Written and Art by Evan Dorkin
These spoiled rotten dairy products may upset your stomach. Probably out of spite.
Plain and simple, this is the story of a milk carton and cheese wedge being assholes and running amok. That doesn’t sound so bad if there were more to it. Something like a plot. Or maybe good jokes. Instead, Milk and Cheese spend their time experiencing random events, from going to the movies to voting, from joining the war on drugs to protesting just to cause civil unrest, from getting ready for The Phantom Menace to mindlessly rioting while shouting “Merv Griffin” for no discernible reason. And it’s not really funny.
The cover art says these characters hate what you hate, which seems to be the book’s hook. These characters are supposed to be the reader’s aggression and anger played out, but they go much further than that. Maybe I’m just not that angry right now. An angsty teen (or angsty comic book writers quoted on the back of this book) may find this to be a cathartic release, but I don’t and I don’t see many people doing so as well.
The characters also make a habit of breaking the third wall and insulting the readers and mainstream comics. This is very much that cynical and edgy dark comedy of the late ’80s early ’90s, but there’s no heart or character in the writing. At least it knows it’s a one-joke concept, which it points out in its in-character FAQ comic strip in the middle of the book, but that doesn’t forgive anything.
The series was originally published individually in magazines, eventually being collected in batches for full-fledged comics, which were then further compiled into trades like this hardcover collection from Dark Horse. This becomes a bigger problem than one would think. The unadulterated hate and hostility of Milk and Cheese might be bearable in short bursts, funny even to some (although I don’t see it). Compiled together, back to back to back, the series becomes an increasingly downward spiral of repetitive rampant destruction. All the reasons and light plots melt away as the book becomes one long violent tirade.
Instead of just being short annoying bursts, this is instead a terrible book with unbearable characters, a painful chore to read all 200-plus pages. If Milk and Cheese hate what I hate, then they have some serious self-loathing issues.
The art is simplistic, reminiscent of a high-school/college amateur. All the strips are in black and white, with varying line thickness, sharpness and detail. The panel placement is all over the place, with half the panels being overcrowded scene-to-scene Milk and Cheese waging senseless destruction. After a while, it all blends in together into one large mess.
There’s a point where Milk and Cheese fake their own deaths in order to increase fan fervor, and of course no one cares. Sometimes real life imitates art.
Overall (Not an Average) 2/10