God, how I love Milk and Cheese.
The misanthropic spawn of cartoonist extraordinaire Evan Dorkin, Milk and Cheese are a pair of violent, gin-swilling dairy products gone bad who first appeared in short strips in various magazines.
This comic, Milk and Cheese’s Other Number One, is the second collection of strips published by Slave Labor Graphics. I’m unclear as to whether there’s any original material in this book or if it’s all reprint stuff – and by “unclear” I mean “too lazy to research.” Whatever – it was all new to me!
Basically, Milk and Cheese is a series of fairly short strips that allow Dorkin to channel his disgust/contempt for the banalities of Western culture through the title characters. Milk and Cheese rage and (often literally) attack against any target that presents itself, ranging from Star Wars geeks to political correctness to Renaissance Fairs to insipid TV programs to Evan Dorkin himself – all in their inimitable style.
Here the two tiny terrors lash out against idiots who have “funny” suggestions for the strip:
That’s pretty mild stuff, by Milk and Cheese standards. The strips usually end in orgies of violence wherein they stab people with broken gin bottles or push flaming baby carriages into traffic. And they’re so cute! Look at the cute little milk carton stabbing that hippy in the eyes! Awww…
One of the great things about these collected volumes of strips is that you can see how Dorkin evolves as a cartoonist. Milk and Cheese is incredibly dense – perhaps I should say “jam-packed.” Dorkin uses every inch of the page to maximum effect, jamming little jokes in the periphery of the page, often in tiny writing. You really feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. As time goes on, the strips become more graphically interesting – Dorkin incorporates different hand-written fonts, backgrounds, visual effects, and unconventional page design. There’s a reason Dorkin won an Eisner for humor comics – he’s got mad skillz, as the kids say.
Plus, Milk and Cheese is funny as hell. It’s a refreshingly mean-spirited yet playful departure from… from hell, just about any comic or cartoon out there. These strips have literally reduced me to tears.
I think you can still order these from Slave Labor, or you can buy the Fun with Milk and Cheese trade via Amazon or your local comic shop.
Do it now, thank me later.