Look, no matter how you try to explain it, Ice Cream Men are creepy..they go around giving kids ice cream from a weird freezer in the back of the truck and nobody bats an eye…but when I do candy out of a van, suddenly I’m the bad guy. Anyway, here is W. Maxwell Prince sitting down with me to discuss Ice Cream Man, a new terrifying horror story!
First, I’d like to thank you for joining me with this interview, it is a huge honor!
Thanks for having me! Daylight Savings is fucking with my head, so sorry in advance if any of my answers are strange.
So what exactly is the Ice Cream Man about?
The short answer: the book is a series of one-shots (i.e. each issue will feature different characters, a different story) whose only commonality is the presence of this magical-ish Ice Cream Man. He pops up in each issue as a kind of thumb pressing down on the heads of the featured characters. The more complicated answer, I guess: the book is about suffering, about the tendency of a life to go off the rails.
Why the Ice Cream man as a horror villain?
I wouldn’t say he’s a “horror villain”; he’s more after the fashion of Gaiman’s Sandman, in that he’s this other-worldly being exerting a certain amount of influence on the lives of normal folks. As for the form he takes: there’s something compelling about the idea of a beloved childhood figure (at least for most of us) turning out to have the keys to our very lives, steering us in the direction of both sweet treats and profound sorrow.
What kind of research went into building the universe?
I’ve been eating ice cream for over 30 years, so I know a thing or two about sweetened, frozen dairy snacks. Re the stories: I’m always reading, all the time. I’m not sure if you can call that “research,” but it tends to inform my writing heavily.
Does each story with the Ice Cream Man Interconnect? How?
Each story is it’s own thing. But they all take place in the same town (at least the first four issues do), so you’ll see little cameos of familiar characters peppered throughout. And, of course, there is the great narrative glue of the whole book: The Ice Cream Man, always there and always pressing on our open wounds.
How did you get to choose Morazzo as the artist?
Martín and I worked on The Electric Sublime together over at IDW, and we decided to keep on together once that was done. We’ve got a really nice artist-writer relationship: our separate visions for a story tend to merge into a single thing. And Chris O’Halloran is on colors—he’s brought a level of humanity to the pages that’s proven absolutely essential to the kinds of stories we’re trying to tell.
Will the Ice Cream Man be popping up once the series is done?
He’s in every issue; he’s always popping up!
When developing the Ice Cream Man, was your first thought to make it different stories? Why?
I get bored real easily, so the one-shot format suits my storytelling-ADD. My big, dark secret is that I’m not very good at serial narrative—so you could say I’m “writing what I know.”
But that’s not to say there isn’t a kind of build-up to the ICM chapters. The first four rev and rev and then veer in a different direction leading into the second arc.
ICE CREAM MAN #1, Cover A by series artists Morazzo and O’Halloran (Diamond code: NOV170652) and Cover B by Frazer Irving (Diamond code: NOV170653), hits comic book stores Wednesday, January 17th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, December 25th.