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Ice Haven Hardcover – June 7, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; First Edition edition (June 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037542332X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375423321
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,273,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Clowes (Ghost World) casts a harsh spotlight on the misfit dreamers who inhabit the small town of Ice Havenin this riveting graphic novel. Originally published in a somewhat different form as part of Clowes's occasional comic book Eightball, this piecefinds Clowes moving beyond the withering satire of his earlier works to a more nuanced style. Readers will wince even as they feel sympathy for the self-deluded characters who reside in Ice Haven. Take narrator Random Wilder, writer of doggerel poetry. One would think it'd be easy to be the best poet in a place like Ice Haven, but Wilder has a rival: Ida Wentz, an old woman who likes to bake cookies. Wilder spends his spare time plotting against her. Ida's visiting granddaughter, Vida, also has literary yearnings, despite having sold zero copies of her fanzine. These and other oddballs play out their stories against the mysterious disappearance of a little boy named David Goldberg, whose possible murder recalls the Leopold and Loeb case. Clowes unfolds the multifaceted story as a series of brief comics, some drawn in a wildly cartoony style, others in his well-known mid–20th-century look. Masterfully blending fact and fiction, this is a funny, sad, chilling and absurd work. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up–Previously published in the independent comic-book series Eight Ball, this is a darkly comic romp through the small Midwestern town of Ice Haven. The basic story is pretty straightforward: a sad, quiet little boy named David Goldberg vanishes. But instead of delivering a pulp-inspired detective story, Clowes uses the child's tale mostly as a backdrop. His real interest is in the lives of the bizarre, yet all-too-real townsfolk. They include a lovesick teen, an irritable private detective, a poet, and a schoolyard bully. Although the characters are types, the author/illustrator embellishes them enough to make them unique and memorable. Through vignettes that jump perspective every few pages, readers witness their lives and individual reactions to David's disappearance. As the point of view shifts, so does the artwork. In showing how the event affects the boy's classmates, the panels take on a style inspired by Charles Schultz's Peanuts, but Clowes moves into satire with a bleakly funny schoolyard of kids talking quite openly about sex, drugs, and violence. Other vignettes pull from the motifs of detective strips, teen romances, and The Flintstones. While well-read comics fans will get most of the jokes, some references may frustrate or confuse readers. Overall, though, there is plenty here to enjoy.–Matthew L. Moffett, Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

This is a book to savour and to read and re-read.
Peter King
Ice Haven is definitely going on the re-readable shelf, I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys off-beat stories that make you think.
Victoria Craven
And while all these subjects would make very interesting reading, in Ice Haven it is only hinted at.
Christy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sean Choate on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The point of my review is to put an actual insight to some of the reviews.
I don't know why people are complaining that this was in Eightball. I really don't. Well, you might as well complain about "Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron", or "Pussey!", or even "Ghost World." And not to mention "Ice Haven" was written and designed to be made into graphic novel, not a comic. If you read the comic, note how it doesn't flow as well as the novel. And as far as the complaints that they'd already read the story and got this thinking it was something different, why would you buy a shirt without looking at the size? And as far as the "double dipping" comment goes... SO WHAT! The comic is out of print! What do you want them to do?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Wingchair Critic on June 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
'Ice Haven' (2001) is a fairly typical Dan Clowes 'graphic novel,' here called by the author "a narraglyphic picto-assemblage." Like most of Clowes' work, 'Ice Haven' is complex on every level without being complicated on any. It's easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to grasp, but never simple or shallow unless it intends to be.

Taking its cue from the Leopold and Loeb child murder case of 1924 and told in a manner reminiscent of sprawling 1950s American films of small town life such as 'Picnic' (1954) or 'Peyton Place' (1957), 'Ice Haven' introduces its cast of characters and allows the reader to see each at one or more moments in chronological time. The characters and the events they precipitate cascade off one another in a domino effect, though each character never accurately perceives or understands the meaning he or she has for the persons around them or the larger community.

Thus the self-loathing, perpetually procrastinating and unsuccessful literary poet Random Wilder secretly despises his cheerful neighbor Ida Wentz, though he always exchanges apparently sincere pleasantries with her when they meet. Ida is poet herself, and her sentimental efforts have met with a degree of local success, which Wilder finds intolerable.

Ida's visiting young granddaughter, Vida, who hopes to have a literary career herself, comes to genuinely appreciate Wilder's poetry when she discovers a cache of it in her grandmother's desk drawer, but cannot find an effective method of expressing her appreciation to the odd older man in the seersucker jacket.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. Wade on June 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Eightball 22 is my favorite of Daniel Clowes' works and when I read reviews of Ice Haven I was really excited because I thought the story would fall along the same lines, but I had no idea that it was going to be the same book disguised as a new book. If I new that I was buying the same book with 3 extra strips, I would not have bought it. I am giving the book 5 stars because I still love the storyline and if you don't have Eightball 22 than it is well worth the money, but I am very upset with Daniel Clowes' cheap attempt to release an old book as new.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christy on June 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ice Haven is a quaint little town in which not much action occurs. Until one day, an apathetic, mute boy named David is kidnapped! (GASP) This sets the characters of Ice Haven's lives into motion. At least a couple of them. You see, this book centers around about 8 characters. Besides the kidnapping story, it hints at others, such as: young, naive love (of course!), poetry, marriage, lonliness, sex, adultery, and all the others that you would expect from a Dan Clowes comic. And while all these subjects would make very interesting reading, in Ice Haven it is only hinted at. The characters aren't that well developed and the stories are very short. Unlike comics like Ghost World, and David Boring, this book is an 88 page teaser! Clowes starts you off with one character and briefly hints at what their about. Then he jumps to the next. By the end of the book, you want more. Because of this, some of the stories seemed unresolved. Of course it was fun to read, but way too short.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jay Quintana on March 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
Using the format of Sunday Comics, Clowes has created an Altman movie. Multiple characters and storylines come together in a sad, moving, and humorous work. I like the flawed characters. And that some questions are left unanswered.

Have to admit, I didn't "get it" on my first reading. Definitely got it the second time.
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Format: Paperback
The hamlet of Ice Haven is home to the typical small town dramas–lovelorn teenagers, neighborhood rivalries, children taking their boredom out on one another, etc–when a young boy goes missing.

You’d think this sort of thing would stop the city cold, but, as in real life, most people remain chiefly concerned with their own artistic, emotional or sexual frustrations whilst the Goldberg case played out on the periphery of their lives.

For such a short work, Clowes has given us a vibrant cast of believable characters. There’s the pseudo-narrator, Random Wilder, who fancies himself to be a poet and to be in a feud with Ice Haven’s poet laureate Ida Wentz. Ida’s granddaughter, Vida, is a budding writer visiting from out-of-town and becomes interested in Mr Wilder’s poetry. She publishes a journal no one reads.

There’s Charles, Carmichael, and Paula, who go to school with the kidnapped boy, Mr Life of the Party up there. Charles is a hopeless romantic in love with his step-sister and he only talks to his younger friend George. Carmichael is an unpleasant little boy with a mean streak who gives Charles a book about Leopold and Loeb (there’s an excellent strip about that murder in the book). This leads Charles to think perhaps Carmichael has killed David.

Violet is Charles’ step-sister, they’ve just moved to Ice Haven and she’s miserable. She’s in love with an older boy named Penrod who lives elsewhere.

And Mr and Mrs Ames, the detective’s sent to work the case of the missing boy. Their marriage is not in the best state.

Then there’s Harry Naybors, a comic book critic who is a little meta for my taste, but we live in meta times, my friends.
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More About the Author

Daniel Clowes is the acclaimed cartoonist of the seminal comic book series EIGHTBALL, and the graphic novels GHOST WORLD, DAVID BORING, ICE HAVEN, WILSON, MR. WONDERFUL and THE DEATH-RAY as well as the subject of the monograph THE ART OF DANIEL CLOWES: MODERN CARTOONIST, published in conjunction with a major retrospective at the Oakland Museum of California. He is an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, the recipient of numerous awards including the PEN Award for literature, Eisner, Harvey and Ignatz, and a frequent cover artist for the New Yorker. He is married and lives in Oakland, CA.

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