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Ice Haven h/c

Ice Haven h/c Ice Haven h/c Ice Haven h/c

Ice Haven h/c back

Daniel Clowes


Page 45 Review by Mark

In the small town of Ice Haven a child has gone missing. A detective, bringing his wife with him, questions local residents and studies the ransom note.

That's the main story but it's all the other little incidents that make it one of the best books in the last couple of years [wrote our Mark in June 2005].

Sixteen of the inhabitants are given their own stories. Vida is visiting her grandmother, author of 'Mauve Begonias', 1978, and is writing a 'zine about the town. She becomes infatuated with the guy living next door, another (awful) poet and a master of prevarication despising what he perceives to be the narrow-mindedness of the townsfolk. Charles is lent a copy of 'Leopold & Loeb' by a classmate and is convinced that this will link him to the abduction - and possible murder - that he's sure his friend has arranged. Meanwhile his stepsister is planning to run away with her lover, worrying that he'll find her unattractive when unclothed.

And it goes on.

Everyone's given their own strip and each strip has its own style. The detective appears to be in a Bernie Krigstein EC comic, the younger kids in FAMILY CIRCUS. Issues of familial connections, creativity and believability are raised. At the end, the mystery is solved but we're not told explicitly who took the boy.

This originally came out a few years back as the 22nd issue of EIGHTBALL. For this edition the art has been jigged about and some new strips added. Clowes' sometimes tender, often clinical view of his characters is never better than here. Vida's final words before leaving Ice Haven may even top the last line of GHOST WORLD (comic version). Although, whether we're supposed to believe her or not is another story.
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