Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer have won an Eisner for their 2005 one-shot comic â€œBeasts of Burden.â€ Nine years later, they have returned with a brand new one-shot, this time from the point of view of the cats in a one-shot called â€œBeasts of Burden: What the Cat Draggedâ€ and it is a delight to read.
Dymphna, a former witchâ€™s familiar, is having problems returning to her home. So she decides to ask the other cats (and a â€œhelpfulâ€ raccoon) to help her inside her house. What they find there is nothing short of pure evil.
Just because the characters are animals are not the main draw of this comic. You can make a story out of anything as long as the writing is sound. What does draw the reader in is the circumstances of why the house is like that and what Dymphna did to make these events happen? You feel the emotional baggage all the characters have and are left full of sorrow after finding out what happened while Dymphna was gone.
The art by Jill Thompson adds a nice look to the comic. Instead doing the usual â€œmake the animals look cuteâ€ route, the characters look more realistic and closer to the darker tone of the story. It works in grand fashion. One way is how the characters move and interact with their environment. This is how real life cats move and interact with things. The art is especially nice when the big reveal comes around. If the intent of Johnson was to scare the reader, she sure succeeded in that department.
â€œBeasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged inâ€ has a great story, characters, and nice looking art. The story may be a bit scary for some kids, but itâ€™s nothing higher than the typical â€œGoosebumpsâ€ book. There should be more stories about these characters and they should retain the same storytelling as this and the first comic.
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