Reader Beware Month: Beasts of Burden

Animals are known to have a keen sense for the supernatural.  In horror movies, dogs are always the first to know if the house is haunted, if that man visiting is actually a killer robot, or if the reason you’ve been blacking out on full moons is because you’re a werewolf.  Cats have been portrayed as the familiars of witches for at least the last century.  I believe it is the knowledge that animals are more in-tune with the paranormal that brought about today’s comic, Beasts of Burden.

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Before I move on, I want to thank Shea of Spoileriffic for recommending this comic series to me.  She recommended this series based on the fact that she knows I like supernatural stories.  So, thank you, Shea, for showing me this series.

Beasts of Burden follows the pets of the neighborhood, Burden Hills.  The animals act as sort of watchers for the neighborhood, investigating when anything weird starts to happen.  They protect the neighborhood from haunted doghouses, witch cats, and zombie dogs.

I wouldn’t call this series scary.  I wouldn’t even call it all that suspenseful.  It’s more of a spooky adventure, a fantasy story with ghosts and witches instead of fairies and pixies.  The stories felt almost whimsical, not really coming close to what I’d call tense.  Even the story about the zombie dogs doesn’t seem that scary.  It was more a feeling of “I know they’ll get out of this, I’m just wondering how.”  It’s the almost whimsical and curious air that makes this series so good for me.  Some stories don’t need to be scary even if they do have some spooky stuff in them.

Even with 6 main characters, each one has a distinct personality outside of the way they look.  The characters are all fantastic, but I have two I call my personal favorites.  The Doberman, Rex, is one of the funnier characters of the series.  At the same time, though, in the three stories I read, he was the one with the most development.  He goes from cowardly to brave over time, which made me really appreciate his character all the more.  Then, there’s Orphan, a stray cat that becomes a somewhat reluctant part of the dogs’ adventures.  Despite being a bit of a snob at times, Orphan always comes through for the dogs in the end.  And that makes him a great, well-rounded character.

Despite not being the creepiest horror comic I’ve ever read, this series is still chalk full of fun and entertainment.  The artwork is fantastic as well, capturing that small neighborhood feeling while keeping up the creepiness with the spooky things.  If you’re in the mood for a good adventure story with some horror elements, you’ll definitely enjoy this series.  Doubly so if you happen to be an animal lover.  You can find the first three comics in this series online for free right here.  Don’t be fooled by the front cover, it really is the Beasts of Burden stories.  Now, I need to figure out who’s been digging up my front lawn and dragging out the bodies… I mean, bottles of soda. Yeah, that’s it…

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