|Author(s)||Malachai Nicolle, drawn by Ethan Nicolle|
|Current status / schedule||Story episode or "Ask Axe Cop" every Tuesday|
|Launch date||December 2009|
Axe Cop is a webcomic by brothers Malachai Nicolle (age 5 when the series began, now age 8) and Ethan Nicolle (age 29 when the series began). Malachai is responsible for the ideas and stories, while Ethan turns them into comics. The first four comics were drawn in December 2009 and posted to Facebook; the website was not launched until January 2010.
The site also features Ask Axe Cop, a series of comics where Axe Cop responds to questions from readers.
The webcomic has been highly praised, leading to a publishing deal with Dark Horse Comics for both a limited online and print run.
Axe Cop is about the adventures of a police officer who prefers to wield an axe in battle. He's a gruff, tough man dedicated to killing bad guys. The comic focuses on the times he's called away from the daily grind to help with more complex problems, such as rescuing a child from a zombie dog woman, helping Bat Warthog Man find his friends, or babysitting. This generally involves fighting bad guys from other planets. Axe Cop has gathered a loyal team. His first ally is Flute Cop, who goes on to become Dinosaur Soldier and various other things.
Axe Cop is nominally set in the present day, enlivened with dinosaurs, zombies, robots, etc., and with a propensity to feature whatever topic happens to be holding the writer's attention, such as sea creatures, brains, and especially babies. Little effort is made to keep track of backstories, powers, and equipment. This is not to say that the comic is entirely chaotic: the main characters and their relationships stay consistent, there are persistent world-building elements (most notably the shape-shifting properties of being splattered with blood), and a number of powers and items recur (e.g. the hypnotize button on Axe Cop's wrist has not been mentioned again, but the robot arms in his mustache are explained).
Ethan Nicolle was already fairly well known for his critically acclaimed graphic novel Chumble Spuzz when he got the idea to write Axe Cop. The idea arose when Ethan was playing pretend with his brother, who invented the Axe Cop persona. At the time, the elder Nicolle was working on a graphic novel that he wanted to release as a webcomic, and he intended to use Axe Cop as a way of practicing the medium.
- Axe Cop: The main character. He is a police officer who finds a fireman's axe and uses it when fighting crime. Married to his job, he works the always shift by sleeping for only two minutes. At night he wears a black cat suit and kills bad guys in their sleep. His battle cry is "I will chop your heads off!" When faced with a challenge, he will hold "try outs" to build a team. At one point he was married to a female Abraham Lincoln.
- Flute Cop: Axe Cop's shapeshifting first partner and brother. Spilled dinosaur blood turns him into "Dinosaur Soldier". Eating an avocado turns him into Avocado Soldier, and with Uni-Baby's horn he becomes Uni-Avocado Soldier. He returns to being Flute Cop, only to become Ghost Cop (thanks to a wish by Axe Cop), Drag-Tri-Ghostacops Rex, and Viking Cop. He's usually depicted in his Dinosaur Soldier form. He wields a machine gun and can also shoot avocado bombs out of his hands.
- Psydrozon: An extraterrestrial robot who is sent to Earth by aliens to kill all the good guys. After Axe Cop destroys his head using Uni-Baby, he and Dinosaur Soldier start using it as a vehicle.
- Uni-Baby: A baby with a unicorn horn; she grants wishes. Her father is Uni-Man.
- Uni-Man: Father to Uni-Baby. Uni-Man is so smart that he grew an unicorn horn. Uniman can also grant wishes, though he usually serves as Axe Cop's equipment specialist as he's a brilliant scientist.
- Sockarang: A friend of Axe Cop and member of his team. He has socks for arms that he can throw as boomerangs, and a golden chainsaw attached to one of his arms. He's in a relationship with the Best Fairy Ever.
- The Wrestler: An unnamed pro wrestler who occasionally teams up with Axe Cop. His design seems to be based on the Ultimate Warrior.
- Leaf Man: A superhero with leaf powers. Axe Cop's team help him get his powers back, after which he quits being a superhero and becomes a circus performer.
- Wexter: Axe Cop's pet T-Rex. He has gatling guns for arms, breathes fire, and can fly. He also has a "super duper fast bite". He feeds on people trespassing on Axe Cop's property. Wexter gained the ability to turn into a dragon-T-Rex with robot wings in order to travel to Zombie World.
- Telescope Gun Cop: A recurring villain. Angered by Axe Cop's rejection during a team try out, he turns evil. He travels back in time and kills Axe Cop's parents. His weapon is a gun with a telescoping barrel, so he can always shoot bad guys in the face.
- Evil Fatsozon: An evil alien king. The original owner of Psydrozon. After kidnapping Uni-Baby, he is killed by Axe Cop's team as they go to get Uni-Baby back. His skeleton is a stick, which Axe Cop fashions into a weapon.
- Ninja Moon Warriors: Named Vampire Wolfer and Fire Slicer, they are ninja allies of Axe Cop who live on the moon. They hunt down "Vampire Man Baby Kid". They have turned down world peace in exchange for new uniforms. They were eaten by the God of All Bears.
- Ralph Wrinkles: Axe Cop's dog. Ralph originally belonged to the Snoward family, but was given to Axe Cop as thanks for saving their family. Ralph gained the ability to talk, and later acquired numerous other powers like healing lasers.
- Best Fairy Ever: The only girl allowed on Axe Cop's team. She carries poison shrink spray and poison giant spray, and can use her small size to attack bad guys from within. She has also fallen in love with Axe Cop.
- Dr. McNinja: Starting on July 26, 2010, Dr. McNinja and Axe Cop teamed up for a two week event.
- Doctor StinkyHead: Impostering as Sockarang, he made a failed attempt on Axe Cop's head.
- Army Chihahua: A hero with the power to transform into a chihuaha when he is ready to fight. Because he is always ready to fight, he is always a chihuaha.
Entertainment Weekly listed the comic as their "Site of the Day" on January 28, 2010. In her review, Margaret Lyons described it as "all kinds of silly fun" and asked, "Are we looking at the next great comic franchise?" Detroit News said in their review, "'Axe Cop' is a hoot." GQ named the comic their "Time Waster of the Day" on February 4, 2010.
In response to the success of the online comic, Nicolle was approached by several comic publishers to print an Axe Cop series. With help of the Gotham Entertainment Group, Nicolle found that both he and Dark Horse Comics had the same level of interest in the publishing deal, and accepted their offer. Dark Horse published an ashcan copy of Axe Cop for the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International, which included the first five episodes of the web comic and some of the "Ask Axe Cop" strips. Dark Horse published the 3-issue Axe Cop miniseries "Bad Guy Earth" in the second quarter of 2011.
Awards and honors
- Special Guest at San Diego Comic Con in 2011 .
- Favorite Web-based Comic award 2011 Eagle Awards.
- Web Comic of the Year award 2011 Shel Dorf Awards.
- Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens 2012 YALSA list YALSA Top 10 Graphic Novels 2012.
- Volume 1 (144 pages, January 2011, ISBN 1-59582-681-5)
- Volume 2: Bad Guy Earth (collecting Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #1-3, 104 pages, October 2011, ISBN 1-59582-825-7)
- Volume 3 (160 pages, April 2012, ISBN 1-59582-911-3)
- Volume 4: President of the World (96 pages, July 2013, ISBN 1-61655-057-8)
Axe Cop has been adapted into one of several short animated features that was shown during the Fox's Saturday night counterpart to Animation Domination, that piloted in January 2013. Fox's Nick Weidenfeld, who is developing the content for this animation block, had been interested in getting the rights for an animated Axe Cop for some time, based on its creativity. For the initial season, six 15-minute episodes of Axe Cop will be made, which is envisioned to expand into full half-hour episodes in subsequent seasons. Popular YouTube animators Arin Hanson (aka "Egoraptor") and Marc Moceri were brought in to help with writing and animation. The television series Axe Cop premiered on July 27, 2013 with Nick Offerman voicing Axe Cop and Ken Marino voicing Flute Cop.
In Series 4, episode 2 of the television series The IT Crowd, a poster with Axe Cop on it can be seen in the IT office.
- Collins, Sean T. (January 29, 2010). "'My five-year-old could write that!': Bow before the blade of Axe Cop". Robot 6. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
- Hudson, Laura (January 29, 2010). "Axe Cop: The Comic Written by a 5-Year-Old, Drawn by a 29-Year-Old". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
- Rickmers, Dan (February 3, 2010). "Axe Cop: The Web Comic Written by a Five-Year-Old". NYU Local. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
- Banks, Dave (February 5, 2010). "Sockarangs, Pretzel Heads and Uni-Babies - A Glimpse Inside The World Of Axe Cop". Wired. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
- Hudson, Laura (February 2, 2010). "Axe Cop, The Interview: Talking with the 5 and 29-Year Old Creators, Malachai and Ethan Nicolle". ComicsAlliance. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
- "Brother of Axe Cop!". Geekchicdaily. February 4, 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- Lee, Landon (February 1, 2010). "5 year old's comic 'Axe Cop' sweeps the Web!". KXTV. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- "Episodes". Axecop.com. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- Lyons, Margaret (January 28, 2010). "Site of the Day: Axe Cop". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
- Detroit News review
- GQ Time Waster of the Day
- Arrant, Chris (August 2, 2010). "Artist's Six Year-Old Brother Inspires DHC Series AXE COP". Newsarama. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
- "Comic-Con 2012 :: Special Guests". Comic-con.org. 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- "The Eagle Awards - Results And Dave Gibbons\' Acceptance Speech". Bleedingcool.com. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- [dead link]
- "Great Graphic Novels Top Ten 2012 | Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)". Ala.org. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 24, 2012). "Fox’s Saturday Late-Night Animated Block Greenlights First Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Bibel, Sara (January 8, 2013). "'Animation Domination High Def' FOX's New Alternative Animated Programming Block, to Premiere Saturday, July 27". TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- Fitzpatrick, Kevin (January 8, 2013). "FOX RELEASES ‘AXE COP’ VOICE CAST, SETS SATURDAY ANIMATION DOMINATION HD PREMIERE". ScreenCrush. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- Nicolle, Ethan (March 31, 2013). "Animated Series Trailer!". AxeCop.com. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- "Criminal Past". Axe Cop. 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- Doctorow, Cory (2011-03-11). "Axe Cop meets Steve Jackson Games". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2011-03-11.