Ice Cream Man #35
In this next stand alone installment of acclaimed horror anthology series, Ice Cream Man, there lies a bestiary of creatures unavoidable, ineluctable, and everlasting.
Ice Cream Man #35 weaves a solid tale about men and their monsters; however, what is most impressive about this issue is how well the team could weave mixed media style into this book without damaging how comic book stories are told.
The narrative follows an aged author struggling to book together his book about all the monsters he sees, fictionalizing all the inconveniences in his life into monstrosities to entertain himself rather than face them head-on. While this story is executed well, the slow build-up to the story’s punchline is beyond satisfying; the book’s most exciting feature is the use of prose detail pages ripped directly from the main character’s book.
This is not as grating as the X-Men data pages or all-consuming, like Grant Morrison’s Batman #663. The prose sections blend an introspective look at our character and their fears with creative cryptid/creature designs and stories. The prose is very fluid and quick, making a visible effort to use the medium to the story’s advantage and elevate the art/themes without being a drag on the issue’s pacing.
Morazzo’s already established himself as a mythic visual storyteller, but his designs on these creatures go above and beyond in their presentation, lying between practical and horrific. The way in which his style somewhat fluctuates to fit both the sequential section and the prose sections of this book is also noteworthy.
This tale isn’t as character-focused as last issue’s, the issue making for a quick read. However, in that lack of plot, meat is a powerful narrative experience that strings you along from moment to moment as the POV character’s mind begins to fall further into paranoia. The longer it continues, the more disturbing and sad the story grows. The profoundly human themes that Maxwell & Prince touch on here require a moment of thought after the art, their work on this series remaining as poignant yet horrifically pulp as ever.
With a little bit of humanity and a splash of one's twisted, depressed imagination, Ice Cream Man #35 makes for a tale that on first go is engaging and thought provoking, but on a second will have you stopping to consider its well-laid themes of near disturbing importance.
Ice Cream Man #35: The Book of Necessary Monsters
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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