I have a weird history with Milk and Cheese, in that I never had a history with Milk and Cheese. I have a distinct memory at about 11 or 12 years old seeing my older brother with one of their comics and instantly becoming intrigued. He was my influence for all things nerdom and normally never said no to introducing me to something he was into. I had already been exposed to the likes of Beavis and Butt-head, The Simpsons and Married… with Children, which were the dregs of society at the time, so how bad could it be?
This time was different however, and for some reason this cartoon drawing of a milk carton holding a broken bottle alongside a wedge of cheese with thick eyebrows was off limits. He said when I turned 13 I could read it so I figured this comic must contain some pretty adult s--t that a preteen boy has no part in reading.
Fast forward twenty years and I had all but forgotten about the two off-limits dairy products. I’d recognize the characters but the comic had all but alluded me since that day. Just recently Dark Horse decided to release a paperback compilation of the Milk and Cheese run so I decided now was as good a time as any to get my fill of these unpasteurized delinquents. You hear that big brother?! You cant stop me now!
The only problem is it didn’t really live up to the hype…
I think the original comic run was more appealing for its time, but feels bland by todays standards. These are two beer drinking, unapologetic and rude degenerates who occasionally burn down the city or bust someone’s skull open with a brick. However, when you’ve lived through Stone Cold Steve Austin giving the middle finger on live television after hitting someone in the head with a steel chair, two cartoon characters doing it doesn’t seem so bad. Likewise, when you’ve watched South Park utter the word “s--t” 162 times in one episode the occasional bomb in a comic strip doesn’t have the same impact. In 1989 this drunken debauchery would have been a novelty, but today, it’s Saturday morning cartoons. Milk and his companion Cheese can often get violent, which is their bread and butter, but the casualness of their skull bashing with a baseball bat doesn’t save it from dated humor.
Milk and Cheese pushed the boundaries when there were barely any boundaries to push but like all things old, someone is always going to come and one-up whats already been done before. Granted as the comics aged the characters got even more violent and vulgar. I admit I expected more lewdness from them which is probably more of a reflection of today’s society than anything, but I was over the antics only a couple of strips in.
So, who is this compilation for? Well, anyone who was a big fan back in the ’90s looking for a nostalgia trip. In fact, a lot of the reviews you’ll find are extremely positive but they are mostly fans from the original run. What’s nice about this paperback compilation is that it contains everything Milk and Cheese, so if you were a fan you’ve got it all for about 20 bucks. However, you could also pick up the hardcover version that was done several years ago for about the same price if not a little less, so pick your poison. Maybe you just want some bathroom fodder you can easily pick up and put down — that works too. With that being said, if you hadn’t bothered to get into it by this point, I can’t image this latest print is going to be making any new fans.