Horror is best served cold. Especially when it’s a cold tasty push pop. You taste what you think is a tasty treat only to find that its made all your teeth fall out of your mouth. Now you’re eating your teeth along with the ice cream. Yummy, right? Decayed, delectable death is yours to enjoy when you read W. Maxwell Prince’s Ice Cream Man for Image Comics, and artist Martin Morazzo spills his guts on what makes the book so much fun, and such a terrifying treat that gives you a permanent brain freeze.
Vince Brusio: For those unfamiliar with the series, tell us about your new book Ice Cream Man. Describe its odor. Reveal its decay.
Martin Morazzo: Ice Cream Man is a series of one-shot stories, in the way of The Twilight Zone or Tales from the Crypt, but with a dark tone of suffering! Each story has its own cast of characters and amongst them all, it’s the Ice Cream Man! A mysterious figure moving around in his truck, playing his jingle music, and changing lives with the snap of his fingers!
"Chocolate, vanilla, existential horror, drug addiction, musical fantasy...there's a flavor for everyone's misery." It’s the tagline of the series and sums it up pretty well!
Vince Brusio: On the periodic table of comic book elements, this book probably has the chemical properties of plutonium. It is toxic to the skin, and highly radioactive. There is no joy in Ice Cream Man, to put it lightly. So what makes it such fun during production?
Martin Morazzo: We have common people on an everyday suburb, but everything with a strange, unsettling feeling, and then something weird happens! That’s the part I enjoy the most, when things are taken to the extreme, when things turn dark! In some issues it’s just a scene, on others, it’s the whole book!
On the other hand, the sad part of Ice Cream Man, you know the “there’s a flavor for everyone’s misery” part, it’s always hard to draw! Emotionally it’s difficult to portray such feelings, sometimes I end up exhausted! But even if it’s hard, I find it cathartic!
Will has taken the whole team to some really dark corners but everybody seems to be having fun with it!
Vince Brusio: What kind of rainbow sprinkles does writer W. Maxwell Prince ask for when you draw your layouts? Does he ask you to accentuate any particular perspectives or characteristics for each issue’s puppets of pain? How do you two see the same skull for public consumption?
Martin Morazzo: Will pictures each story and gives us guidelines to produce it. Sometimes he doesn’t specify much about the visuals, and sometimes he thinks of a layout grid or a particular panel distribution or camera placement. The same goes with characters, sometimes he describes them down to the exact detail, and sometimes he leaves that to me and Chris. Beyond that, each one of us works with total freedom, trying to achieve the general mood of the story, and we’re in some sort of synchronicity because, I guess, there’s not much back and forth. Now, that we’re working on issue #7, even less! It’s like everybody knows exactly what to do!
Vince Brusio: What if any personal experiences do you bring to this story? Does Prince alone drive the truck along the highway to hell, or do you like to take the wheel sometimes to do donuts on spilled gasoline? You know, make a bigger mess despite cars overturned and burning?
Martin Morazzo: We work to Will’s script and ideas, and I usually don’t add or change the story. I probably bring my personal experiences, mostly some extreme situations I’ve lived throughout my life, at the moment of crafting something similar on the paper. Maybe it’s not that direct, but if I draw something sad I will definitely end up sad. If I draw people smiling, I’ll end up smiling. It’s a bit sinister.
Vince Brusio: What’s the most rewarding part of your work in producing Ice Cream Man? What makes your job more exciting than a tornado in a trailer park? How does it complete you?
Martin Morazzo: Besides the stories and those extreme weird things I get to draw every month, I think the fact is that it’s an anthology series, and I find that to be the most appealing! Each issue comes with new characters, settings, and situations. It’s definitely fun and dynamic.
See a preview below of Ice Cream Man Volume 2 below! Availalble December 2018
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.