Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Understanding Milk and Cheese

Yesterday I gushed that Milk and Cheese were being collected by Dark Horse in a hardcover book. I realize not everyone is familiar with Evan Dorkin’s manic children, so today I’m going to talk a little bit about the strips and why I love them so much.

Each M&C strip usually falls between 1 and 3 pages. The standard strip layout has them in circles above the title. The pose and what they’re saying changes in each one, usually reflecting what the story is going to be about. Most of the stories are pretty simple; M&C get angry at something/someone, drink a lot, yell even more, and then cause carnage and destruction.

The violence sometimes develops into a montage. The page gets filled with little circles and each circle is another stabbing, beating, or berating. The example above is pulled from two different strips.  Over the top does not begin to even describe it; no one is safe from their rampages. Also, it’s very loud. Sure it is just words printed on a page, but when you read them yelling, there is something about it that you can hear them yelling.

There are quieter moments. There aren’t many of them, but they are there. In all that mayhem there is usually a drawing of the two that can only be described as cute. Looking at the picture above it isn’t hard to believe that a lot of people approached Evan about turning M&C into a cartoon. The way I’ve heard Evan tell it at conventions, a lot of people had no idea what they were pitching to him because they wanted to make a kid’s cartoon out of it.

I almost forgot one of the other things I love about the strips. In the margins and under panels a lot of the strips have little doodles or messages. Some of them comment on what is happening in the strip, others seem to just be randomly placed there. A lot of it has an almost Mad magazine feel to it.

That’s it for more look at Milk and Cheese. I realize a book about a pair of hyper violent dairy products on murder sprees isn’t going to be for everyone. But personally just hearing the phrase, “Gin makes a man mean!” makes me smile.

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