Starting in 1991, Evan Dorkin's characters, Milk and Cheese, were an extension of the punk ethos into the grunge era and became a cult expression of furious, hilarious rage. “Dairy Products Gone Bad!” we are warned each time we read a Milk and Cheese comic. And indeed they are, in the best of ways. The hard-drinking pair proclaim themselves “a carton of hate and a wedge of spite” and are prone to rage-and-liquor-fueled rampages of epic proportion, provoked by just about everything, including stand-up comedy and — in one of their more arbitrary and infamous episodes — Merv Griffin.
This simple concept sustained Milk and Cheese through their own comic series, appearances in Dorkin's Dork comic, and numerous cameos in anthology comics. Dark Horse is releasing their collected adventures in a handsome new omnibus edition, including some material seeing print for the first time. Evan Dorkin spoke with us on the eve of the book's release about his characters' origins and their enduring legacy.
Can you briefly trace Milk and Cheese's origin story for us?
I first drew Milk and Cheese on a restaurant napkin while waiting for food after a ska show. I was drunk, which explains a lot about the characters. This was in 1987, but I didn't draw the first comic with them until late 1988 after meeting Kurt Sayenga of Greed Magazine at the San Diego Comic Con. I was drawing Milk and Cheese convention sketches that insulted the people I was doing them for. Kurt said if I ever did a comic with them he'd run it in the magazine. That's how the ball got rolling. I didn't create them to make comics, they were just a napkin noodle that got out of hand.