Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fun With Milk and Cheese

Listed in "500 Essential Graphic Novels" as: Humor (Best of the Rest)
Contains: Milk and Cheese #1-4
Year: 1991-1993
Publisher: Slave Labor Graphics
Writer: Evan Dorkin
Artist: Evan Dorkin

Hello, fellow comics questers.

Again, it's been a good few days since I've posted here.  The work week got away from me and I had a couple of busy and stressful nights this last week and wasn't able to get any reading done.  We'll try and keep on a more regular basis from here on out.  I've got over ten books borrowed from the library to review for you guys, so I'd BETTER keep it going!

Anyway, we've come to the second entry in the "humor" genre of 500 Essential Graphic Novels in Fun with Milk and Cheese

Our two main characters here, despite looking cute and loveable enough to get my girlfriend to say that they were some of the cutest little things she'd ever seen, are very, very bad.  After all, that cover does read "Dairy products GONE BAD!"

Milk and Cheese are pretty much what they look like on the cover: a carton of milk and a block of cheese who run around everywhere!  Despite their cuteness, you will notice that on the cover that Cheese is holding a broken gin bottle rather menacingly, as if to glass someone with it.  That kind of sums up their behavior.

These two, when they're not sitting around watching and poking ridicule at TV, get drunk, overdose on sugar, run about the town, find seemingly anyone, and beat the living hell out of them while making some irreverant joke or another all the while.

Their violence isn't limited to one sort of person, religious group, social stratum, or type of bludgeoning.  They simply accost the first person they come across, whether that be a Hari Krishna, an infant, a cop, a hippie, a person of no distinction at all, and either burn, bludgeon, stab, beat, vomit on, or otherwise violate them.

It's a bit funny in some parts, and Dorkin does make some valid social observations even though we're viewing them through the exploits of walking, talking dairy products, but after a few of these one to three page adventures, if you're not one of the folks who find these comics "pants-crappingly funny" (as one blurb posits on the back of the volume), they're going to get old for you real fast.

I've got to admit, a tiny part of me not getting back here to the blog was me not being able to imagine sitting down and reading more of the belligerent escapades of a carton of milk and wedge of cheese.

I realize that a lot of this is for comedic fun and not to be taken TOO, too seriously, but one can only take so much vivid depicting of heads being smashed in, baby carriages being torched, and burning of people and cityscapes.

Mr. Kannenberg said in 500 Essential Graphic Novels that these comics were entertaining and funny in small doses.  Perhaps I should have taken his advice and not plunged through so quickly.  I can imagine maybe reading one of these a day on a website or something and finding maybe one or two days a week good for a laugh, but to sit and read a bunch of them in one night does kind of get old.

Dorkin does have a nice, busy, impacting art style.  I'd be curious to see his other work if it's in any sort of different vein or other subject matter.  His work is sometimes so busy it seems to move as your eyes dart around the page to see another panel of meticulously drawn work.

In the end, though, to say that this is something that is an essential read of the medium would be, for me at least, a bit of a stretch.  It's a work all its own and you're probably not going to see such dynamic, violent food products anywhere else, but for this reader, it's a bit over the top.

Mr. Kannenberg's rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 2 out of 5
11 down, 489 to go

This book was the first out of four books that will lead us to our next "Top 10" pick in 500 Essential Graphic Novels.  Here's what we've got on tap in the coming entries.

-The Books of Magic (Fantasy, Best of the Rest)
-Sshhhh! (General Fiction, Best of the Rest)
-I Love Led Zeppelin (Non-Fiction, Best of the Rest)
-Leave it to Chance, Book One: Shaman's Rain (Adventure, Top 10)

I hope you'll all be back for those and remember: tell your friends, and ANYONE can comment no matter what your opinion of my thoughts!  Let's discuss!

Be well until next time, readers...


  1. Well the cold pretty much knocked me on my ass and I didn't get a lot of my usual "interwebbing" done, but I'm back and ready to comment. This does sound really stupid to me too and I can almost imagine that my thoughts would be pretty much the same as yours are. Doesn't sound too appealing and the bottom line question should always be, "Does this belong in a book dedicated to the 500 best graphic novels?" You answered that question here, for sure. Keep up the good work dude and I'll keep reading!

  2. Yeah, I don't know that it really DOES belong in with the essentials, bro.

    I frankly was appalled at some of the things depicted in this one. I mean whatever the guy wants to write is his bsiness, but persecution of certain groups of people and belief systems? Torching baby carriages? Not my bag...

    And it was supposed to be funny (as it was listed in the "humor" portion of the book). There were a few snickers on my part here and there, but nothing that made me bust out laughing...

    Maybe I'm just an old stick in the mud, but I'm an old stick in the mud who didn't really get much out of this one. For those who would find this enjoyable and even to Mr. Dorkin himself: read and create what you like, but this one just wasn't for me.