Image Comics 2018
Written by W. Maxwell Prince
Illustrated by Martin Morazzo
Coloured by Chris O’Halloran
Lettered by Good Old Neon
“GOOD OL’ FASHIONED VANILLA” In which a washed-up musician finds a sci-fi fantasy world of living lyrics in his basement. Can he write the song that’ll save Harmony City? Or has his milkshake already run dry?
In some ways I am kind of disappointed in this issue. Oh it is beautifully told and Maxwell really does have a dandy of an imagination and is able to bring it life with aplomb. It is just that I was expecting something a little different and I guess in retrospect this should be what I am expecting, shaking things up a bit. The Ice Cream Man is a nasty piece of work right and well while we aren’t seeing him do anything out of the ordinary other than entering a diner’s business and selling his wares you can’t help but wonder.
Maxwell continues to impress me with his ability to structure this book. Solid fully told, see realised, stories in one issue that isn’t oversized yeah that is something nice to see. It really makes me feel like this is the modern version of House of Secrets, House of Mystery and the Witching Hour where a complete tale can be done exceptionally well. Now that I have had more time to think about it I do believe that cruelty comes in many forms and the Ice Cream Man definitely has fun putting people through their paces even if there is no bloodshed.
I enjoyed the way the story flowed through the pages as we open up in the past as Bud Hickey and his Rock All the Time song has rocketed it’s way up the charts. Before Elvis and before the Rock invasion took a firm hold there Bud and this song. Now is another story and the way we see it well that’s something else entirely. I love the fact that Vinyl Records are back in fashion, they sound so much better than CD’s or internet music, where they rely too much open electronics to make them sound good. So that a young man is holding up the record and saying he that man over there is Bud based off the Album cover. This is how the story really gets under way.
Martin and Chris do some stellar work on the interiors here. I think the way that they use the present and up to date Diner complete with the black and white tile mosaic going on mirrors the past where Bud was young, handsome and the kids all dressed to leave the house. The attention to detail here is exceptional and the varying weight of the linework is superbly done. That backgrounds are utilised as much and as well as they are we really get that sense of what’s going on. The use of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a truly magnificent eye for storytelling.
There is something extraordinary about what Bud goes through here after the Ice Cream Man gives him a good ol’ fashioned Vanilla cone. So I couldn’t imagine this happening and as the characters are revealed and all them well you’ll have to read this to see but they all match the whole genre aspect of the book beyond compare. I think that had what he was going through would have been good for him and his now fractured mind. Instead this is the Ice Cream Man at his dirtiest and again to understand why you NEED to read this book.
A modern version of the old fashioned one and done horror books that made us cringe with excitement and thrill at the creativity and mind of those who brought it to life.