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Beasts of Burden is a comic book series created by writer Evan Dorkin and artist Jill Thompson, and published by American company Dark Horse Comics. The title centers on an eponymous team of intelligent animals that investigate different paranormal events that occur in their small neighborhood of Burden Hill. The initial group consists of five dogs and a cat. They are often seen consulting with "Wise Dogs," local shamanic elders of their community.[1]

Beasts of Burden
Cover to Beasts of Burden #4 (Dec. 2009) by Jill Thompson
Publication information
PublisherDark Horse Comics
Creative team
Created byEvan Dorkin
Jill Thompson
Written byEvan Dorkin
Artist(s)Jill Thompson
Benjamin Dewey
Letterer(s)Jill Thompson (2003–2005)
Jason Arthur (2006–2016)
Nate Piekos (2018–present)
Editor(s)Scott Allie (2003–2016)
Daniel Chabon (2018–present)
Collected editions
1. Beasts of Burden: Animal RitesISBN 9781595825131
2. Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood WatchISBN 9781506714103
Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch MenISBN 9781506708744

Contents

Publishing historyEdit

The characters made their first appearance in a story titled Stray (written by Evan Dorkin with art by Jill Thompson) in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings. They made subsequent appearances in The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft, The Dark Horse Book of The Dead, and The Dark Horse Book of Monsters.

Dorkin stated that he came up with the concept after being asked by Dark Horse editor Scott Allie to write a story for the horror anthology The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings.[2]

I wanted to write a haunted-house story, but not along traditional lines. After a few false starts I hit on the idea of a haunted doghouse, which became my pitch for Stray. Scott liked it and wanted me to draw it. I draw animals about as well as I breakdance, but Scott believed in me. Which was really nice. Luckily for us all, I convinced him to approach Jill Thompson instead.

— Evan Dorkin, 2010

In 2009 the characters appeared in their own four-issue miniseries.[3] The following year the characters appeared alongside Hellboy in a one-shot crossover issue titled Hellboy/Beasts of Burden: Sacrifice.[4] Three new Beasts of Burden short stories appeared in the fourth, sixth, and eighth issues of the relaunched Dark Horse Presents series during 2011 and 2012, all of which were later reprinted in the Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch one-shot.[5] The publishing schedule slowed down after that with only two issues from 2013 to 2017.

Basically, when Jill’s available to work on the book we work on the book. I have three notebooks of material right now, the entire storyline is pretty much sketched out, with room for diversions and side-trips. If I had my way I’d be working on Beasts full-time, it’s my favorite project and the one I’m always thinking about. It’s a labor-intensive book and Jill’s in high demand so it takes awhile for us to get these stories out there. I wish we were on a regular schedule, but unfortunately I don’t see that ever happening.

— Evan Dorkin, 2014[6]

Late 2017, Dorkin wrote on his blog that Thompson was almost finished with the first issue of a two-part story, The Presence of Others, and artist Benjamin Dewey was working on a four-issue story featuring the Wise Dogs titled Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men.[7] Dorkin confirmed on his Twitter account that more stories are planned for both Thompson and Dewey.[8] As of February 2019, The Presence of Others is going ahead with Jill Thompson on the first issue and Benjamin Dewey on the second.[9] A new four-issue Wise Dogs Society miniseries with Benjamin Dewey is currently being written.[10]

CharactersEdit

The ApprenticesEdit

  • Ace, a Husky, courageous
  • Jack, a Beagle, has some sensitivity to the paranormal
  • Pugsley, a Pug, who is outspoken, snarky and cynical, often gets told to shut up by the others
  • Rex, a Doberman, who is often afraid
  • The Orphan, a male orange tabby cat who is ownerless. He is the only non-canine to attend dog funeral services. He possesses street smarts.
  • Whitey, a Jack Russell Terrier who has a tendency to vomit or wet himself when frightened
  • Dymphna, a former witch's familiar introduced in The Unfamiliar
  • Miranda, a black dog who can cast spells

Wise DogsEdit

ComicsEdit

Date Story Appeared in… Writer Artist Letterer Notes
August 27, 2003 Stray The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings Evan Dorkin Jill Thompson Jill Thompson [11]
July 7, 2004 The Unfamiliar The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft [12]
June 1, 2005 Let Sleeping Dogs Lie The Dark Horse Book of the Dead [13]
December 13, 2006 A Dog and His Boy The Dark Horse Book of Monsters Evan Dorkin
and Sarah Dyer
Jason Arthur [14]
September 16, 2009 The Gathering Storm Beasts of Burden #1 Evan Dorkin [15]
October 21, 2009 Lost Beasts of Burden #2 [16]
November 25, 2009 Something Whiskered This Way Comes Beasts of Burden #3 [17]
December 23, 2009 Grave Happenings Beasts of Burden #4 [18]
October 27, 2010 Sacrifice Hellboy/Beasts of Burden:
Sacrifice
Evan Dorkin
and Mike Mignola
[19]
September 21, 2011 Food Run Dark Horse Presents #4 Evan Dorkin [20]
November 23, 2011 Story Time Dark Horse Presents #6 [21]
February 1, 2012 The View from the Hill Dark Horse Presents #8 [22]
August 1, 2012 RECOLLECTS:
  • Food Run
  • Story Time
  • The View from the Hill
Beasts of Burden:
Neighborhood Watch
[23]
March 12, 2014 Hunters and Gatherers Beasts of Burden:
Hunters and Gatherers
[24]
May 4, 2016 What the Cat Dragged In Beasts of Burden:
What the Cat Dragged In
Evan Dorkin
and Sarah Dyer
[25]
August 22, 2018 Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men Beasts of Burden:
Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men
#1
Evan Dorkin Benjamin Dewey Nate Piekos [26]
September 26, 2018 Beasts of Burden:
Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men
#2
[27]
October 24, 2018 Beasts of Burden:
Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men
#3
[28]
December 19, 2018 Beasts of Burden:
Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men
#4
[29]
May 1, 2019 The Presence of Others Beasts of Burden:
The Presence of Others
#1
Jill Thompson [30]
June 5, 2019 Beasts of Burden:
The Presence of Others
#2
Benjamin Dewey

Collected editionsEdit

Volume Title Date Stories Collected ISBN Notes
1 Beasts of Burden:
Animal Rites
June 30, 2010 (HC)

May 9, 2018 (TPB)

  • Stray
  • The Unfamiliar
  • Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
  • A Dog and His Boy
  • The Gathering Storm
  • Lost
  • Something Whiskered This Way Comes
  • Grave Happenings
9781595825131 (HC)

9781506706368 (TPB)

[31][32]
Beasts of Burden:
Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men
March 20, 2019 (HC)
  • Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men
9781506708744 (HC)
2 Beasts of Burden:
Neighborhood Watch
September 18, 2019 (HC)
  • Sacrifice
  • Food Run
  • Story Time
  • The View from the Hill
  • Hunters and Gatherers
  • What the Cat Dragged In
  • The Presence of Others
9781506714103 (HC) [33]

FilmEdit

A CG-animated film adaptation was announced via Reel FX Creative Studios with filmmaker Andrew Adamson scheduled to produce[34] and writer Darren Lemke attached to write the screenplay.[35] On February 20, 2013, it was announced that Shane Acker will direct the film, with Mike Richardson and Aron Warner joining Adamson as producers.[36]

Awards and recognitionEdit

  • 2004 Eisner Awards: Won Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art)
  • 2005 Eisner Awards: Won Best Short Story
  • 2007 Eisner Awards: Won Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art)
  • 2010 Eisner Awards: Won Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art)
  • 2010 Eisner Awards: Won Best Publication for Teens
  • 2010 Harvey Awards: Nominated for Best Continuing or Limited Series[37]
  • 2011 National Cartoonist Society: Won Best Comic Book Artist (Jill Thompson)[38]
  • 2011 Anthony Awards: Nominated for Best Graphic Novel[39]
  • 2011 Eisner Awards: Nominated for Best Graphic Album - Reprint[40]
  • 2011 Harvey Awards: Won for Best Graphic Album Previously Published[41]
  • 2015 Eisner Awards: Won Best Single Issue/One-Shot (for Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers)
  • 2017 Eisner Awards: Won Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (Interior Art)
  • 2017 Eisner Awards: Won Best Single Issue/One-Shot (for Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dorkin, Evan and Jill Thompson. "Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites". Dark Horse Books, 2010.
  2. ^ Dorkin, Evan and Jill Thompson. "Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites". Dark Horse Books, 2010, p.169.
  3. ^ Manning, Shaun (July 16, 2009). "Dorkin & Thompson's 'Beasts of Burden'". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  4. ^ Manning, Shaun (April 20, 2010). "C2E2 Exclusive: "Beasts of Burden/Hellboy"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  5. ^ "Beasts of Burden Returns in Dark Horse Presents #4". Dark Horse. May 10, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  6. ^ Sunu, Steve (March 5, 2014). "Dorkin Discusses "Beasts of Burden," Bids Farewell to "The Eltingville Club"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  7. ^ Dorkin, Evan. "Still Here, Still Doing Stuff". Live Journal. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  8. ^ Dorkin, Evan. Twitter https://twitter.com/evandorkin/status/996866395794235399. Retrieved June 23, 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Dorkin, Twitter. Evan Dorkin's Twitter https://twitter.com/evandorkin/status/1093579713333858304. Retrieved February 8, 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Dorkin, Twitter. Evan Dorkin's Twitter https://twitter.com/evandorkin/status/1093585089630490629. Retrieved February 8, 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  12. ^ "The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  13. ^ "The Dark Horse Book of the Dead". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  14. ^ "The Dark Horse Book of Monsters". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  15. ^ "Beasts of Burden #1". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  16. ^ "Beasts of Burden #2". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  17. ^ "Beasts of Burden #3". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  18. ^ "Beasts of Burden #4". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  19. ^ "Hellboy/Beasts of Burden". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  20. ^ "Dark Horse Presents #4". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  21. ^ "Dark Horse Presents #6". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  22. ^ "Dark Horse Presents #8". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  23. ^ "Beasts of Burden: Neighborhood Watch". Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  24. ^ "Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers". Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  25. ^ "Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In". Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  26. ^ Sava, Oliver. "Beasts of Burden returns for a new horror adventure in this exclusive preview". A.V. Club. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  27. ^ "Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men #2". Dark Horse. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  28. ^ "Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men #3". Dark Horse. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  29. ^ "Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men #4". Dark Horse. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  30. ^ Arvedon, Jon. "Dark Horse's Beasts of Burden Saga Continues with The Presence of Others". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  31. ^ "Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites (HC)". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  32. ^ "Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites (TPB)". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  33. ^ Dorkin, Twitter. Evan Dorkin's Twitter https://twitter.com/evandorkin/status/1093580802103889921. Retrieved February 8, 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ "BEASTS OF BURDEN HEADED TO HOLLYWOOD!". Dark Horse Comics. June 13, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  35. ^ Kit, Borys (June 28, 2011). "Comic Adaptation 'Beasts of Burden' Taps 'Jack the Giant Killer' Writer". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  36. ^ "Shane Acker to Direct Beasts of Burden". ComingSoon.net. February 20, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  37. ^ "2010 Harvey Awards" Archived July 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Harvey Awards, 2010
  38. ^ Gold, Mike. "National Cartoonist Society Winners Announced"[permanent dead link], ComicMix, May 29, 2011
  39. ^ "Beasts of Burden nominated for 2011 Anthony Award", Dark Horse Comics, May 19, 2011
  40. ^ "2011 Eisner Awards Nominess". Comic-con.org. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  41. ^ "2011 Harvey Awards". Harveyawards.org. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)