Advance Review: `Ice Cream Man’ Tells A Serious Father-Daughter Tale In Issue #31
by Tom Smithyman
For a series known for its often-horrific twists and turn, this issue of Ice Cream Man serves up a surprise: A touching father-daughter story. It’s not what readers are expecting. But that’s one of the reasons it works so well.
For 30 issues, Ice Cream Man has told tales of horror and gore – always doing its best to shock, scare and trick the reader. For its latest installment, though, the series takes an even more unexpected twist: it tells a coming of age take between a daughter and her father. Aside from an occasional shark attack or jump off a skyscraper, this is not the Ice Cream Man readers have come to expect. And that is the best twist of all.
Writer W. Maxwell Prince tells the story (he calls it a “sort of poem,” which is sort of accurate) of Warren Williamson, an author who puts his writing aside to raise his daughter. We follow daughter Blossom’s birth, Warren’s struggles with finding time to write, and his divorce. Once Blossom grows older, the touching story switches to her point of view, which is similar to her father’s. And that is precisely the point of the story. It’s nearly a perfect bell curve, or as Prince describes it, a scale. One character ascends as the other starts a slow decline. It’s a great storytelling technique rarely seen in comics.
The downside of the story is that artist Martin Morazzo is left with standard illustration fare. With no monsters or terrors to depict in this issue – other than the horrors of growing old – there’s little remarkable for him to depict.
That doesn’t take away from the overall story though. It’s a lovely, unexpected tale. While regular readers of the series could potentially be put off by the change of tact, they shouldn’t be. Prince is rightfully pointing out that regular life is full of more terrors than any horror story could relate. This diversion from the title usual stories should re-energize the entire series.
Ice Cream Man #31 will be available for purchase on July 20, 2022.