Have you been meaning to pick up a copy of “Beasts of Burden” but not sure where to jump in? Well, this upcoming Wednesday, August 1st, you can try out the Dark Horse One-Shot, “Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch,” which collects three stories that were previously seen in “Dark Horse Presents” and it will only set you back $3.50.
If you’re completely new to this mix of adventure/mystery/horror then you’re definitely in for a treat. This is the Eisner Award winning series written by Evan Dorkin (“Milk and Cheese”) and drawn by Jill Thompson (“Scary Godmother”). So, let’s get to what makes this comic so good.
If you were mesmerized by the rabbits in “Watership Down,” then you’re going to have a ball with the animals in this comic. They are not your conventional sort of cuddly animal characters, although they can look cute. In our first story, “Food Run,” we find a goblin doesn’t know when to quit after he is chased away from the local hen house by Orphan, the tabby, and Rex, the Doberman. It’s the goblin who acts like a primitive brute compared to Rex and Orphan’s more refined tastes.
They would all love a nice chicken dinner but that slimely, smelly and oafish goblin is not welcome. The story itself is pretty wacky and fun. You easily get lost in it. The animals, even the goblin, are all rendered in a loose yet precise style. In one panel, you will see Orphan running in a simple pose and, in the very next panel, you have a beautifully executed study of the same cat perched on a limb, his entire vertebrae articulated with panache.
“Story Time” gathers the pups together for a bone-chilling retelling of a tale from the Dark Ages. And “The View From The Hill” is a wonderful take on ghosts who are nowhere near ready to have Jennifer Love Hewitt, or anyone else, help them crossover. In this case, it’s a flock of sheep along with its guardian dog. Sadly, they all perished in a horrific fire. But to the casual observer, they look fine. It takes Jack, one very observant Beagle, to find out the truth which is scary. “Beast of Burden” pulls no punches: cats and dogs get beat up, they get scared to hell and it all just makes sense.
Pick up “Beast of Burdern: Neighborhood Watch” at your local comics shop or order a copy from Dark Horse Comics.