‘Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men’ - Hardcover Review

Beasts of Burden is one of those worlds that I’m absolutely happy to have exist. Dogs that are witches for anyone else would sound like someone was grasping at straws for an idea, but Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s creation is really quite fantastic. In their hands, dogs just seem like the type of animal that would use magic to help the world. I mean, duh.

Last year, I reviewed the re-released collection of all the earlier works. Now, we have Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men, and I must have missed something in between, because our Wise Dogs have made some friends, and one is a human that can understand them.

This story arc involves a mystery that begins with a giant, fire-breathing salamander and a hunter’s trap with a weird symbol on it. It doesn’t bode well to our group of Wise Dogs, so they set off to discover what or whom could possibly be behind it. The dogs fight magical creatures, cast spells from their eyes, and think fast to get out of impossible situations. In high school, it’s what I imagined my dog would do whenever he got off his leash and disappeared for the night.

It might be a little too scary for kids, as it gets kind of dark, but young adults and up will devour this in a sitting. Benjamin Dewey’s art is delicious. He brings to life the noble nature of the K-9s, as well as the twisted monsters of the dark magic. This world he’s visualized is rich and full of wonder. The dogs are beautifully designed, their emotions are transparent, relatable.

Of course, Daniel Chabon is the editor. If a Dark Horse book is great, his name is somewhere to be found, and I can safely say that Brett Israel must only be enhancing that eye for material.

I look forward to these doggos next grand adventure.


Creative team: Evan Dorkin (creator, writer), Jill Thompson (creator), Benjamin Dewey (art), Nate Piekos of Blambot (letterer), Daniel Chabon (editor), Brett Israel (assistant editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Click here to purchase.



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