Beasts of Burden is a great comic for both dog and cat lovers, as well as for fans of suburban tales of supernatural beasties. Or should I say ‘tails?!’ Huh, amirite?!
AH HA HA HA HA, okay, let’s get to Hunters and Gatherers.
Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers (Dark Horse Comics)
This is a one shot, written by the usual dude, Evan Dorkin. He strikes a nice balance between cutesy (Homeward Bound steez), funny animal banter, and spooky supernatural monsters in the woods coming to tear said cutesy animals to shreds. The way the various dogs and cats interact is priceless. I’m a big fan of the pug in particular. At one point when taking some pompous Pomeranians to task, who claim the evil in Burden Hill (get it, Beasts of Burden?) is a new thing, he tells them the evil was around, “long before your great-grandfather gave your great-grandmother the sloppy wet hug from behind.” Also, every time a dog says “Great Dog,” rather than great God, it made me smile. The dialogue is great, as is the pacing, so good job Dorkin.
Jill Thompson (no relation) does a phenomenal job as usual, nailing not only the monsters, but also the animals, their expressions, and their body language. The way Thompson draws landscapes, and the simple details of nature are also quite engaging to the eye. It appears to be watercolor work for the backgrounds, and it might even be watercolor for the animals, people, and monsters in the foreground. No matter the technique, the execution delivers a delicious dish of dynamic drawings to digest.
Is It Good?
Yup, it’s good.
You have no idea how many times I’ve longed to just end my reviews like that. Alas…
Yes, it is good, though if you’re picking up the series for the first time with this book, you’ll probably be a little in the dark. Regardless, it’s a bouncy, creepy, aww-inspiring smorgasbord of doggies, kitties, and the supernatural. Go give it a read, after you’ve fed the cat, walked the dog, or hung out with your evil horde of rats or crows.