New ‘Beasts of Burden’ miniseries tells a story from the past

‘Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory’ heads to post-WW2 Japan in April.

The Eisner-winning Beasts of Burden returns in April with a new miniseries, Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory.

Writers Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer tell a story set in post-World War II, as a member of the Wise Dogs must deal with a curse that creates an army of crawling heads. They’re joined by artist Benjamin Dewey and letterer Nate Piekos, while series co-creator Jill Thompson will provide a variant cover for issue #4.

“I’m very excited to have a new Beasts of Burden story for the fans and I’m extremely happy with the way everything came together working with Sarah, Benjamin and Nate,” Dorkin said. “Why post-war Japan? I used to half-jokingly ask editor Daniel Chabon if we could have his Shiba Inu, Zell. He said we should have a Shiba in the series, instead. One thing led to another, one idea led to three more, and that’s where our latest story of dogs fighting supernatural evil ended up.”

Here’s how Dark Horse describes the story:

An elder member of the occult-battling pack of Wise Dogs recalls a harrowing mission—in U.S-occupied Japan after World War II, a mysterious curse creates an army of crawling, disembodied heads which threatens to overwhelm the region. Emrys and a team of canine companions attempt to solve the mystery, bringing them into conflict with shape-changing tanuki, evil oni, and a horde of vengeful demons. 

Beasts of Burden have been around since 2003, appearing in various anthologies before getting their own miniseries in 2009. The animal protectors have also teamed up with Hellboy and appeared in Dark Horse Presents. While normally the stories are set in Burden Hill, there’s an uber organization of dogs, the Wise Dogs, that oversee battles against the occult on a larger scale. They were spotlighted in the 2018 miniseries Wise Dogs and Eldritch Men.

The new miniseries starts in April, and in addition to the main cover by Dewey, John McCrea has done a variant cover:

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