Ice Cream Man Volume 8: Subjects & Objects

Ice Cream Man Volume 8: Subjects & Objects
Ice Cream Man Volume 8 Subjects & Objects review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Image Comics - 978-1-5343-2322-3
  • Volume No.: 8
  • Release date: 2022
  • UPC: 9781534323223
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Conceptual, Drama, Horror

As ever, Ice Cream Man continues to present four wildly imaginative horror stories conceived by W. Maxwell Prince and chillingly rendered by Martín Morazzo. The joy is not the banality of ghosts or slashers, but truly monstrous suggestions and experiences designed to crawl under your skin. Rather like the squid plaguing writer William M. Parson in the opening story, intended to start those W. Maxwell Prince is dead rumours.

More objects than subjects manifest in the accounting of a life, meticulously illustrated old boots on a pedestal and all. It’s a meditation on what we leave behind, some items of less worth than others despite their covetous accumulation. As with the following stories, the horror is in the way Prince and Morazzo twist the mundane, presenting a world that’s ordinary and recognisable until it’s not any more. The sinister turns manifest gradually, and Morazzo is even able to make the wonder of a new child in the family disturbing via his mad-eyed father, although that’s partly because we’re all aware some form of horror is coming, just not sure what. It’s not horrific in the conventional sense, though, just terribly, terribly sad. Over the opening pages Morazzo really needed to tone those eyes down.

The final story connects briefly with the second and third and presents a different form of sadness, that of the addiction so few overcome. There are horrific moments, but there’s a realism that separates it from what Ice Cream Man has been. Anyone wanting the title character, by the way, will have to get their fix from his leading presence in the opening story as a sardonic commentator on a life. It begins as a nicely phrased observational speech – “this one inch fib born of a tired and pitiable Napoleon complex lasted the full duration of his existence on Earth” – and becomes a haunting bequest.

There’s not been a poor Ice Cream Man collection yet, this continues the streak from Certain Descents, and Heavy Narration is next.