Axe Cop logo
|Author(s)||Malachai Nicolle, drawn by Ethan Nicolle|
|Current status / schedule||Hiatus|
|Launch date||December 2009|
Axe Cop is a webcomic by brothers Malachai Nicolle (age 5 when the series began) 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. In an update titled "Ask Axe Cop Returns" posted on their website, Ethan noted that not only would the webcomic resume on January 27th, 2017 but that the webseries, "Ask Axe Cop" will also have new episodes every Monday starting on January 30th.
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 including the 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 (upon exposure to dinosaur blood) and changes into other forms in other episodes. Axe Cop gained other allies which included but are not limited to Ralph Wrinkles, Sockarang, Leaf Man, Baby Man, The Wrestler, Uni-Man, Uni-Baby, Wexter, Presty, Best Fairy Ever, Bat Warthog Man, Army Chihuahua, Gray Diamond, Liborg, Water Queen, and others.
Axe Cop episodes are nominally set in the present day, enlivened with aliens, dinosaurs, zombies, robots, etc., and the episodes tend to feature whatever topic happens to be on the writer's mind like sea creatures, brains, and especially babies. Little effort is made to keep track of back stories, 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 or getting a fruit's juice on them), 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. Axey Smartist is a police officer who finds a firefighter'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 until she divorced him upon seeing him with Water Queen. Since the divorce, Axe Cop was revealed to be a match for every woman in the universe as he tries relationships with Rainbow Princess from Rainbow World, Frog Queen from Frog World, Cloud Princess from the Cloud Kingdom, and Axe Girl from Axe World. Axe Cop later got engaged to Water Queen and adopted Max and Sammy.
- Flute Cop – Axe Cop's shapeshifting first partner and brother. Flutey Smartist was the brother of Axey Smartist until they bumped their heads enough to forget that they were related. In the TV series, he underwent a partial brain transplant performed by Uni-Man causing him and Axe Cop to forget that they were brothers. 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 upon borrowing the unicorn horn from Super Uni-Man's naval, only to become Ghost Cop (thanks to a wish by Axe Cop), Drag-Tri-Ghostacops Rex (this form has dragon wings, Triceratops head horns, a Tyrannosaurus head and torso, and ghost arms and legs upon asking Uni-Man to transform him into this form), and Viking Cop (upon being exposed to Viking blood). He's usually depicted in his Dinosaur Soldier form. He wields a machine gun and can also shoot avocado bombs out of his hands. In the TV series, Flute Cop is engaged to a police secretary named Anita where they raise Uni-Baby when Uni-Man is busy.
- Uni-Baby – A baby with a unicorn horn that grants wishes. Her father is Uni-Man and was stolen from him by Evil Fatsozon's minions in a plot to throw it at Earth. Uni-Baby was once used by Telescope Gun Cop to get revenge on Axe Cop. Uni-Baby's horn was later confiscated by Avocado Soldier, but was returned to her upon being reunited with her father. In the TV series, Uni-Baby is raised by Flute Cop and Anita when Uni-Man is busy.
- 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 from an evil Snowman and an Evil Singing Tree with an annoying voice. When Uni-Avocado Soldier used the powers of Uni-Baby's horn, Ralph gained the ability to talk and later acquired numerous other powers like healing lasers. Upon a wish being granted by Super Uni-Man, Ralph Wrinkles learned karate.
- 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. During the fight with Bad Santa, Sockarang's sock arms were exposed to Bad Santa's blood transforming Sockarang into Good Bad Santa. He's in a relationship with the Best Fairy Ever.
- Baby Man – A man in a giant baby suit who is one of Axe Cop's allies. He originally only had the power to fly when he gasses. After eating a special dinner with his family, he also gained the ability to produce explosive eggs, phones, and cars.
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) - Uni-Man has made a Good Guy Machine that turns all bad guys into good guys where Axe Cop demonstrates it by turning Pseudo Goodis into Handcuff Man. The Psychic Brothers (consisting of Psychic Boss and Psychic Helper) from Psychic Planet steal the Good Guy Machine in order to convert it into a Bad Guy Machine to build an army of bad guys.
- Volume 3 (160 pages, April 2012, ISBN 1-59582-911-3) -
- Volume 4: President of the World (96 pages, July 2013, ISBN 978-1-61655-057-8) - Axe Cop has become the President of the World. A mad scientist from Mars named Dr. Tuwo recruits an army of aliens (consisting of giant robots, the Apple Men from Apple Planet, the inhabitants of Soccer Planet, and every other alien) in a plot to attack Earth.
- Volume 5: Axe Cop Gets Married and Other Stories (February 18, 2014, ISBN 9781616552459) - After a messy divorce with Abraham Lincoln, Axe Cop is determined to find a new wife to help raise his newly adopted bat and monkey children in Axe Cop Gets Married! Also features the epic bowzer battle story The Dogs, multiple "Ask Axe Cop" episodes, guest comics, "Axe Cop Presents," and much more awesomeness!
- Volume 6: American Choppers (December 2, 2014, ISBN 9781616554248) - Axe Cop reunites with Super Axe, an old friend from college, and the two of them decide to start a superteam of axe-wielding heroes to defend America called The American Choppers. They are joined by Captain Axe, Axe Girl, Axe Woman, Axe Dog, and other axe-wielding heroes. The only problem is that there is no bad guys left, but that all changes when mysterious giant creatures attack the city.
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 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 as the voice of Axe Cop, Ken Marino as the voice of Flute Cop, Patton Oswalt as the voice of Sockarang, Megan Mullally as the voice of Anita and various characters, Rob Huebel as the voice of Gray Diamond, Tyler, The Creator as the voice of Liborg, Michael Madsen as the voice of Baby Man, Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of Army Chihuahua, Vincent Kartheiser as the voice of Bat Warthog Man, Deborah Ann Woll as the voice of Best Fairy Ever, Jemima Kirke as the voice of Water Queen, and Peter Serafinowicz as the voice of Uni-Man and various characters.
- 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 July 19, 2015.
- 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.[permanent dead link]
- Lee, Landon (February 1, 2010). "5 year old's comic 'Axe Cop' sweeps the Web!". KXTV. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- Lyons, Margaret (January 28, 2010). "Site of the Day: Axe Cop". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 3, 2010.
- Detroit News review Archived May 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- 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. Archived from the original on 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
-  Archived October 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- "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. Archived from the original on May 8, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- "Criminal Past". Axe Cop. 2012-11-21. Archived from the original on 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- Doctorow, Cory (2011-03-11). "Axe Cop meets Steve Jackson Games". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2011-03-11.