Ice Cream Man #8
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Martin Morazzo
Ice Cream Man is starting to do something that anthologies don’t usually do: tie issues together. A character reappearing is what this series is all about, but a couple of books ago, they introduced another character that we call “The Cowboy.” He seems to be the antithesis of the Ice Cream Man and represents the good where the Ice Cream Man is pure evil. This issue has a direct story tie-in from the previous issue where it seems a promise the Ice Cream Man made to the Cowboy gets fulfilled. Don’t remember the promise? Don’t worry; we didn’t either.
In this issue, two paramedics drive around in an ambulance popping random pills they stole from the hospital pharmacy. As they roll around, their help is needed in a few dire situations but they never stop the ambulance. Instead, they continue to talk about their terrible lives and a couple of memories that have no bearing on the actual story. Speaking of story, this issue is nearly absent of one. We get to see how the emergencies play out when help never arrives, but even these mini-stories are dull and STILL have no impact on THIS story. The one crucial event that happens in this series is the final splash page where the story gets back to a plot thread from the previous book, thereby officially making this not a standalone issue like the others have been and like most anthologies are. Making matters worse is the fact that this is a larger issue at 40 pages which we would have loved in previous entries from this series.
W. Maxwell Prince is playing fast and loose with Ice Cream Man by carrying over stories from another chapter. The writing here is still outstanding, but they are just words on a page with no weight. It is strange because if the story was right, these words seem like they would have a lot of substance and bearing, but here they fall dead.
Art is still moving along nicely thanks to Martin Morazzo who has his style, and I am getting very familiar with it. He gets to put his creativity to good use for a few panels here when the drug-use spawns hallucinations between the two EMT’s. I paused here to the look at this artwork because it was quite detailed and trippy.
Ice Cream Man has been up and down, but up until now, each issue has been its own story with an ending. Perhaps this issue wasn’t for me, but that doesn’t change the lack of story and meaningless conversation that fills the spaces. As always, I will be back for the next issue because if Ice Cream Man has taught us anything, it is that while some flavors we don’t care for, there is always another flavor coming that just might be our new favorite.
Ice Cream Man #8
Ice Cream Man #8 is a mess story-wise and is stretching the definition of "anthology," but at least the art is on-point as always.