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"Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Dark Horse Comics

beasts of burden presence of others 2 00

Written by Evan Dorkin
Illustrated by Benjamin Dewey
Lettered by Nate Piekos
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 5th, 2019


The beasts of Burden Hill might look cute and cuddly, but they're not going to sit around waiting for a belly rub when there are monsters about. Aided by a small family of humans who can hear them, they've already taken out an ogre rat, but the supernatural terrors are not over yet. The greatest danger may lie closer to home than they thought.

What you will immediately notice about Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others is Benjamin Dewey's incredible artwork. Every single panel is gorgeous with intricate details and lush, beautiful colors. This makes the quieter moments feel more special and the scary bits more unsettling.

Dewey adds real personality to each of the animals. You know how dog or cat owners will say their pet acts just like a person? Well, these definitely do. Of course, they talk, so that helps, but there's more to it. They're very expressive. It comes down to the eyes. They can say so much with just a look and yes, sometimes there are literal puppy dog eyes.

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The highlight of Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others comes when the group is attacked by a murder of crows. They approach a tree...or what they think is a tree, only to be targeted by a black tornado of death. There's an awesome effect at work here that makes the leaves of the tree look like they're kind of vibrating. This creates a creepy setting that makes us jump when the truth is revealed.

The star of this issue is Ace, especially after we see what he's capable of with his werewolf blood. If you thought this was a horror story before, just wait until Ace's darker side is unleashed; it's like Cujo on steroids. The blood adds a menacing quality to the otherwise somber Ace. It's splattered across the page in terrifying crimson that instantly ups the terror level of the scene.

Click images to enlarge

Letterer Nate Piekos brings out the monster in Ace with jagged word balloons and a more erratic font. It gives the appearance of a gravelly voice that is matched by the blood-soaked fur and crazed eyes.

Every time a new Beasts of Burden comes out, I'm reminded of how great this comic is and how I desperately want more. Writer Evan Dorkin crafts a well-paced, frightening tale starring animals that are more human than most people. The Presence of Others is a great read that feels like the beginning of something more. I certainly hope that's the case.


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Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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