Beasts of Burden 1 (September 2009)

662280.jpgHere’s an idea: dogs and cats who fight the supernatural (animals). It sounds Disney on paper, but the execution of Beasts of Burden has a lot of darkness and a lot of oomph. Dorkin’s killing off animals left and right here; admittedly, they’re all off-panel deaths (at least of the cute animals), but the survivors describe what’s happened in detail.

Jill Thompson’s art somehow makes everything–whether it’s an easy subject like a pug or a cat–or a more difficult one like a demonic toad–look adorable. It’s painted art, so there’s this definite “Dogs Playing Poker” thing going on.

There’s some uphill resistance when getting into this first issue as there are previous adventures in some Dark Horse anthologies (something I didn’t know as I picked up the comic to read). Dorkin does a good job of filling in the new reader through dialogue.

Adorable, if hardcore.

CREDITS

Chapter One: The Gathering Storm; writer, Evan Dorkin; artist and colorist, Jill Thompson; letterer, Jason Arthur; editors, Sierra Hahn, Freddye Lins and Scott Allie; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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