Ice Cream Man: Experimental Storytelling (#30) – W. Maxwell Prince

2 out of 5

As a standalone horror tale, “Experimental Storytelling” is fun. It’s playfulness, or jump-scare visuals are well suited for a Tales from the Crypt or Twilight Zone-esque tale; perhaps more of the shock-ending variety than anything too inventive or revelatory, but still: fun. As an ICM entry, though, that kind of won’t do at this point, and feels like too much of a template or softball for the series, written inbetween issues when Prince is slowly lore-building or has something more personal to say. That could still be entertaining, but it gets a bit of an extra knock because, well, it’s ICM, and Prince’s writing tends toward the elliptical that suggests there’s subtext to the story, and I frankly don’t think there is this time. …Which kinda sorta gives it a slightly obnoxious air, unfortunately. There’s also a frustrating affect here that has occasionally popped up in various Grant Morrison or Alan Moore books, where the visuals are tightly tied to intentions: some visual details that might just be errors, or are something that seems like it has meaning but doesn’t, but because of that everything-is-part-of-the-puzzle writing style, you sit there and scrutinize the detail until you go nuts. So why isn’t that lamp casting its light correctly? Does it mean anything??

I’m guessing not.

Morazzo’s art and O’Halloran’s colors do continue to improve issue by issue – already great, but with ever-perfecting sync – and the comparatively tighter layouts make Good Old Neon’s letters “fit” much more seamlessly on the page as well.