Ice Cream Man #4
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Martín Morazzo
Colorist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: Good Old Neon
Publisher: Image Comics
Review by Anelise Farris
If you like your horror with a candy-coated cone of weird and a heavy dose of existential dread, then chances are that you’re already reading Ice Cream Man. If you’re not, never fear! Each issue is a one-shot, so you can pick up Ice Cream Man #4, and then go back and pick up the previous issues, because I promise you that this is a series that you’ll just want more of.
As with the first three issues, Ice Cream Man #4 focuses on a few characters in not-so-good situations that become worse when a certain ice cream man becomes involved. Here, we meet Joel, a character who is invited to give the eulogy at the funeral of his former best friend Chris. Joel had lost touch with Chris over the years, but Joel’s very pregnant wife of ten years encourages him to go. Things go as well as funerals can, but when Chris’s dad (who ran out on Chris and his mom years ago) invites Joel to go for a drink, things take a noticeably darker turn.
While Chris’s dad regrets abandoning his family, Joel expresses a desire to do just that. And, what about poor Chris? Is he really at peace or in some ice-cream-man run hell? Well, you’ll just have to read this issue to find out! And, if all that’s not enough to peak your interest, Ice Cream Man #4 brings in a new character: a black-cowboy-hat-wearing newcomer named Caleb who seems to know a whole lot about our resident ice cream man. And, I believe, that this is the first time that we witness our ice cream man himself seem, at the very least anxious, if not downright frightened.
The really great comics excel not just in writing, but also in art and lettering, and Ice Cream Man #4 is definitely one of those. The use of color, especially the rich pinks and purples, make you want to sink slowly into this comic, and the artistic style which is right in that uncanny valley-territory works so well for a whimsical horror story. And the lettering is seamlessly incorporated into the story, so as to add, rather than distract, and the disembodied pink speech balloons scattered throughout haunted me the entire read.
Verdict: Buy it.
Just take a look at the cover of Ice Cream Man #4. It is equal parts sinister and delightful—which pretty much encapsulates this series. It’s addictive, in the best way possible, and I can’t recommend it enough!