Ice Cream Man 3: Hopscotch Mélange

ice cream man volume 3 hopscotch melange cover trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Ice Cream Man is a unique comic

The origin issues aren't as fun as the straight anthology style issues

Comic Info

Comic Name: Ice Cream Man

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: W. Maxwell Prince

Artist: Martin Morazzo

# of Issues: 4

Release Date: 2019

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Ice Cream Man #10

Reprints Ice Cream Man #9-12 (January 2019-May 2019).  The Ice Cream Man is back with four more tales of terror and mystery.  First a story which provides insight to the past of “Rick” and his cousin “Caleb” as the dangers of a world increase.  Then, the Ice Cream Man tells the story of the Mexico-United States border and forbidden love.  A writer finds himself sucked into a world of reality TV where avoiding being X’ed out is the only hope of survival.  Plus, an astronaut on a mission to save a dying race finds himself face-to-face with the Ice Cream Man on a barren moon.  The Ice Cream Man is dying to tell you his stories, and the people in them are dying for you to hear!

Written by W. Maxwell Prince, Ice Cream Man Volume 3:  Hopscotch Mélange is an Image Comics anthology comic book series.  Following Ice Cream Man Volume 2:  Strange Neapolitan, the series features art by Martin Morazzo.

Ice Cream Man is an odd, fun series.  In many ways it feels like a throwback to older comics and mystery-horror hosts like House of Mystery or House of Secrets.  Like both of those titles, the “host” gets involved in the stories frequently, but in Ice Cream Man, the Ice Cream Man is creating the stories…or so we believe.

ice cream man #11 cover tv story

Ice Cream Man #11

The series is largely an anthology with different stories each issue, but this collection starts to really bring together the pieces that have littered the first two volumes of the series.  The Ice Cream Man isn’t simply a story host…he has a plan and a goal.  In the first issue, you learn that Riccardus aka Rick aka the Ice Cream Man is cousins with the mysterious Caleb and that they are flipsides of the same coin.  They travel world to world and while Caleb seems to promote order and life, Rick promotes chaos and death…but in classic (and smart) fashion, only a few more threads to the bigger mysteries are given.

With a bit heavier push on the origins of the Ice Cream Man, the collection does lose a bit of what makes the Ice Cream Man fun.  I liked the mystery and unknown nature of the Ice Cream Man and I also liked that in the first two volumes virtually everything was happening in the same small town…where stories were starting to cross.  This collection zooms out the focus and looks at different times and even planets.  I feel that the series will zoom back in to a more personal and relatable level, but it feels like a few of these stories are missing something from the first volumes.

Despite some criticism, the series is still good and it seems like Prince is trying to develop something bigger as the story goes on…so occasional trips away from the semi-format the series has are probably necessary.  Unfortunately with four short issues in each collection, it sometimes feels like a bit of a misfire if all the stories don’t hit their target.  Ice Cream Man 3:  Hopscotch Mélange is followed by Ice Cream Man 4:  Tiny Lives.

Related Links:

Ice Cream Man 1:  Rainbow Sprinkles

Ice Cream Man 2:  Strange Neapolitan

Ice Cream Man 4:  Tiny Lives

Ice Cream Man 5:  Other Confections

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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