The Ice Cream Man, published by Image Comics, is a series I've been hearing about nonstop. Yet it took me a while to actually sit down and give it a read. Written by W. Maxwell Prince, and illustrated by Martin Morazzo, this series is an odd and genre-defying adventure.
I can't speak for the whole series (yet), but Ice Cream Man Vol. 1: Rainbow Sprinkles is a collection of short stories, covering a variety of themes. From sorrow to redemption, and basically everything in between. However, they're all a bit warped – intentionally so.
There is one character who connects all the stories together, of course. The Ice Cream Man. Sometimes he's on the periphery of the story, other times his presence is much more obvious. His motivations are hard to grasp, though maybe that will change with time.
If I'm being completely honest here, and I generally try to do exactly that: I'm not entirely sure what to make of Ice Cream Man Vol. 1. It's intriguing, and while I love the concept of having multiple short stories all connected by one character...I still have a lot of questions about it as a whole.
Maybe this was a case of too much hype for a series? Either way, it didn't knock my socks off. Not in the way I expected. Because I really do think that I went into this with high expectations, and was surprised by what I found.
That isn't to say that the story is dull – far from it. I love the existential horror elements above all else. I just felt a lack of connection to the plot and the characters more often than not. Though the (intentionally) weird elements did help to make up for that fact.
Despite the happy cover, title, and colors, this isn't a happy story, that much is clear. A lot of the time the tone gets pretty dark, with characters facing the worst that life (or the Ice Cream Man) has to offer.
That much I could have guessed, from the description alone. There's this lingering sense of that darkness, no matter what is actually happening on the pages. It's an excellent example of horror getting placed outside of its typical element – and still working.
I'm undecided on whether or not I'm going to continue with this series. Part of me really wants to, but the other part of me doesn't feel the motivation to do so. Any advice, one way or the other, from those who have read it all?
Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
Chocolate, vanilla, existential horror,
addiction, musical fantasy...there's a flavor for everyone's
ICE CREAM MAN is a
genre-defying comic book series, featuring disparate "one-shot"
tales of sorrow, wonder, and redemption. Each installment features its own cast
of strange characters, dealing with their own special sundae of suffering. And
on the periphery of all of them, like the twinkly music of his colorful truck,
is the Ice Cream Man-a weaver of stories, a purveyor of sweet treats.
Friend. Foe. God. Demon. The man who with a snap of his
fingers-lickety split!-can change the course of your life
Written by W. MAXWELL
PRINCE (ONE WEEK IN THE LIBRARY), with art by MARTiN MORAZZO (SNOWFALL,