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Beasts of Burden Volume: Animal Rites Hardcover – July 6, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Burden Hill looks at first glance to be the epitome of the idyllic suburb, but unbeknownst to its human populace the place is rife with all manner of supernatural menaces, both great and small. Werewolves, hauntings, black magic covens, and less easily defined things that go bump in the night wreak havoc just under the radar of man's perception, but do not go unnoticed by the unlikeliest occult protectors of all: a group of household pets comprising several dogs and a stray cat. These four-footed paranormal investigators, occasionally aided by "wise dogs" trained in the arcane arts, take on all comers with devotion and diligence. Dorkin's clever writing and Thompson's charming painted art effortlessly draw in readers--Thompson's realistic take creates a full world to get immersed in. Loaded with fun in every panel, this series has massive crossover appeal for those who enjoy horror, humor, and stories about endearing animal characters. This gorgeous hardcover edition contains the short stories that introduced the characters, along with the 2009 miniseries and supplemental behind-the-scenes material with notes by Dorkin. A stunner.
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Product Details

  • Series: Beasts of Burden (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books; First Edition edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595825134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595825131
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jesse Hughes on July 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book collects the four issue miniseries and three previous short stories. They are all supurbly written and beautifully illustrated (watercolors, folks- not Photoshop) supernatural/horror stories. Please don't be misled by the fact that our main characters are talking animals- there's nothing childish happening between these pages. In fact, parents, you may want to read the whole thing through before offering it to the little ones. I'd give this book a strong PG-13 rating.
The stories have just the right blend of creepy horror, adventure, a dash of comedy relief, and alot of heart.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Beasts of Burden is surely one of the greatest comic titles to come out in years, a fantastic combination of elements that don't seem to fit together at first glance.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an amazing comic book, and I hope another hardback compilation comes soon.

The artwork in this is beautiful. I love that the artist uses watercolor rather than another medium. It adds to the eeriness of the darker scenes, and something about it makes the animals seem more human in their emotions. The art is what drew me to the series, and as I was reading it I would stare at the pictures for several minutes before turning the page to continue reading. Some comics have trouble filling in the blanks that novels fill in with words, but the artwork more than makes up for anything that would be lost between word and art.

The storytelling is also amazing. Some of the stories will make you laugh, the others will have you crying because they are so moving. The personification of the dogs and cats helps you to relate to them, and the fact that they're like our own pets makes you fall in love with them within the first few pages.

I wish I could say more about this, but you really need to read it yourself to understand. If you love horror and the paranormal, this is for you. If you love pets and their spazzy quirks, this is for you. If you like drama in personal relationships, this is for you. If you like a good mystery, this is for you. So get it already!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great, fun read about a pack of neighborhood dogs (and a cat) that solve supernatural crimes and issues. Good, warm, entertaining read! Not as dark as other anthropomorphic stories, a lighter read, but nonetheless falls into that category of cool animal characters!

If you enjoy Mouseguard, We3, the stories of The Secret of Nimh and Red Wall, then pick this up!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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. If you're an animal lover, beware, because there is some semi-graphic animal abuse; the authors don't sugar-coat things. Personally I like that. This series is morbid and doesn't pull punches, but balances its darker themes with some humour and good-natured fun. If you enjoy Dark Horse comics like The Goon or HellBoy, you will like this. One last word of warning: the plots aren't just dark for the sake of darkness. Many of them are poignant. I, at least, was surprised by how deeply some of plots affected me. I definitely recommend this series.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the best things I have ever read, comic or not. The illustrations are beautiful and something about the restricted panel format makes the visual aspect of comic story telling work better than I've seen it work with some of the most innovative panel work out there. This is one of those great supernatural atomic bombs that transcend the genre.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 Burden Hill is a must-read, though the darkness and horror elements that sometimes emerge make it appropriate for slightly older readers (I'd say 12+, others might well differ on that - probably depends on the young person). Dorkin has been one of my favorite comic book humorists for many years now; why this wonderful series hasn't been optioned for a film series is a mystery to me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This isn't a children's book, so I'll be very clear and upfront about that. There is violence and language throughout. However, you can be the judge as far as what you feel is appropriate, just know that this is a really fun, engaging book. My 8 year old daughter loves graphic novels and this is by far her favorite book in our collection. The story is compelling, the characters are interesting, and the art is amazing. I loved this book, as well!
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