"Ice Cream Man #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by W. Maxwell Prince
Illustrated by Martin Morazzo
Colored by Chris O'Halloran
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 17th, 2018
How can I describe a book like Ice Cream Man? Let's start with the intense feeling of foreboding. You can tell from the first page that there's something off in this quaint little unnamed town. Is it the creepy guy selling ice cream to kids? Is it the weird chubby child confidently ordering two scoops of chocolate? Or is it the woman at the police station who describes a “thingamacritter” as the person responsible for eating her cat? It's all of those things and more and this is only the first issue.
There is something deeply unsettling about all of these events. I didn't care for Twin Peaks, but I think it's that kind of vibe. I like it better in Ice Cream Man. This is a place where anything could happen and it is most likely going to be horrible. The aforementioned chubby kid's story is both heartbreaking and disturbing and not just because he's overweight. He steals the show in this issue and that's saying something considering there's also a werewolf.
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This town feels haunted. It's like this is the place where people and monsters go when they've run out of options. The ice cream man is central to this and we get a few glimpses of his abilities. They are varied and intriguing. There's definitely more going on there and I'm very curious to find out what.
Much of this creep factor comes through in the design for the character. He's very clean cut in a white shirt and pants and a black bow tie. His head is capped with a white hat with a black rim. He's almost always smiling, almost to the point where it's too much. I would not be at all surprised to find out his ice cream van is full of dead bodies.
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Part of what makes Ice Cream Man so disconcerting is the setting. It looks like any other small town in America. This could be your home. Now imagine casually walking through the woods one afternoon and bumping into a werewolf. That would freak you out, right?
Ice Cream Man is going to be a series of one-shot stories. This first issue features a complete tale, but there are elements that are only touched upon that I hope to see explored in further issues. It really got under my skin. This is a book that will stick with you for some time. At the bare minimum, it will have you thinking twice about buying ice cream from a stranger on the street.