It should be a surprise to absolutely no one that I am a huge fan of Jill Thompson’s art. I had somehow missed out on the previous incarnations of Beasts of Burden, but was happy to pick up a new number one issue on little more recommendation than Thompson’s name on the cover.
Beasts of Burden looks like it could be a kids’ comic from the cover–talking dogs and cats? It could be too cute for words, especially with such bright and luscious painted art. Except the same amount of loving detail goes into some truly creepy gore and disturbing moments. A horror comic disguised as cute stuff? I’m in.
The dogs have unique and compelling enough personalities that when one is chained up in a backyard it’s oddly disturbing, like seeing a person on the end of a chain. The hints at underlying mythology–”Witch cats” and “wise dogs”–are tempting, and the humor works without breaking the tension of the story. This issue works as a one-shot, but it also sucks you in and leaves you waiting for more.
So here’s to more comics that sneak up on you, right?