Dorkin, E., & Thompson, J. (ill.) (2010). Beasts of Burden Volume 1: Animal rites. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Books. ISBN: 978-1595825131
Annotation: Burden Hill has it’s share of ghosts, witches and worse, and it’s up to a band of dogs (and one cat) to protect the community from all these supernatural threats.
Reaction: This book is made up of 8 short stories, with the animals facing a new threat each time, though by the end, the stories begin to have an on-going, over-arching mystery as well. The gang of animals in these stories unexpectedly find themselves the heroes and protectors of their home, and they’re loyal, brave (even when they don’t want to be) and committed to their cause and each other.
The watercolor drawings of the all these family pets fighting supernatural terrors is what really makes this book delightful. Thompson brings to life the characters, giving each animal a distinct personality, without making them look cartoony or like animal versions of people (like the animals in Disney’s Robin Hood are).
This book is a fun graphic novel for mature readers; there’s some minor swearing and a just enough violence, blood and gore that I would not suggest it for a reader under 15 or so.
This book depicts personification by giving the animals speech.