By Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson
You’re favorite group of supernatural mystery solving pets is back with this week’s Beast of Burden: Hunters & Gatherers one-shot. Burden Hill has had a real problem with ghosts, witches and monsters lately but a small group of dogs and cats are the only thing stopping the ever growing evil in Burden Hill. This one-shot reveals that many of the surrounding towns are suffering from a similar problem, which unfortunately means our rookie group are left to defend Burden Hill by themselves.
Any fans of the Beasts of Burden series are always glad to see a new issue or one-shot hit the stands and this is no exception. Even though this is billed as a one-shot it’s still heavily rooted in the previous stories that came before it. This might make it harder for a new reader to enjoy but Beasts of Burden does carry a bit of simplicity in its story that you can usually jump in anywhere. Any sort of lost feeling you might get will mostly just urge you to pick up the previous collection or issues but not hinder your enjoyment of this series. The only real problem with this one-shot is that it doesn’t feel like a one-shot, it feels more like the set up of a new ongoing series. Now it would be nice to get Beasts of Burden as an ongoing series but sporadic one-shots are cool too, as long as Dorkin continues this series, we fans will take it in any form.
Jill Thompson’s art is become quite synonymous with the Beasts of Burden series. She sets the looming tone in Beasts of Burden: Hunters & Gatherers while still keeping that element of fun that you would imagine from a comic about ghost busting pets. Thompson’s watercolor style not only fits this series but it also helps enhance the reader’s experience by having such gorgeous art on the pages. Her proficient watercolors have always been a staple in what made the Beast of Burden stories stand out and has really sent this series over the top.
Even though this felt more like a small piece to a bigger puzzle and not a self-contained story that has become the standard for most one-shots, it’s always a welcome surprise to have any form of new Beasts of Burden material. Hopefully people will decide to pick up this issue and be inspired to read all of the previous Beasts of Burden stories, and then they’ll know what hooked us already loyal fans into supporting such a wonderful series.