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Beasts of Burden Volume: Animal Rites Hardcover – July 6, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The stories have just the right blend of creepy horror, adventure, a dash of comedy relief, and alot of heart.
The world of the book is a sunny, idealic suburb with the dark forces of the supernatural creeping in at the fringes. There to fight back are the eponymous beasts, a group of dogs (and one cat) who find themselves reluctant heroes. Evan Dorkin's writing gives each member of the cast (even characters who only pop up for a few panels) a distinct personality and an arsenel of sharp dialog and Jill Thompson's watercolor art is gorgeous - it looks even better due to this hardcover's slightly oversized dimensions.
This doesn't take a lot of explaining. Basically there's a group of suburban house pets (mostly dogs), that band together to protect their neighborhood from a host of supernatural occurrences.
You know those terrible Disney films where the animals talk and jazz? It's like that, only crossed with Tales From The Crypt/X-Files. What's so great about this book is the way that both Evan Dorkin's writing and Jill Thompson's watercolor style of illustration create this neat world of simple creatures dealing with supernatural horrors. And the "horrors" aspect of this is important. As much as this book creates this warm environment of talking dogs and cats - the stuff they deal with and see is often sad, brutal and fairly gory. But not so gory or intense that it would make this "inappropriate" for older kids.
So if you're looking for something cool to read - here you go. This is fun, easily accessible and just plain cool. Totally worth a purchase.
I must say it is pretty cool to see a guy who went from drawing punk/ska comics about tiny, angry dairy products running around brutally maiming New Yorkers, mature into someone capable of writing such a thoughtful and largely innocent work. Not that Milk & Cheese wasn't genius or anything because it sure as hell was.
These shorts were undeniably the best stories in the Dark Horse Presents books, and when I found they were making a four-part miniseries I was beside myself with glee. The story and art combine to create the pathos and heroism we all know and recognize in our canine counterparts. The animal characters retain their dog-ness or cat-ness, while simultaneously creating depth of character and complexity. This title is an example of the current comics scene at its best.
It's a great concept. Dorkin (best known for writing and drawing Milk & Cheese) fills his scripts with wonderful characters, intriguing situations, humor, pathos and more than a few scares. Thompson (Scary Godmother) paints the stories, bringing them to life (and/or un-life) in gorgeous watercolors. Together, the two creators have turned in some of the most inspired work of their careers.
This oversized, affordable hardcover collects eight of the nine Beasts of Burden stories to date (a ninth--teaming the characters up with Mike Mignola's Hellboy--was published in pamphlet form in October 2010), including four short stories from anthologies and the four-part comic series from 2009 and 2010. Just in terms of production values, it's a good-looking book, both nicely designed and beautifully printed. And only twenty bucks? A bargain.
But what about the stories? The book kicks off with "Stray," an eight-page story first published in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings back in 2003. Here we meet the main characters--including the enigmatic Wise Dog, who leads our characters into their lives of magic and mystery. "Stray" is a neat little ghost story, and it's a nice hint at what's to come later in the book. The lettering is a little rough here, but that's the only criticism I have of this smart little introduction.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recently just started reading this series and I love it! I only wish this book had more comics in it as I could read this all day! Very easy to read on devices too! Read morePublished 1 month ago by 6pawprints
This is a really terrific book. It's very engaging and beautifully illustrated. Not exactly for the faint of heart - it does get pretty creepy and graphic at points - but a really... Read morePublished 4 months ago by J. L. Thatcher
Evan Dorkin's BEASTS OF BURDEN is my current go-to book for gifting to non-comic book readers. Superbly illustrated by Jill Thompson, the secret society of animals that protects... Read morePublished 6 months ago by John J Arnold Jr
Great, fun read about a pack of neighborhood dogs (and a cat) that solve supernatural crimes and issues. Good, warm, entertaining read! Read morePublished 8 months ago by Erik W Pepper
Probably my favorite comic from the last ten years. I only hope they make more.Published 11 months ago by Justin A. Corwin
I love animals and spooky ghost stories. I am a fan of Jill Thompson's watercolor artwork as well so I figured (even though I'm not really into comic books) I'd give it a go. Read morePublished 12 months ago by LW Frank
Not for the faint of heart, this colourful book is engaging, well-written, and suspenseful. However, it does have mature themes that belie the cutesy animal characters. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Julianne McGinn
Some of the stories are quite dark - on the order of old-school fairy tales. Good wins but usually at some cost. The art is just beautiful. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Russell A. Mueller