ICE CREAM MAN #20 hits comic book stores on Wednesday, August 5th, bringing readers along on a journey to new levels of horror. This issue ironically markets itself toward “kids,” which means it will be safe for anything but that demographic. It seems the nefarious Ice Cream Man has invited readers into the home of his family. But is this kid-friendly setting all it appears to be?
Readers are brought to a scene that may seem familiar to some—an overheard father telling his children a bedtime story. All seems well, that is until we notice someone pricking their finger while cutting carrots for their “kidzz.” And to make matters worse, we find that the father is none other than the Ice Cream Man.
If this wasn’t shocking enough, we are treated to a few of the stories in Ice Cream Man’s book. These stories are told much like our favorite Dr. Seuss tales—only with more blood. And that person cutting carrots? It turns out she’s the children’s mother. What possible connection could the Ice Cream Man have with this family?
Writer W. Maxwell Prince’s narrative unsettles us in a way few comics can. We are simultaneously repulsed and intrigued by the Ice Cream Man’s antics.
Martín Morazzo’s penciling and ink work, Chris O’Halloran’s coloring, and Good Old Neon’s lettering provided readers with stunning illustrations. The drawings depicted in each of the children’s stories in Ice Cream Man’s book remind us of the Seuss, Roald Dahl, and Mary Pope Osborne stories we loved as children. The styling to the characters, from their smiling faces to their colorful adornments, serve their purpose by functioning as a direct juxtaposition to the bleak, colorless panels that warp them into horrors. And the spacing of the word balloons adds to the unsettling nature of the story, compelling the reader to slow down and take in each unnerving detail.
ICE CREAM MAN #20, like the series’ previous issues, continues to upend readers’ expectations. Just when we thought the Ice Cream Man couldn’t get worse, he targets kids! We’re anxious to see what comes of this thrilling story.
What did you like about this “kids” issue? Let us know in the comments below!