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Comic Book / Ice Cream Man

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Ice Cream Man is an ongoing surreal horror/fantasy comic published by Image Comics as of January 2018. It is written by W. Maxwell Prince and illustrated by Martin Morazzo.

The series takes on an anthology format and follows different characters each issue as they come into contact with a strange being known as Rick the ice cream man. From there their lives all take a turn (usually for the worst) as the ice cream man toys with reality and spreads human suffering wherever he can. Needless to say, this is one series you'll want to skip if you ever plan on enjoying ice cream the same way again...


This Comic Book provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Pick your poison, this comic has over thirty exciting flavors to choose from!
  • Animal Motifs: Rick has a strong connection to bugs (particularly spiders) and often uses them as metaphors for various bad things.
  • Anthology Comic: Aside from a few recurring characters each issue follows different protagonists and their encounters with the titular ice cream man.
  • Any One Can Die: Expect roughly half of the characters to die by the end of each issue, if not more.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Some of the factors that led to the Unspecified Apocalypse in issue 12?
    Thing 1: Global warming.
    Thing 452: Split atom.
    Thing 679: Disease.
    Thing 782: Technological singularity.
    Thing 1,599: Bad television.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Issue 12... holy shit. Not only has humanity been reduced to a single solitary astronaut in the far future, but Rick manages to kill even him and steal his ship to find a new universe to play in. Given that this event chronologically takes place in the distant future after earth's demise it's also very likely that this is the ultimate outcome of Rick's stay in our universe. In other words, Caleb will inevitably fail to stop Rick and he'll be free to torture humanity to his heart's content for many centuries to come.
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  • Bad Humor Truck: It's a series following a reality warping ice cream man who seems to feed on human suffering, so of course he spends most of his time riding around in an enticing ice cream truck. Interestingly, when a junkie steals and crashes it in issue 2 he makes an offhand comment that he has plenty of extra trucks to spare and is seen driving a new undamaged one afterwards.
  • Bears Are Bad News: A random guy is seen being chased, mauled and eaten by a bear in issue 8.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Caleb has a habit of doing this.
  • Big Good: A strange cowboy named Caleb seems to be the good counterpart to Rick.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Several pages of issue 10 are written entirely in Spanish, including the narration.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The best a character can hope for. They might survive if they're lucky, but not without an ordeal first.
  • Black Comedy: The humor in this series is usually pitch black but it exists nonetheless.
  • Body Horror: All over the place, the comic usually has at least one nasty example of this per issue.
  • Bury Your Gays: Under the implied influence of Rick, a man decapitates his husband (and coworker) so he could try to hit on "V," the secondary protagonist of issue 5. Ditto for Rita and Cindy in issue 8.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: The main protagonists of issue 14 suffered this at some point in the past, which had a massive negative impact on their marriage.
  • Crossword Puzzle: The main theme of issue 14, due to the main character being a huge crossword addict. He's implied to get over it by the end of the story and instead begins working on repairing his marriage.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Caleb wears an all black cowboy duster and hat, yet has so far been shown to be the good counterpart to Rick.
  • Daylight Horror: Since the main character drives an ice cream truck almost all of the stories take place during the day. This does not diminish the horror in the slightest.
  • Downer Ending: Most stories end with their protagonist dead or heavily traumatized.
  • Death of a Child: Yes, there are children who get killed. This is a horror series, remember?
  • Doing In the Wizard: Despite the cover and supernatural nature of the series suggesting otherwise, there was no ghost in issue 7. The poltergeist just existed entirely in the protagonist's imagination as a way to cope with her best friend's death.
  • Driven to Suicide: Issue 5 follows a man who was coaxed into jumping off the top floor of his office building by the ice cream man and reflects on his life and mistakes on the way down.
  • Drugs Are Bad: The main theme of issue 2, which follows a junkie and her boyfriend committing various crimes to fuel their drug habit.
    • Paramedics Mike and Jenny in issue 8 are far too busy chugging down and mixing powerful hospital medication to actually help in any of the several disasters that occur around them over the course of the issue.
  • Existential Horror: Recurring themes include the anxieties of the inevitability of sickness and death, as well as the seemingly inherent sadness of life.
  • Eye Scream: What good is good old fashioned ice cream without some good old fashioned Eye Scream to go with it?
  • Faux Affably Evil: Rick plays up the role of the friendly neighborhood ice cream man but its clear that it's all just an act that he uses to spread misery wherever he can.
  • Fingore: A particularly gruesome example happens to the protagonist of issue 15. It's even featured on the cover art.
  • Flaying Alive: Happens to an unfortunate man named Jimbo in issue 7, courtesy of Rick.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Caleb sometimes uses Rick's full name, "Riccardus", if he really feels like drawing his attention.
  • Fun with Palindromes: Issue 13 in it's entirety is a palindrome and is read the same no matter which end the reader starts from. Given all of the surreal and disturbing imagery contained in the issue the effect this has is... unnerving.
  • Giant Spider: Massive alien spiders appear in issue 9, the smallest of which is bigger than a dog.
  • Last of His Kind: Issue 12 follows a lone astronaut from earth desperately searching for a new planet to call home that can be used to revive the nearly extinct human species. It's unknown exactly what happened back on the little blue marble, but the hints given in the story imply it's ultimate fate wasn't pretty...
  • Murderous Mannequin: Several of these guys appear in issue 11, alongside dog people and zombies.
  • New Media Are Evil: Issue 11 has a modern media addict who neglected his family end up trapped in various tv shows.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Happy Hank in issue 8. The only really harmful thing he does is commit suicide and even then, the children whose birthdays he helped entertain care enough about him to give him an amateur, but well-intentioned, "viking funeral."
  • Reality Warper: The titular ice cream man seems to have the ability to distort reality and change the lives of anyone he comes into contact with, though to what extent is currently unknown.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Both Rick and Caleb are part of some sort of ancient alien/deity race that existed long before the current universe was even born and left their old world before it was destroyed.
  • Sanity Slippage: Issue 15 follows a young woman who slowly starts losing her grasp on reality after being given the wrong coat at a restaurant.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Issue 1 gets a lot of mileage out of this trope, though it helps that said spider is one of the most venomous species on the planet.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: The main protagonists of issue 10 are a pair of young lovers from different border towns, one in Mexico and one in America, who plan on running away together. Rick makes sure their story ends in tragedy, naturally.
  • Surreal Horror: The comic dips into this from time to time. Issue 13 for example, is one giant palindrome that tells the story of a man who lost his husband/boyfriend to cancer and goes on a journey into the sewers. Then things get freaky...
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Disturbingly, Rick seems to have a great fondness for cats. In issue 1 he is seen morphing into a more bestial form to prey upon the neighborhoods pet cats and in issue 7 talks about how a deep fried kitten is tastier than an expensive steak. Later in that same issue he throws a kitten into a large soup pot.
  • Trapped in TV Land: Happens to some poor guy named Will in issue 11.
  • Unspecified Apocalypse: Though several minor causes are listed as contributing to the end of the world and humanity in issue 12 the book never actually tells the reader exactly what happened. All the reader really finds out is that the devastation was apparently so bad that the last known living human is seen piloting a ship in deep space looking for a new planet he can recreate the earth on.
  • Wham Episode: Issue 8. The entire town seems to be undergoing some sort of full on purge, people are dying in the streets and the last few pages reveal that Caleb has been fatally stabbed, likely by Rick himself.
    • And to make it worse, the following issues take place either in the past or a Rick-created side dimension, so the audience doesn’t get resolution on that or what it means for the town.
    • Issue 12. In the far future humanity has been reduced to a single astronaut who is scouring the cosmos for a habitable planet he can rebuild a new earth on. After crash landing on a distant moon he then follows a distress call that leads him to a cave where Rick is waiting for him. After showing that he killed all of the other astronauts Rick then follows the main protagonist back to his ship, where he murders him horribly. Cut to the final scene of Rick blasting off in search of a new universe to ruin as Caleb watches him from the moon's surface, promising to meet him again in the next world.

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