Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Beasts of Burden (Animal Rites) by Evan Dorkin. Art by Jill Thompson

Welcome to Burden Hill – A peaceful suburb like any other with white picket fences and vibrant green grass – home to an unlikely team of paranormal investigators. Black magic, demonic frogs, and zombie roadkill are just a few of the problems plaguing this seemingly sleepy little town. With the human residents unaware of the danger, it’s up to a determined crew of dogs (and one cat) to keep their community safe.

Horror, adventure, mystery, and humor thrive on every page of Beasts of Burden, which promises to capture readers’ hearts and haunt their dreams. Award-winning comics creators Evan Dorkin (Milk & Cheese) and Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother) come together to share the lives of some unlucky heroes, first introduced in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings, for which Dorkin and Thompson won coveted Eisner awards for Best Short Story and Best Painter. Animal Rites collects those earliest tales, along with the four-issue comic series Beats of Burden.

How I Found This Book

Perusing my local library’s graphic novel section I saw this and loved the art.

Overall Feeling

I need this to become a cartoon show on Netflix ASAP! It’s just so good. Animals who are paranormal investigators? YES PLEASE! These stories were such a great mix, sometimes leaving you laughing while other times leaving a somber taste in your mouth. I loved the dynamic of the characters and the storylines. I really wish there was another volume or more stories or something.


I honestly don’t think I have any.


First of all, the art here is just perfect. Jill Thompson provides so much detail too her work that you can feel the creepiness in the town as you’re reading it. The colors were brilliant and the dogs were drawn beautifully. The stories were also so different each time which I just loved. They were creepy and scary and lovely. The characters were each built so differently as well and that’s part of what makes these adventures so great. There’s also some cliffhangers/open endings here and there that add an air of mystery to the series. I really am hoping they do more in the future.

Diversity? (Possible Spoilers)

Well, they’re all dogs…

Trigger Warnings (Possible Spoilers)

Death, suicide, murder.




Robin spends most of his time running a certified rape crisis center. In his off hours he uses reading as a way to recharge and re-energize.

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