Thursday, October 21, 2010

All Hail Axe Cop

I know I'm late to the game but now that I have discovered Axe Cop I must share him with the world.

Axe Cop is an online comic drawn by Ethan Nicolle and written by his five year old little brother Malachai. That is not a typo, the writer of this comic (which I love) is a five year old kid.

Sometimes a concept is so genius and obvious I wish I had thought of it first. This is one of those times. Of course a comic is the perfect playground for the deranged mind of a young boy. Most mainstream books written by grown-up professionals can often seem like they're written by a child. This just cuts out the pretentiousness.

While his demands were often outrageous they were still better than Joe Q's.

I came across Axe Cop after reading an interview with the artist and became instantly intrigued. To my surprise this strip, despite only being one year old, has gotten massive attention from the likes of Simon Pegg, Rifftrax and countless others. It seems, axe justice is what everyone has been craving. But why is it worth your time? Let me try to explain.

Axe Cop's origins are simple enough. A cop finds an axe. He becomes Axe Cop. It's that simple and often Axe Cop's simplicity is what makes it so utterly readable. Despite the crazy scenarios (poop monsters from a poop planet trying to take over earth or the car chase with a duck who lays exploding eggs) there is a definite easy comprehension to the story of Axe Cop. There is no subtle subtext or heady metaphors for society. It's fun. That's all it needs to be and that's all I want from it. A crazy fun time.

Some of the rules to this universe are a giggle. If you have a weapon, you get a name that accompanies that weapon, like Axe Cop and Flute Cop etc. If you get the blood of something on you, you transform into a version of that thing. For example, if you were a zombie and you got vampire blood on you, you would become zombie-vampire. If that zombie-vampire found a unicorn's horn it would become uni-zombie-vampire, and so on. This can result in some crazy times.

There is also a habit for a lot of characters to have an unusual body part. This usually involves arms like a character Sockarang who has boomerang socks for arms. But my favourite is Wexter, a dinosaur with Gatling guns for arms. The image is delightful, to say the least.

Because that's how he rolls...

This is not a dialogue heavy strip, as you can imagine, but in many ways that's where the glory of it is. Ethan Nicolle's art is fantastic and really looks amazing in black and white. He brings these mad-cap tales to life in great detail and adds a level of cool such as Wexter's aviator sunglasses. It's the little touches sometimes. Make no mistake, Malachai's story's are fun but this wouldn't be nearly as readable without Ethan's own imagination taking it to the next level.

Like I said before, I'm late to this game so the likelihood is that you're already aware of this. But if not, if you're like me and behind in the buzz, I plead you to give it a shot. I read all the strips in one day (it was a slow one in the office) and I smiled the whole time.

And let's get this adapted to TV folks. Malachai needs a new pair of shoes.

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