Review: Milk and Cheese - Dairy Products Gone Bad!

If you were just a young lad or lassie in the 90's much like myself then you probably missed out on this classic series Milk and Cheese. Thankfully you have a second shot at the title with Dark Horse's omnibus collection Milk and Cheese: Dairy Products Gone Bad. I'm actually glad that I didn't read the book upon its first release because frankly I wouldn't have understood a lot of what the book has to offer. The simple fact is that Milk and Cheese is still ahead of its time and many of its jokes are still relevant today. From one new reader to another let me just say that it's best not to try to read the book in one sitting. The simple fact is that the one page stories lose their effect if read back to back. It's like a Far Side book, if you read it all at once the back half isn't nearly as funny as when you started. That's exactly how Milk and Cheese is and I found that I would stop reading from the nearly 300 page omnibus, when I stopped laughing out loud. The book is broken into chapters which contain that years comics and starts with 1988 to 1989.

Milk+and+CheeseMilk and Cheese begin with a simple breakdown of who they are, where they're from and what they're all about... I mean not really. They're from New Jersey, they're very modern and like to have fun. Simple right? But they're dialog and actions are rarely as simple as the captions would have you believe. In our first panel "They're from New Jersey," Milk spouts off that they're sensitive about it while Cheese holds a sign that reads "Any where but Newark or bust." Its this balance of comedy which makes fun of itself while poking fun at others which gives Milk and Cheese its real charm.

There is also a real sophistication to the series as it brings up societal issues with its satirical nature. I was particularly amused by the socialist undertones of the series; it was as if these two products of capitalism sought to destroy the very beast that gave birth to them with violence and hate. Creator, writer and artist Evan Dorkin (Beasts of Burden) may not have sought out creating a comic classic/masterpiece, but that's exactly what he's done. His use of the single page format not only plays to the strengths of his storytelling devices, which then plays to the art style as well. Although very cartoony, Milk and Cheese always look very serious or at the very least have like human facial responses. Because of this it gives the two hate filled characters an iconic look.

This omnibus collects nearly every Milk and Cheese comic produced from Dorkin and frankly I'm glad that Dark Horse got the rights. This is yet another comic gem that I don't think would have seen the light of day had they not tried to tackle it. Weather you pick it up for the art, the hilarious 90's references or the comedy that still remains a generation ahead; just know that at the end of the day you're picking up a story that's just fun and violent in a way that Mad magazine once was. Any you take out of their violence or comedy is just the cherry on the top of the over the top fun you'll have reading this modern classic.

Score: 5/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Evan Dorkin Publisher: Dark Horse Comics