I honestly like how Ice Cream Man is a series of short stories with an overarching story of the villain himself and who he is. Each issue is about real-world fears and problems that people have in their life. Catastrophic events, depression, fear, etc. Each issue is written really well and I loved the mystery that each page laid before you. I never knew what I was going to get when I turned each page. This isn’t a superhero comic, this isn’t a typical horror comic, this is something else. Something similar to The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. Bite-sized “What the fucks”.
The first issue introduces the Ice Cream Man as he gives a cone to a chubby little boy and we are also introduced to the most poisonous spider in the world that is his pet. I don’t want to spoil each issue, but let’s just say the one is about a boy who fears his guilt and it comes back to haunt him. We are mostly shown that the ICM is sinister and really up to no good.
The second issue is about drug abuse and what a couple goes through to fight it. This issue is actually really sad and hit pretty hard. You don’t just see what they go through now, but how they met, how they go into drugs, and that they truly love each other and can’t fight the addiction. The ending is incredibly sad and we continue to see that the ICM is kind of like a genie almost. He can make your predicament go your way, but you must sacrifice something else and usually, you aren’t aware of what that is until it’s too late.
The third issue talks about a one-hit-wonder celebrity who can’t cope with being so. He’s depressed and eats at the same cafe every day and is a lay-about nobody now. ICM lets him dream of being able to make one last hit and this is where the series feels like an actual comic. It’s pretty trippy and fun with references to music from the 70s and 80s, but the ending is course, sad and doesn’t go the way you think it would.
The last issue mostly deals with loss. A man is depressed because he didn’t talk to a friend for so long and runs into his father. This issue isn’t really sinister but just hits home for anyone who has lost someone close. the ICM doesn’t even really play a big part in this issue which is fine. However, at the very end, we are teased with the beginning of ICM’s origins and his story which makes you want to keep going. The art is well done with sharp lines and solid bright colors. Don’t let this make you think it’s not a horror comic. It has some scary panels and the horror is the reality of everything hitting the characters. It’s a fantastic series and is quickly becoming one of my favorites.