Horror Comics: Ice Cream Man


By: Kia McClain


Story by: W. Maxwell Prince

Art by: Martín Morazzo

Colors by: Chris O’Halloran

Publisher: Image Comics

Rocky Road.  Cherry Garcia.  Mint Chocolate Chip.  Moose Tracks. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.  Delicious right? Well, I wouldn’t know because I’ve never had any of these.  My ice cream of choice will forever be Cookies & Cream (preferably the Mayfield brand).  But whatever your personal favorite is, ice cream is a wonderful treat! Or is it? Let me introduce you to one of my new favorite comics – Ice Cream Man.

Ice Cream Man, written by W. Maxwell Prince with art by Martín Morazzo, immediately made me think of The Twilight Zone.  From the Image Comics website, Ice Cream Man is a “genre-defying comic book series featuring disparate ‘one-shot’ tales of sorrow, wonder, and redemption.”  Except unlike The Twilight Zone, the stories in Ice Cream Man are connected  by a sinister being, the friendly neighborhood ice cream man who doles out sweet, sugary treats with heaping sides of mischief and misery.  The stories also seem to be focused in one place, the town of St. Generous, and there’s some recurring characters, including a detective who’s investigating some of the strange happenings.  So while the stories in Ice Cream Man are described as one-shots, there’s definitely a sense that there’s an overall story here.  And without spoiling too much, this sense is further pushed by the ice cream man’s own personal boogeyman – a man named Caleb who reminds me of the Saint of Killers character from the Preacher comic.


Also, I must mention the colorist for Ice Cream ManChris O’Halloran.  Usually what attracts me to a comic is the coloring before the pencils and inks, and I love the colors in Ice Cream Man.  Fittingly for the title, they’re nice and bright but also in a way muted – basically they look like ice cream.  The colors aren’t glaring, and I didn’t notice any super rich or saturated tones. Rather, the colors are varying and soft.  One of my favorite stories in Ice Cream Man, “Strange Neapolitan,” makes great use of coloring.  The story begins with a man who buys Neapolitan ice cream and then proceeds to show three different paths his life choices take him.  There’s no dialogue. Instead, the three story lines are told through three vertical strips spanning several pages and each colored to represent chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla – the three flavors of Neapolitan ice cream – with each flavor representing a different path!  It’s very cleverly done and was definitely a standout for me! So if you like a little bit of creepiness with your ice cream, you can’t go wrong with Ice Cream Man.

Happy Reading!

Kia is a cohost of the Half Assed Horror Cast. Her favorite horror novel is Scott Smith’s ‘The Ruins,’ fave slasher is Freddy Krueger, and her favorite TV show of all time is ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’



Short Film Review: “Stalk”



Written by Brantley J. Brown

Directed by Michael Coulombe

Starring Kara Schaaf and Tyler Gallant

Do you ever find yourself traipsing along a deserted street in the bleak, inky night?  Are you ever frozen at an impasse, your concreted kicks leaving your legs soft and wobbly, the fine hairs on the back of your neck dancing in frantic unison informing you of the distinct possibility that something nefarious lurks in the immediate vicinity?  Now Sophies Choicing it, you can waltz ahead blissfully ignorant to the approaching danger or turn painfully slow blooming the tension until your eyes lock with the unnameable horror towering behind you. This is the fate that awaits our protagonist in the horror short, from YouTube channel Horror House Media, Stalk.

The plot of Stalk is admittedly a simple one:  a woman, known by the name Vanessa, is trekking to an undisclosed location when a less than desirable masked assailant begins stalking (hence the title!) her.  Now, I know it’s a touch frowned upon to go perusing book covers and then to judge said books based on their aforementioned covers, but one gander at this scenario and it’s pretty crystal that unpleasant intentions are the goals for tonight’s proceedings.  Can Vanessa make it through the night unscathed or at the very least with only minor superficial wounds? Well, that all depends on whether or not Vanessa has the cunning ability to evade her admirer to safety.

Indie short flicks, usually of the no budget variety, tend to be hit or miss.  I’d set Stalk somewhere in between with it leaning a bit more towards the former.  I can’t say that Stalk hooked me by the throat not allowing me to come up for air until the credits, but it had enough going for it that it wasn’t a chore to sit through.  A strong start helps pique your fancy with a title card that has you staring through the villains mask at broken up letters not quite revealing the word stalk.  This “engrossing you in the stalkers perspective” is further driven with the opening shot that gets a bit Halloween-esque as we walk down a dimly lit street from the killer or would be killer’s point of view.  I was admittedly disappointed when the story switches to a more cinematic style. From that opening shot I thought we might have a Hardcore Henry on our hands but in a slasher film world.

Alas, the slasher flick from a first killer perspective that I had prophesied did not come to fruition.  A much more traditional take was…well…taken. We follow Vanessa as she puts foot to pavement unbeknownst to her that danger lurks behind her.  Honestly, it becomes a bit paint by numbers at this point. The story doesn’t exactly lull but it’s all the same-o same-o that we’ve seen before.  Protagonist walks along as the antagonist follows. Protagonist senses potential danger, turns to find protagonist is being paranoid as the street behind the protagonist is empty of any encroaching evil.  Rinse and then if need be repeat… that is until the ending. I don’t know if it was deliberate but this easing of the audience to let their guard down allows for a surprise ending that I didn’t see coming.

Stalk won’t necessarily blow your mind, it is a solid effort.  The acting is better than most indie efforts and the crew display that they have a firm grasp on putting together a story.  The cinematography looks good and I found myself impressed with the editing. Smooth transitions followed by tight execution shows a talent to be had here.  If Stalk is any indication, give Horror House Media some time to hone their craft and I think we’ll be seeing some quality work coming from under this banner.

So the question remains:  Would I recommend Stalk?  Well, do you have five minutes to kill?  With a strong beginning and end plus a quick run time that makes it easy to breeze through I’d say it’s worth taking a peek.

Adam Troutt is an obsessive horror cinephile. He aspires to one day be a filmmaker, but in the meantime he devours more horror films than is healthy for human consumption. Find him on Twitter: @PsychoCinephile