Ice Cream Man (#32) – W. Maxwell Prince

3 out of 5

Ice Cream Man has bounced around between some extremes, but lately, Prince has been using the book as a vehicle to occasionally just write one-shot books. Yes, there are some ICM “horrors of life” themes here – a man going through rehab, acknowledging that he’ll always be a step away from relapse – and some light ICM symbolism in backgrounds or with the titular character’s brief appearance, but I’d really consider the latter bits as bonus stuff, highly irrelevant to the actual content, and the mentioned theme only notable because of the name of the comic. Otherwise: this completely stands alone.

Which isn’t bad, with Prince once more trying out a unique format, of a day of recovery per page (split in an even grid each time by Chris O’Halloran), and successfully – not cheaply – taking our lead through the full cycle of detox and emotional rebound and wishes for better days, but… that’s the story. It’s a short about a man going through rehab, with Ice Cream Man stamped on the front cover. It’s a good short, something that could very well go in an anthology about hope, and not one about horror, but that’s kinda exactly what holds it back from feeling like anything more than “good,” when considered as part of the series.