Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 149

Beasts Of Burden: Animal Rites

by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson
Genre notes: X-files with dogs, BPRD with cats
184 pages
ISBN: 1595825134 (Amazon)

My wife saw Beasts of Burden and asked why I was reading an Incredible Journey comic. This may be great marketing on the part of Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson because, let me tell you, if you’re all bummed out because you think you’re reading a book about two talking dogs and a cat who are trying to get home after being unceremoniously abandoned by their owners, then you are going to be more excited than a pupper with two peters.

Think about it. The Incredible Journey has animals that are kind of funny and get into adventurous scrapes all while never deviating from family-friendly formula. That’s okay right? If you have kids, I guess? Beasts of Burden, on the other hand, features zombie dogs, coven cats, a rain of frogs, werewolves, earthen golems, and king rats. Imagine that you thought you were going to have to trudge through the family-friendly former (which was fine when you were eight) and instead found yourself knee-deep in the latter. Best day of your life?

Probably.

It helps that Dorkin and Thompson populate their book with charming characters who are skirting the boundary between bravery and cowardice, having been stuck with the role of paranormal investigators. It helps that Thompson’s art is beautiful and that she seems to really have a taste for painting animals. It helps that the book, while displaying a sense of humour, always takes itself seriously. It helps that the creators know how to give their suburban environs an atmosphere of danger. And it helps that I can’t wait to read about these dogs’ and cats’ future investigations into paranormal research and defense.

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