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Ice Cream Man, Vol. 3: Hopscotch Melange

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Ice Cream Man continues with four more strange and sad one-shot stories. Plus: more is revealed about the mischievous Ice Cream Man and his history with the dark cowboy, Caleb. Collects ICE CREAM MAN #9-12


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Ice Cream Man continues with four more strange and sad one-shot stories. Plus: more is revealed about the mischievous Ice Cream Man and his history with the dark cowboy, Caleb. Collects ICE CREAM MAN #9-12

30 review for Ice Cream Man, Vol. 3: Hopscotch Melange

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    Ice Cream Pants begins its slide from a fairly mediocre series to a crappy one with Volume 3: Hopscotch Melange. None of its four stories were all that. There’s a cliched Latin soap opera-esque romance story about a couple of star-crossed lovers in 1919 Mexico where the woman is betrothed to a man she doesn’t love (and resembles the Ice Cream Man, Rick). It plays out predictably and doesn’t help that half of it is in untranslated Spanish - good luck if you can’t read it! Some guy gets trapped in Ice Cream Pants begins its slide from a fairly mediocre series to a crappy one with Volume 3: Hopscotch Melange. None of its four stories were all that. There’s a cliched Latin soap opera-esque romance story about a couple of star-crossed lovers in 1919 Mexico where the woman is betrothed to a man she doesn’t love (and resembles the Ice Cream Man, Rick). It plays out predictably and doesn’t help that half of it is in untranslated Spanish - good luck if you can’t read it! Some guy gets trapped in a series of reality shows. I didn’t get the point of it - they definitely weren’t entertaining. The space story was the worst of the bunch. Cliched as any space horror, it’s as obtuse as the opening western story and left me as cold as the vacuum of the cosmos itself. The opening western story was the only one that didn’t totally suck. It’s about the demon Rick and the man in black hunting him, Caleb. It’s odd in that we’re getting more info on these recurring characters but that it only raises more questions as to who they are and what they’re doing. Still, it was at least original and imaginative with parts of it being compelling. Martin Morazzo’s art is as consistently high quality as W. Maxwell Prince’s writing is inconsistently all over the shop. There’s not a lot of good stuff in Hopscotch Melange though and the third volume mostly misses far more than it hits.

  2. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Ice Cream Man, Volume Three, Hopscotch Melange, continues its tutorial into horror genres, this one including a western, a bilingual love story, a televised story within a series of twisted reality show stories, a space opera scratching at the eyes of the metaphysical possibility that everything in the universe may ultimately by meaningless. Yes, friends, we run the gamut from tutti frutti to existential horror: “This universe is on its last leg. The plants take root and speak to the dirt. The d Ice Cream Man, Volume Three, Hopscotch Melange, continues its tutorial into horror genres, this one including a western, a bilingual love story, a televised story within a series of twisted reality show stories, a space opera scratching at the eyes of the metaphysical possibility that everything in the universe may ultimately by meaningless. Yes, friends, we run the gamut from tutti frutti to existential horror: “This universe is on its last leg. The plants take root and speak to the dirt. The dirt in turn speaks back. And it’s saying: ‘Get Out. Quick.’” At the bleak scary center of this world you got yr Ice Cream Man (“Honey, I’ll be good to you”—Tom Waits) and his sidekick cowboy Caleb. You also have your writing by W. Maxwell Prince, your illustration by Martin Morazzo, sherbet-colored by Chris O’Halloran. The effect is kind of nauseating, a grinning carnival clown with a knife bathed in Pepto Bismol. We are in 1919 Mexico, then we are on reality tv, and then we are sometime in the future when the Earth is no longer. You want this little shop of horrors to make sense?! You want your questions answered about the identity of the Ice Cream Man? Well, keep on ‘a askin,’ pardner. The subtitle is Hopscotch Melange, so the narrative coherence you are lookin’ to find just may be jumpin’ around. But then again, in the bilingual story we have what Prince says is his favorite Octavio Paz poem: I am a man; I won’t last long And the night is enormous. But I look up; The stars write. Unknowing, I understand I too am written, And at this very moment Someone spells me out. There’s a bit of wistfulness there, eh? And in the end, he leaves us this little crumb: Thanks for reading. Remember: In “lightning” there is “light.” Is he smirking here? Is this the equivalent of “it’s only a comic, honey,” just turn on the light? Is this then catharsis after the nightmare? Or just his jerkin’ our chain? Dunno. I guess that’s why you read the comics, man, to see where they go, and where the ball drops, nobody knows.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Newly Wardell

    I hate reality tv and they get it. Its still disturbingly good. There is nothing else like it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    2.5 stars The art is still cool for the most part. The stories, however? A big swing and a miss for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    The Artisan Geek

    15/7/19 It amazes me how this comic manages to keep the same tone in every issue, yet at the same time give such a unique and refreshing spin to it! I am thoroughly astounded and I love how the relation between Riccardo and Caleb was more pronounced here - I like how these characters serve as the connective tissue between the issues and I can't wait to see how their story will progress in the future :) 11/7/19 I bought this the other day online, since I'm a fan of this comic 15/7/19 It amazes me how this comic manages to keep the same tone in every issue, yet at the same time give such a unique and refreshing spin to it! I am thoroughly astounded and I love how the relation between Riccardo and Caleb was more pronounced here - I like how these characters serve as the connective tissue between the issues and I can't wait to see how their story will progress in the future :) 11/7/19 I bought this the other day online, since I'm a fan of this comic series!! :D You can find me on Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    (view spoiler)[ Summary for my reference: This volume focuses on Caleb (good) and Rick (evil) and their eternal battle across universes. Western Story (Chapter 9) - Sort of an origin story looks like, with Caleb battling monsters that Rick creates and sets loose on the world. They share an uncle who appears to be some kind of eternal being or keeper of knowledge or something. Rick ends up killing him, and they set off to another unive (view spoiler)[ Summary for my reference: This volume focuses on Caleb (good) and Rick (evil) and their eternal battle across universes. Western Story (Chapter 9) - Sort of an origin story looks like, with Caleb battling monsters that Rick creates and sets loose on the world. They share an uncle who appears to be some kind of eternal being or keeper of knowledge or something. Rick ends up killing him, and they set off to another universe. Border Story (Chapter 10) - An American cowboy falls in love with a Mexican woman who is slave-wife to a general (a Rick incarnation or at least influenced by him). On the night he comes to rescue his love, the cowboy is killed by the general. The woman escapes and ends up at the cowboy's friend Caleb's house. TV Story (Chapter 11) - Not relevant to the other stories in this novel, but the most fun. A man is thrust through different violent versions of US tv shows. Despite his best efforts, he does die in the end. Horrific but hilarious. Space Story (Chapter 12) - A man is the last survivor of earth, which was destroyed. He's trying to recreate it or something using pictures/data. He follows a signal to a planet that is inhabited by Rick, who has been luring astronauts/space explorers in and killing them. The man tries to escape but is killed by Rick (Caleb makes a brief appearance, presumably trying to warn the man before he finds Rick's lair), who takes the ship to travel to another universe. Rick and Caleb seem to be immortal/eternal beings engaged forever in a chase, Rick causing chaos and Caleb trying to clean up his messes/thwart his sadistic plans. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    Continues on in it's own weird way, with a few more connections between stories and characters. We get an issue that shows some of the history of "god-men" Caleb and Riccardus and the Old Man, their uncle, who is looking after the two of them. The two show up in various forms in the other stories in this volume, including the final one, a futuristic space-ark (or A.R.C.) story. The artwork continues to be topnotch throughout, with a distinctly European, "Heavy Metal" flavor to it. I just wish th Continues on in it's own weird way, with a few more connections between stories and characters. We get an issue that shows some of the history of "god-men" Caleb and Riccardus and the Old Man, their uncle, who is looking after the two of them. The two show up in various forms in the other stories in this volume, including the final one, a futuristic space-ark (or A.R.C.) story. The artwork continues to be topnotch throughout, with a distinctly European, "Heavy Metal" flavor to it. I just wish this would all resolve a bit and make more sense. It seems like Prince sets out each issue to come up with the weirdest idea he can and they don't always make a whole lot of sense.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Juan

    I almost feel like I am in the minority of folk that are willing to easily give this series a 5 star rating. I guess to help explain myself, I am totally the type of person that enjoys an anthology series. I read one person refer to a Twilight Zone type of feel. Maybe also like Tales from the Crypt or Tales from the Dark Side. I personally enjoy how the majority of the issues thus far have all been stand alone type of tales with the reoccurring appearances of Rick and Caleb, some type of "god-me I almost feel like I am in the minority of folk that are willing to easily give this series a 5 star rating. I guess to help explain myself, I am totally the type of person that enjoys an anthology series. I read one person refer to a Twilight Zone type of feel. Maybe also like Tales from the Crypt or Tales from the Dark Side. I personally enjoy how the majority of the issues thus far have all been stand alone type of tales with the reoccurring appearances of Rick and Caleb, some type of "god-men". So the end of Volume 2 shows us a world in chaos and the death of Caleb. We have soooo many questions that, unfortunately, many do not get answered. Volume 3 begins at a time and universe long ago, giving us some background on both Rick and Caleb. The take away is that there is the basic concept of good vs evil but are left with questions as to what these two beings are and how they fit into the universe as a whole. Each subsequent issue takes us to stories occurring at vastly different times. We get to see 1919 Mexico, contemporary reality TV based times, and come to end at some point in the distant future when the Earth has become an after thought. I will admit, there is some frustration with there being so many questions that remain unanswered since most of the short stories only show Rick and Caleb as supporting characters rather then progress their personal account, but I remain hooked on the series. The last panel of Issue 12 raises even new questions. "On to the next one, Rick"

  9. 5 out of 5

    SuperSillySerra

    Steady but frustrating. I really like this series. I loved the first issue and have had a blast at almost every issue since. Each one a new adventure into madness. However, by volume 3 I was hoping for just a little more info on who the Ice Cream Man really is. The last issue seemed to have tied in to other issues finally but not by much, I still have questions. Besides that the series still feels like an anthology. And theres nothing wrong with that! The art is still great, the stories are stil Steady but frustrating. I really like this series. I loved the first issue and have had a blast at almost every issue since. Each one a new adventure into madness. However, by volume 3 I was hoping for just a little more info on who the Ice Cream Man really is. The last issue seemed to have tied in to other issues finally but not by much, I still have questions. Besides that the series still feels like an anthology. And theres nothing wrong with that! The art is still great, the stories are still mind boggling. It actually feels more like a trip into the twilight zone, but that's also why I would like it to move forward. Its strong enough to stand on its own, I just wish it would take the leap. Excited to see what comes next still!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Norman

    What I was really loving about this series is that it seemed to have no real purpose, no real sense of any grander idea than just freaky storylines presented in a cool way. This volume feels like it's trying too hard to maintain the theme of the demonic Ice Cream Man dude with his brother or something chasing after him. It's clearly still maintaining the whackiness, but it's just not nearly as compelling as the first volume or even the second one, which was a bit weaker. There was eve What I was really loving about this series is that it seemed to have no real purpose, no real sense of any grander idea than just freaky storylines presented in a cool way. This volume feels like it's trying too hard to maintain the theme of the demonic Ice Cream Man dude with his brother or something chasing after him. It's clearly still maintaining the whackiness, but it's just not nearly as compelling as the first volume or even the second one, which was a bit weaker. There was even an issue that was pretty much mostly in Spanish, which was cool, but it didn't really do it for me. Hoping for better in the next one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    This installment was pretty dull compared to the first two. It's a bit more like backstory, but it's not really a backstory I felt like I needed? The third issue (Chapter 11) was the best in my opinion: it kept the wacky dream-scape horror with witty black humor at the forefront.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris Greensmith

    ”This universe is on its last leg. The plants take root and speak to the dirt. The dirt in turn speaks back. And it’s saying: “Get Out. Quick.”” ,/b> The first part was a ‘mythology’ issue, seems like two warring agents, Caleb, the light/good one (though he wears black), and Rick the bad one. Rick tries to create chaos and Caleb tries to reign it in. That’s what we have seen them do with various people in the other issues and now we are finally getting some of their backstory, and I love it! Th ”This universe is on its last leg. The plants take root and speak to the dirt. The dirt in turn speaks back. And it’s saying: “Get Out. Quick.”” ,/b> The first part was a ‘mythology’ issue, seems like two warring agents, Caleb, the light/good one (though he wears black), and Rick the bad one. Rick tries to create chaos and Caleb tries to reign it in. That’s what we have seen them do with various people in the other issues and now we are finally getting some of their backstory, and I love it! The other stories were good, a brave move with the predominately Spanish issue. The reality TV one was pretty poignant with today culture. The last issue was OK, but it did make this volume end on a bit of a damp squib, I need a chronological timeline of when these things are happening, but I do get the impression that Ice Cream Man is like a benevolent evil, like Pennywise the Clown from IT...have I said this before?...3🌟

  13. 4 out of 5

    noemi borbely

    This was definitely my least favourite volume of Ice Cream Man so far but still an absolute gem! While this series still very much sticks to an anthology style the overarching story is certainly becoming more present, with 50% of this volume dedicating itself to elaborating on the nature of who the Ice Cream Man is and where he came from. One thing I forgot to mention in my volume 2 review that I loved and is also present here, is that the issues intersect each other in the form of Easter eggs b This was definitely my least favourite volume of Ice Cream Man so far but still an absolute gem! While this series still very much sticks to an anthology style the overarching story is certainly becoming more present, with 50% of this volume dedicating itself to elaborating on the nature of who the Ice Cream Man is and where he came from. One thing I forgot to mention in my volume 2 review that I loved and is also present here, is that the issues intersect each other in the form of Easter eggs being hidden in amongst them. Themes of loss, futility. loneliness and existentialism are also ever present in this series. If you are sleeping on this series What Are You Doing??

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hana

    This series is fairly unique in its ability to leave me completely unsettled upon reading it. Once again, I am left with more questions than answers as we see the elusive Ice Cream Man traverse new settings across different times and possibly even universes, stirring up new and for the most part unpredictable trouble along the way. The story remains interesting, though I am curious to see where the next volume takes us as each issue seems to stray further and further from the previous one.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Drew

    Prince is taking greater stylistic risks here, which I deeply admire and appreciate even when they don’t totally work (the space story, for example). But: revelations about Rick and Caleb’s past? Yes. An issue half in Spanish? Fuck yeah. (I’m imagining that there are plenty of basement-dwelling red-hat wearers who are pissed about that particular artistic choice.) I wasn’t sure I was going to come back to this run after Vol. 1 - but holy hell I’m so glad I did.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brad Haney

    The attempt at adding some connective tissue to the series really fell flat to me. I was really enjoying the standalone stories that were just slightly connected. It was a good horror anthology series and that was great, it didn’t need to be more. This volume did however have one great weird issue (#11) and issue #12 was OK, but overall I was pretty disappointed with this volume considering how much I enjoyed the previous two.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Honestly, if the library didn't carry this, I would probably stop reading. I feel like my review for this series has always been the same. A mixed bag of an anthology but this time, the mixed bag felt flat. The first story was interesting and seemed to hint at a larger arc which fizzled out in the 2nd and 4th stories. The 3rd story, a nightmare about reality TV was the only one I truly enjoyed.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Fohl

    The reality tv story had me laughing. I appreciate the art the more I read this. The faces are uncanny and hungry. And it’s a horror with bright colors! What I learned: This is a great Spanish saying. “Love does not respect law, nor obey kings.”

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paul Allard

    Four more horror stories in this comic series that are well-produced There’s not a lot to add to previous reviews of this series. If you enjoy horror stories, this collection will undoubtedly please you with good plots, interesting characters and nifty, clear artwork.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Drucilla

    The stories in this volume are a bit different from the previous issues, but you still get some good horror. We get a bit more back story about the ice cream man and his dark counterpart which is all very intriguing. I’m onto the next volume .

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hazel Tyson

    I just love them! So dark and gritty, more please!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Night

    For whatever reason, I can't seem to get enough of this even though it makes me a little ill to read it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Zachariah

    I feel like evil villains get ruined when you explain their backstory. Like Darth Vader. Ice cream man is kind of the same thing.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jake Harris

    A beautiful exercise in genre adaptation and reflection while maintaining the same tone issue to issue. Quickly becoming one of my favorite comics.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine Hernandez-g

    "Unir a los muertos con los vivos es una bendición, un matrimonio, un equilibrio del mundo." My favorite story out of the four was "TV story", it was so funny and I loved the parody of reality TV. It made me think of the Supernatural episode where Sam and Dean are trapped in different TV channels! I also really enjoyed the fact that "Border story" was partly in Spanish! I didn't really care for the other two stories but I still love the concept of this graphic novel series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    This series is almost all the way back now to the quality of the first volume. Both the micro and the macro parts are clicking nicely.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karoline Lavellan

    Didn’t like this one as much as the two previous volumes unfortunately:(

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I love this series. I can't wait to see what's next!

  29. 4 out of 5

    {erika}

    With the exception of the 3rd story, the man getting caught in his TV and oscillating between terrifying television programs, nothing here really caught my interest.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Will Cooper

    I am intrigued by every issue of this series and in this volume, more is revealed about the past of the man in white and the man in black.

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