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Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites

(Beasts of Burden #1-4)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  3,929 ratings  ·  337 reviews
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
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published June 30th 2010 by Dark Horse Comics (first published 2010)
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,929 ratings  ·  337 reviews

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damn. i read this book ages ago, and i kept meaning to review it, but there were just so many more and different things to do, and it all got away from me. and it seems so long ago now, but if i don't review it, it will just be a giant gaping hole in my life. so.

this is a horror graphic novel comprised of several short pieces in which dogs and cats fight such creatures as zombie animals, ghost animals, werewolves, resurrected humans, giant frog creatures, and a pesky witch cat. but it's not sill
Seth T.
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics

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 Tom Cruise when he discovered that he was a) not gay and b) married to Katie Holmes. (Presum
Paul E. Morph
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love these guys so much I can definitely see me going back to this series again and again and again. If you like your talking animals to fight the undead, all in beautifully rendered watercolours, this is the book for you! Check it out.

I just love how it blends the dark and supernatural with emotionally evocative stories. The writing and the art went together beautifully. My favorite moment might have been in Let Sleeping Dogs Lie , when the story opens as the dogs were saying the final goodbyes to one who passed away. The artwork is stunning, but so are the words:

"As the great dog dug the lakes and mountains to cover those lost in that great battle...
...So we lay you to rest beneath the ground he has give
Dec 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I should have loved this. Really. Loved some of of Jill Thompsons other works, and come on psychic dog detectives gang, its precisely my cup of tea. Theoretically.

In practice, no not quite. I got two main hangups with this. One is strictly subjective and personal (its not you book, its me), I do not *like* stories where bad things happen to good dogs. Even secondary characters good dogs - and the first story, chapter of this, hit a lot of my triggers and in a bad ( felt manipulative to me) way.
Skye Kilaen
I picked this off the library shelf because of Jill Thompson’s name. (She’s well-loved at our house for The Little Endless series and her creator-owned series Magic Trixie and Scary Godmother.) It’s fantastic. Five neighborhood dogs and one cat summon a “Wise Dog” to help a friend in trouble: a dog whose doghouse is haunted. After this first encounter with the supernatural, the six friends become a sort of paranormal detective group under loose supervision by the Wise Dogs. They battle witches a ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I started reading Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites on a late cold night in a quiet house knowing it was on my /r/fantasy bingo card, but not remembering which square. There's a non-human protagonist square and this is a story about talking dogs - it was probably that one!

Imagine my surprise fifteen minutes into the book when OH NO IT'S HORROR.

The horror in Beasts of Burden is slow to develop. For the first few issues it's not present at all - those stories are purely for character and world-build
This is about a group of dogs that protect a neighborhood from supernatural critters. It's like Merlin as a dog, really.

It's friggin good. Honesty, if you have pets - dogs or cats, because cats help - you should read this. It has everything that you want in a good book, just using animals to tell the story. It is not for children, for at times it is quite dark. But it is wonderful.
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to André by: Ricardo Baptista
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I'd like to start by thanking him. Beasts of Burden was totally worth it and I'd keep on reading if only there was more of it in my shelves.
Now to speak of the book itself, I'll start by saying this isn't your everyday children's fable, far from it, and for me that's the first good thing about it. And to think it all started as a short story for The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings... To give you a short and as unspoiling as possible description of Bea
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it
A pretty quick read. Not amazing, but enjoyable. A group of dogs (and one cat) solve supernatural mysteries in their neighborhood. It's like Scooby-Doo, but with all animals and a bit more graphic. (Zombie dogs, ghost animals, cannibalistic frogs, etc.)

I enjoyed this one, but there is nothing earth-shattering here.
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible surprise this book was. I received this as a gift and had never heard of it before so I had z e r o idea what to expect, but I've heard great things about Evan Dorkin and hi it's about dogs so I was ready to throw my whole self into it.

This is such a unique blend of horror comics, supernatural story lines, and talking animals? Definitely not for kids, a lot of these stories and this art was scary even to me, a whole ass adult. Some of these stories were super dark and emotion
Cintia Andrade
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this is an awesome, awesome book.

incredibly original, funny, charming and oh so beautifully illustrated by the wonderful jill thompson.

burden hill is an ordinary suburb guarded by an out of the ordinary gang of dogs - and cat. each character's personality is distinct (all in dog-like or cat-like ways) and it's great to watch the relationships between them unfurl. there's one for every liking - playful whitey, brave ace, scaredycat rex, grumpy pugs, blasé orphan, reckless getaway kid, mysterious
May 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The short stories start off fairly simple but quickly descend into darker and more serious themes. This comic is not afraid of showing blood and gore which considering the characters involved can come off as slightly incongruous. But since this is a fantasy genre, anything goes; for the most part, though the dogs and cats are depicted as the ones to save the day (hence their 'burden') they do know their limits and act in ways which remind the reader that underneath it all, they will always be do ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I ugly cried to two of the vignettes in this comic (Boy and His Dog and Lost). (Seriously though, I had to stop reading for ten minutes after a Boy and His Dog cuz goddamn. GODDAMN.)

Maybe it's because I like animals way, way more than people, but I absolutely loved this comic.

The art was fantastic and the writing even better. It's not often a writer can portray suburban animals without that dopey "American" feel.

What was so interesting about this comic was the supernatural twist strewn through
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Homeward Bound meets Tales From the Crypt....Definitely not for kids. Pack of neighborhood dogs and a few cats make up a team of supernatural protectors for their home town. At first I thought the whole talking animals things was kind of dumb, but the supernatural stories, and dialogue made this good. I would read another volume of this.
" Black magic, demonic frogs, and zombie roadkill are just a few of the problems plaguing this seemingly sleepy little town. Beneath the quiet streets a rat cabal plots vengeance, while in the local cemetery the dead leave their graves. With the human residents unaware of the supernatural danger, it’s up to a determined crew of dogs (and one cat) to keep their community safe. Lives will be lost, and bonds forged as the beasts of Burden Hill battle against an unknown evil rooted within their town ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Not a big fan of the stories. Loved the characters, specially the cats and the raccoon, and the artwork...damn, simply AMAZING. But the stories felt kinda of too much of the same. I wish it was just a single and long story so I could get more of the mysteries from the city and the animals.

Oh and in case ur not sure if ur gonna like it, just read the last comic they've published. It's super short and does the service of showing if ur gonna enjoy the other stories or not.
Bonnie G.
It’s like Stranger Things meets animals!
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
The art was so amazing--I liked the weird and fantastic stories, but the paintings really took the cake. Watercolor is such a great and versatile medium!
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Terence by: Christine
Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites is a collection of stories about a pack of neighborhood dogs and a stray cat who’ve been tasked by the Wise Dogs with protecting the town of Burden Hill from supernatural attack. The pack consists of Ace, the alpha dog; Rex, a Doberman; Pugs, a pug; Whitey & Jack, terriers (I think); and the Orphan, an orange tabby. Later in the series, Miranda, an apprentice Wise Dog, and a reformed (probably) witch’s familiar named Dymphna join the group.

The artwork is good a
Ian Roditi
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
If I where a real four legged wolf, they would be my kind of #SquadGoals <3
May 18, 2018 added it
Small-town, Calvin and Hobbes-esque setting meets talking dogs (and a cat, The Orphan) who solve paranormal activities. I could not get enough of this.
Gemma Fasheun
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Give 3 starts because I love the graphic.
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ghosts. Werewolves. Witches. Giant demon frogs. Just a regular day in the sleepy suburb of Burden Hill. The human population have no clue at all the strange goings on, but their dogs (and one orphan cat) have been busy saving the world.

This is a graphic novel collection of a series of stories that feature a group of neighborhood pets who investigate and solve paranormal crimes. Each story is a complete episodes, but they all tie together in an overarching narrative. This volume ended but there i
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, comics
After Neighborhood Watch, I was wondering how they will take this forward - but surprisingly, the stories are even better, richer, and more fascinating.
Magic, fantasy worlds, and the forces of darkness are a surprisingly good fit with the world of household pets and animals, and there's a deliciously creepy, horrically gory, and heartbreakingly emotional element to the stories. Think Maurice and his Educated Rodents, Hellblazer, and a generous level of Neil Gaiman-type worlds. The normalcy of t
Matthew Galloway
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Each issue feels short and a bit shallow, but there is something extremely engaging about the story. I couldn't stop reading. I look forward to more adventures with the gang.
JD Estrada
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's something definitely magical of diving blind into a book, an album, or a movie and getting blown away. If you are a dog or animal lover and also love the paranormal, definitely check out Beasts of Burden. The character development in this graphic work is second to none and from the conflicted Orphan, the ever loyal and vicious Ace, the redeeming Rex, the snarky Pugs, and ALL the gang, every single character in this series is memorable.

Beasts of Burden tells the tale of a rag tag group o
Ije the Devourer of Books
'Something is wrong in Burden Hill. Some unknown entity is at work here, attracting other malevolent forces to this territory. This evil needs to be tracked down and destroyed.'

This is an excellent graphic novel telling a set of stories about a group of neighbourhood dogs and a cat, and their battles against paranormal activity in their neighbourhood.

It is an amusing set of stories with humour, great illustrations and lovely characters. A great one if you enjoy graphic novels and furries.

I just
Altivo Overo
Admittedly, I'm not much of a fan of comics or graphic novels. This one caught my eye at the library, though, and since it had furry elements I decided to give it a try.

I found the story line more than a little disjointed and difficult to follow, as if things had been left out or else created in pieces and pasted together later. The art work, though often detailed, made me feel uncomfortable and queasy at times. The conclusion was only a vague resolution of the story.

On the whole, it was "intere
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My new favorite series!

I’ve been eyeing this book for weeks but didn’t think I would be able to get into the whole “talking dog” thing. I was wrong. This book is full of magic, friendship and some of the most heart wrenching moments I’ve ever had to read.

It starts off simple, the gang just getting rid of a ghost dog in jacks new dog house. But by the end of it, I found myself cheering for these little guys, excited to see what they could pull off next!

The art is gorgeous. It’s so lite and gent
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Evan Dorkin is an American comics artist and writer.

Other books in the series

Beasts of Burden (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Beasts of Burden #1: The Gathering Storm
  • Beasts of Burden #2: Lost
  • Beasts of Burden #3: Something Whiskered This Way Comes
  • Beasts of Burden #4: Grave Happenings
  • Beasts of Burden/Hellboy: Sacrifice
  • Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch
  • Beasts of Burden: Hunters & Gatherers
  • Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In
  • Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men #1
  • Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men #2