And Then I Read: BEASTS OF BURDEN 1 & 2

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Images © Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson.

As soon as I first read about this new mini-series I knew I had to read it. As an animal lover, and a fan of both creators, it sounded like fun, and it is. And if I had to describe it in a nutshell, I’d say it’s the Scooby gang, but with ALL animals instead of just one! A group (pack?) of mostly domestic dogs and a few cats find themselves investigating some odd, menacing, supernatural events in their home town of Burden Hill (hence the name). Earlier adventures from Dark Horse anthologies can be found HERE, but a brief recap is offered on the inside covers, and here and there in this story.

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The painted art by Jill is delightful, and the lettering by Jason Arthur, using a font created from Jill’s own lettering I believe, is also quite good. The style is perhaps a bit more realistic than her Scary Godmother style, but still full of personality and just enough cartoon-like acting to make the talking animals work well. While there is some carryover, so far each issue the gang faces a different menace, so I’m guessing that will be true through the series. It’s an interesting mix: the animals themselves act mostly like animals, though some of them are able to do a bit of magic. They relate to their human owners (mostly offstage) as any animal would. It’s only among themselves that they talk and carry out their missions, which are full of action and terror, not to mention real danger. The characters of the animals are engaging and believable, and there are deft bits of humor here and there to lighten the mood. Both the writing and art are great, and I highly recommend the series.

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