Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites

Episode 68

Greetings, Explorers! Who is that gently rapping, rapping at our podcast chamber door? It appears to be our annual Halloween Special! Join the gang as they take a look at Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites. The story was written by Evan Dorkin, with art by Jill Thompson. The series was published by Dark Horse Comics.

The story takes place in Burden Hill, a quaint town that happens to be the epicenter of paranormal activity. However, the town need not be afraid! A gang of heroes protects the citizens of Burden Hill from the horrors of killer frogs, zombie roadkill, a haunted (dog) house, and even a coven of witches! Finally, little does the town know its heroes are none other than its very own pets. This heroic group is Ace, Jack, Pugs, Whitey, Red, (all dogs) and the Orphan (a stray cat).

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Dennis and Johnny (Frankie was investigating some paranormal activities while we were recording) kicks things off by discussing when the Beasts of Burden meet the World’s Greatest Paranormal Detective. Furthermore, they mention how the characters and story feel like the offspring of Through the Woods and We3. Finally, they ponder the possibility that Thompson’s art for the series pays tribute books like The Poky Little Puppy, publisher Little Golden Books, and The Adventures of Milo and Otis.

Further topics include the wonderful animal euphemisms, like “eatin’ outta the same bowl” or “I been walked around the block a few times”; careful balance of humor, horror, and heart throughout the series; and last, but not least, the storytelling and art of Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites.

Please check out our reading lists for previous seasons by clicking here. We would love to hear your suggestions for future episodes of Graphic Novel Explorers Club.

Featured music:

Songe d’Automne by Latche Swing

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