 2012

Beasts of Burden provides the reader with a unique juxtaposition of cute household pets drawn into adventures of dark occultism. In some ways it reminds me of the big adventures of Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The art done by Jill Thompson is done in lovely watercolour, something graphic novel readers don't see too often. Eccentric and worth the time. Recommended.

theorbys Nov 15, 2011

06/2012 Just reread this, still love it.

11/2011 This was a great idea, and very well realized with beautiful art. The supernatural ambiance is great, and well thought out, and the intra-team dynamics, bickering, etc, etc work sooooo much better among dogs and cats than among the humans of so many of the comics' superteams. Two can'ts: can't go wrong here and can't wait for the next volume.

Vilka Oct 15, 2011

Remember those fun animal-stories you loved when you were a kid? Well, this is definitely not for little kids (there is some blood and a few pretty scary parts) but I got a good dose of the same kind of enjoyment I got reading Watership Down, Tales of the Green Forest or Black Beauty--only modern-age and with a supernatural vein. In a series of short stories, the main characters--a group of neighborhood dogs and the local stray cat--encounter (and resolve) various supernatural happenings in their neighborhood, unknown to the local humans. Briskly entertaining storytelling, funny back-and-forth dialogue between the main characters (the grouchy pug, the cowardly dobermann, the earnest beagle, etc) and decent artwork. Surprised me by bringing a tear to my eye in a few places--best stories were "A Dog and his Boy" and "Lost". The ending strongly implies another volume to follow--I'll be keeping my eyes open for that :)

j
JamesTheWriter
Sep 26, 2011

Jill Thompson's beautiful artwork and Evan Dorkin's script, which is reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's treatment of felines in the Sandman opus, is irresistible. You can just stare at particular panels for a while, without any outside illicit stimulation. The resut of this witch's brew is a series of interlocking and compelling supernatural stories as seen through the eyes of dogs and cats. If it sounds weird, it is weird, but Beasts works. Thompson is also know for pencilling the Scary Godmother children's books.

e
ejwise72
Mar 13, 2011

Think of this as The Incredible Journey/Milo & Otis meets X-Files. Sounds bizarre, no? In lesser hands, this concept would be a mess. But with Dorkin’s smooth plotting and dialogue complimented by Thompson’s reliably charming watercolor illustrations, this is likely one of the best original series coming out of Dark Horse these days – and close second to any of the Hellboy/B.P.R.D. titles.

It also makes me want to get a cat. Or a pug.

k
korgi
Feb 16, 2011

i love this comic its a must read

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aschamehorn
Jan 24, 2016

aschamehorn thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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