Ice Cream Man #18
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Chris O’Halloran and Martín Morazzo
Ice Cream Man is one of the strangest and most unique comics around. This series of one-shot issues is known mainly for it’s dark, one of a kind stories and creative use of the comic books medium. Issue #13, for example, is palindromic. Meaning, exactly halfway through the issue it mirrors the previous pages and concludes the story with the same text which is now in a different order and therefore tells a different story.
This particular issue is centered around an old man in a hospital as his memories are slowly stolen from him. You get to see some of his memories and family members as he tries to recall moments throughout his life. The most interesting thing about this specific issue, however, is the way the story is told. As our main character goes through what is certainly a metaphor for Alzheimer’s disease, the text in his dialogue boxes starts to make less sense. Some words are spaced out in the middle as if he can’t get the word out. If he can’t think of something, there might simply be a “[blank]” in the place of thought. At times he will switch between “I” and “he” to describe himself as if he’s forgotten who his memories belong to.
The story also has an interesting tempo to it, every few pages you’re given new information makes your heart drop. It’s not until the end that you’re given any real release, albeit bitter-sweet. Like most issues of Ice Cream Man, one of the most heart-wrenching parts of this story is how ordinary all of the characters are. Anyone who reads it will find similarities between the characters and their friends, their family, and themselves. This book forces you to acknowledge the melancholy depression that comes with living your life.
The artwork is the same unique style O’Halloran and Morazzo have been putting together for the entire series. It’s wonderful and just a bit creepy, reminiscent of something you might find on Adult Swim. The dark and slightly muddy colors also mirror the dull and real nature of the stories. I don’t think I would love this style on another series but I can’t imagine this one without it.
This issue is another incredible story from a clearly talented team. The unique writing and downright depressing story make it engaging the entire way through. If you’re looking for a heart-wrenching comic that you’ll never forget, then Ice Cream Man #18 is a must-read.
Ice Cream Man #18
If you’re looking for a heart-wrenching comic that you’ll never forget, then Ice Cream Man #18 is a must-read.