Monday, July 30, 2012

Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites

by Evan Dorkin (story) and Jill Thompson (art), 180 pages

A group of neighborhood dogs (and one cat) find their lazy days hanging out in each other's yards disturbed by one supernatural mystery after another.  A haunted dog house is easy enough to handle with the help of a Wise Dog; but as the situation gets progressively darker and more deadly, the gang realizes they'll have to learn some magic, themselves, if they want to survive long enough to save their neighborhood.

At first glance this may look like it's for kids, but don't be fooled.  Cute, quirky talking animals solving often supernatural crime?  Sure.  However, the forces they're up against include evil witches, involuntary werewolves, zombie roadkill, graveyard golems, and, just to keep things real, serial animal-torturers.  Creative and dark and funny and sad, this.  I hope there's another one soon, because I want to know what's behind the upsurge in dark magic as much as the endearing principals do.

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