Chopping Block Review: Beasts of Burden-Neighborhood Watch


Review by Nolan P. Smith

Writer: Evan Dorkin

Artist: Jill Thompson

Release Date: August 1st, 2012

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics


Back in 2005, Beasts of Burden took home a prestigious Will Eisner Industry Award for Best Short Story. In 2010, it received another for Best Publication for Teens. If you are reading this and still have no clue what the Beasts of Burden is about, you aren’t alone. Until last week, I wasn’t aware of it either until I received the one shot book, Neighborhood Watch.  So, what’s all the commotion about? Read on and find out.

Story: Beasts of Burden is about a group of dogs and a cat that keep their neighborhood safe from the strange and paranormal. This book focuses on a few short stories, which originally ran in the Dark Horse Comic’s series, Dark Horse Presents. We get to see this motley crew of animals take on a mischievous goblin, learn about a canine ancestor that went toe to paw with a basilisk, and meet a very strange group of wandering sheep. Evan Dorkin, best known for his indie hit Milk and Cheese, really brings to life these animals, as the stories all feel like instant classics.

Art: The beautiful artwork comes courtesy of Jill Thompson, who is best known for her work on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. Thompson brings these awesome animals to the forefront, and shows off her awesome design skills when it comes to the evil basilisk and other brain branding images. With a watercolor like aspect to it all, the book boasts some of the best visuals I have ever seen in a comic.

Overall: Now, I am not going to lie: I love books about talking animals. Heck, I love films and animations about talking animals. So when I first saw this book, my expectations jumped, as I was eager to see what was in store. My expectations were met and surpassed with ease. Dorkin and Thompson’s triumphant return to their award winning franchise is something all should check out. Being only a one shot, you have no reason not to pick this up when it hits stores this August! Highly Recommended, I give Beasts of Burden-Neighborhood Watch a perfect ***** out of 5, which ranks it as WELL DONE, the highest honor for a review here on Pastrami Nation.

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