Dark Horse Comics has released details for a new Beasts of Burden miniseries from creators Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others, a two-part story, will continue the adventures of the animals of Burden Hill as they investigate and protect against paranormal threats.
Dorkin and Thompson’s first Beasts of Burden story was featured in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings back in 2003. Since then the characters have appeared in multiple anthologies, as well as in their own miniseries and multiple one-shots, including a crossover with Hellboy in 2010. Last year Dorkin teamed with artist Benjamin Dewey for a tie-in series, Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men, which focused on a group of side characters from the main series. Dorkin first teased The Presence of Others in a tweet when Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men was first announced:
So, this August from @DarkHorseComics –
BEASTS OF BURDEN: WISE DOGS AND ELDRITCH MEN by me, @BenjaminDewey & @blambot (that's Ben's art below).
Meanwhile @thejillthompson is halfway through a 2-part story for the main series, THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS. No ETA as of yet.#moreBeasts pic.twitter.com/YSYquX2trv
— Evan Dorkin (@evandorkin) April 17, 2018
Over the years Beasts of Burden has won Dorkin and Thompson a staggering eight Eisner Awards, including individual wins for Thompson, but the history of the series has been marked by delays. Dorkin has been upfront on social media about his frustration over those delays, which stem from Thompson’s busy schedule and the complexity of her artwork, and about how those delays have impacted his overall career in comics. It’s nice to see Thompson able to devote time to the series again, as it really is a delightful (if occasionally horrific) book.
UPDATE: Evan Dorkin has tweeted some additional information about The Presence of Others, clarifying that, while Thompson is drawing the first issue, Benjamin Dewey is drawing the second issue.
Here's where we are w/BEASTS OF BURDEN:
THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS is a two-parter, part 1 w/art by series co-creator @thejillthompson. Part 2 w/art by WISE DOGS collab @BenjaminDewey. Both lettered by @blambot. This arc will finish up the long-awaited 2nd Burden Hill collection. (1)
— Evan Dorkin (@evandorkin) February 7, 2019
He also teased a new Wise Dogs series from he and Dewey is in the works:
After THE PRESENCE OF OTHERS, me, @colorkitten, @BenjaminDewey and @blambot will be doing a new WISE DOGS mini-series. Three of the four scripts are completed. And after that, hopefully a series of Burden Hill stand-alone stories. We'll see how things go. Thx for reading BoB. (5)
— Evan Dorkin (@evandorkin) February 7, 2019
Check out a few preview images for the new book, as well as the full press release from the publisher, below. Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others is due in stores in May.
MILWAUKIE, Ore., (February 7, 2019)— Welcome back to Burden Hill, where the only things stranger than its guardians are the things they protect it from. Evan Dorkin (Calla Cthulhu, Dork, Blackwood) and Jill Thompson (Fables, Scary Godmother) are back once again with a thrilling new installment in the Beast of Burden saga.
Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others follows the eponymous team of paranormal investigator pets as they investigate the weird happenings of Burden Hill. While poking around the neighborhood, an encroaching team of human occult investigators unwittingly disturb the graveyard where the mysterious “Master” lies. What kind of unforeseen consequences await our intrepid detectives?
Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others Part One (of two) goes on sale May 1, 2019, and is available for pre-order at your local comic shop. Be sure to catch up on the series by checking out the Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites TPB on sale now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, TFAW, and your local comic book shop, as well as Beasts of Burden: Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men HC on sale March 20, 2019, also available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, TFAW, and your local comic book shop.
Praise for Beasts of Burden:
“Dorkin’s script captures the well-meaning, dopey sentiments we attribute to our dogs and cats’ thoughts, and Thompson’s art finds a middle ground between storybook sweetness and EC Comics chills. It’s a lot of fun, and ideal for kids who don’t mind a little gore and ghosts with their adorable animals.”—The A.V. Club“[Beasts of Burden is] rapidly becoming one of my favorite comics.”—NEIL GAIMAN (The Sandman)“I imagine a just world, where Beasts of Burden is ten times as popular as Twilight.”—GAIL SIMONE (Wonder Woman)
Joe Grunenwald is a writer and editor living in the Pacific Northwest. He’s taller than a lot of people but not as tall as some people.