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"Ice Cream Man #11" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics

Ice Cream Man 11 00

Written by W. Maxwell Prince
Illustrated by Martin Morazzo
Colored by Chris O'Halloran
Lettered by Good Old Neon
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on March 27th, 2019

Review:

America has a fascination with reality television. It's like junk food in that everyone knows it's bad for you, but they can't help but be pulled into it. In Will Parson's case, that's literal as he's found himself trapped inside the TV, forced to participate in increasingly bizarre reality shows. If he can't find a way out, he's going to die as a contestant on a show like Mannequin House or Family Autopsy.

I'm going to get this out of the way up front: Ice Cream Man is friggin' weird. It's a surreal and unpredictable reading experience. This issue is no different. Since anything can happen, there's an unsettling feeling with every page turn. This puts us on Will's level because he's going through the same surprises.

While there are some disturbing twists and turns throughout Ice Cream Man, there's also a fair amount of humor. This comic is just so strange that you can't help but laugh at the odd situations that pop up. I mean, one of the shows is called “America's Got Intestines.” It should go without saying that the humor is pretty dark, but consider this your warning.

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Artist Martin Morazzo captures that “deer-in-the-headlights” look of shock of terror on Will's face. He's been bouncing around here for a few days, but he doesn't yet understand what's going on. You can see this change in his demeanor as the issue progresses and he starts to get a handle on things, but it's too little too late.

The panel layouts for Ice Cream Man #11 move between your traditional sizes and shapes and those of a TV screen. Sometimes we see this through Will's eyes and other times we're seeing it as a viewer. Both are equally terrifying.

The issue builds on itself and nothing is left behind. Writer W. Maxwell Prince includes everything for a reason. This adds to the humor and the horror when something like a mannequin from an earlier show is seen trying to assemble a human body in Chop'D. If we were in Will's shoes, we'd be driven mad pretty quickly.

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Click images to enlarge

Chris O'Halloran's colors cast these reality shows in a clean, yet eerie light. You can feel the bright lights of the studio beating down on Will and the other contestants. Some of the more horrifying elements that might normally be covered in shadows are out there for everyone to see. They're ready for their close up. This gives us a different point of view on the horror which adds to the unsettling nature of the comic. It's like we're not supposed to see these things, but we're forced to and that makes it all the more uncomfortable.

It's hard to pick out which is the scariest part of Ice Cream Man #11 because everything is super creepy. If I was forced to choose one, it's the walking, talking mannequins. They don't have faces so there's no emotion. It's less than what would be displayed on a robot. There's one chilling moment where one of them speaks in this definitive and frightening way. Letterer Gold Old Neon creates an unnatural feeling with it that sends a shiver right down your spine.

You never know what to expect from Ice Cream Man which is just part of what makes it such a great and terrifying comic. You'll turn each page with equal parts dread and anticipation. It's safe to say that there's nothing else like this on the comic stands today.

Grades:

Story: Fourandahalfstars Ice Cream Man 11 Small
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Art: Fourandahalfstars
Overall: Fourandahalfstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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