Ice Cream Man: Living Will (#29) – W. Maxwell Prince

3 out of 5

This is a pretty indulgent issue, both kept afloat and also hindered by what feels like a free association kind of approach; like I imagine that writer W. Maxwell Prince had trouble putting the script together beyond a conceptual pun tied to his title, and ended up knocking it out when he was tired and kinda loopy. That makes it a more openly humorous issue than most, but also more random and somehow more obvious at the same time.

We’re attending the reading of a will, for a man named Will, by the Ice Cream Man. Repeated references abound – notable that Will keeps telling us he’s a writer – and there’s a division of petty life accoutrements to his family, all very tongue in cheek. But are they petty? In this era of ICM, with Prince often rerouting the dour into the sentimental, there’s a bit of questioning here of what we hand down: are they regrets? Burdens? Memories?

It’s a well-intentioned idea, but somewhat unevenly effected; the “point” of any given ICM issue can purposefully be left vague, but this one seems almost conflicted or confused – again, there’s the sense of the script being forced out instead of flowing, with the writerly mentions feeling self-referential.

Martin Morazzo and Good Old Neon, meanwhile, have hit on an incredible streak together, the former finding an excellent balance to their stiff, formalized panel style to create more energy and add more detail than before, and GON stepping away from some of the typical hues used earlier on the book with interesting purples and blues and green shades.