Friday, May 6, 2016

Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In (One-shot)

   It's a delight to see this series back, if just for a one-shot story. The focus here is on some cats and a deadly demon.

   Beasts of Burden is a deceptive series that focuses on animals that can talk among themselves (though humans don't understand them - these are not cartoon animals).

   But these animals are guardians, protecting the community of Burden from mystic dangers, often dark and unsettling ones.

   The focus is usually on a "gang" of dogs, but this issue - What the Cat Dragged In - turns the spotlight over to the cats, as they face a problem on their own.

   At the center of the threat is Dymphna, a black cat - and former familiar for a witch - who seeks to return home to gather some important things, but the entrances are blocked - and help is required, which includes two other cats and a raccoon (for a very funny reason).

   It's a sinister tale with some terrific twists - and as always, a real tug at the heartstrings.

   Why, oh why, doesn't this series appear on a regular basis? It's in a category of its own. (The best description I've been able to work up would be to mix Watership Down with Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft.)

   Writers Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer turn in a powerful script here, and the art by Jill Thompson is stunning, evoking a real world and settings, mixed with a fantastic magical undertone.

   It's stunning and important work, and it should be at the top of the sales chart. Highly recommended!

Grade: A


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