Antarctic Press 2019
Written by Bradley Golden
Pencilled by Andrey Lunatik
Inked & Coloured by Mickey Clausen
Lettered & Designed by Hector Negrete
In a small town near Miami, Florida, Thomas Wright, the local ice cream man serves up sweet, delicious new ice cream flavors he makes himself….from the flesh of his murder victims! Timmy LaLa Ice Cream delivers the taste of terror with some ice-SCREAM treats! Prepare to face terror like never before, as you vie to survive the vicious struggle…
There are some visions that conjure up the innocence of our youth but none quite like the Ice Cream Truck. With it’s distinctive jingle and begging mum for money as it comes down the street. Ah life was so different back then, now of course a parent would never let a kid head to the truck alone, well not a certain kind of parent anyway. Why well because who knows what kind of pervert drives these trucks and what he wants from you kid and all the other stories driven into our heads thanks the cinema and television.
Well Bradley decides he’s going to take the Ice Cream Truck and the guy, Thomas, and put his own spin on the story. I like Bradley and like his style of writing so this one was already one that was on my list. What he does here in a one-and-done story is pretty amazing actually. We get a complete story that FEELS complete, sure it could go on and have a few more issues here and there but it isn’t absolutely necessary. We get some extremely strong characterisation, a damn good plot & story development and pacing that is perfectly done. From a readers’ standpoint this is a hell of a way to start off a series as it is that well done!
I love that Thomas looks like that creepy dude you’d expect to abduct children but instead is on a first name basis with the parents so his social skills are exceptional. He is nice, doesn’t pose a threat and has found his skill-set quite nicely and this must have taken years to cultivate. This past sentence is me going beyond the page and I always say that engaging the reader this way is the sign of excellent storytelling because you then become a part of the story. This does that extremely well.
I am not sure where I stand with the interiors here. On one hand they look a lot like the 90’s style and it’s funky to see that then on the other hand there is a lot of linework being utilised through it’s varying weights in order to create the attention to detail we see. In the beginning the women’s faces looked off to me like Lunatik is feeling his way around and later in the basement the faces have a much more intense and realistic quality to them. You see this growth throughout the book but there are still places that I question what I am seeing, that last face image of Thomas that looks over worked to me.
The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a nice solid eye for storytelling. Backgrounds could be utilised ore often but when we see they do a very nice job in expanding the moment and bringing a size and scope to the book. The colour work too is well done and I like how we see the shading and colour blocking. I would have liked to see some colour gradation in play at times especially in the red, but there are plenty of opportunities that it would’ve made the work we see better.
My reviewers eye aside this is a well written story and it has a strong presence about it. It is a great way to start off a series and sets the bar fairly high for those issues yet to come. I enjoyed this and I look forward to see what else the future has this creative team.