Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beasts of Burden by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson

Sometimes, my two dogs run off into the woods and stay gone for hours--coming back long after dark, muddy and exhausted. Other times, they race to the window and start barking for no clear reason, ears pricked, lips pulled back. I'll check, won't see anything, and tell them it's nothing.

But what if there is something out there? Something I can't see?

That's the premise behind Beasts of Burden a comic series by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. A group of dogs--and one stray cat--must protect their town of Burden Hill (get it?) from dangers their human owners can't see, including ghosts, werewolves, and a coven of witches.

The series was initially intended to just be a few stand-alone stories in some larger comics anthologies, so first collection, Animal Rites, starts off a little choppy and disjointed. But Dorking and Thompson quickly realized they had a winner not heir hands and started expanding the world of Burden Hill, revealing a quietly sinister flipside to the sleepy suburban town.

Thompson's watercolors give Beasts of Burden a surprisingly lush look for a comic, and Dorkin's stories are driven by genuine characters as much as by the spooky stuff happening around them. And best of all, Dark Horse has a free preview of the first issue, letting you sample this gorgeous book for yourself.

(Cross-posted on my blog.)

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