If you haven’t heard of the web-turned-print comic Axe Cop, I’m not surprised. I may feel a little sorry for you, because of all the joy you’ve been missing out on for the past two years, but I’m not surprised. For those who don’t know, it’s billed as being “written by a 5 year-old, drawn by a 29 year-old,” and is the joint creation between brothers Malachai and Ethan Nicole, who are both now a little bit older than the tagline implies. The elder, Ethan, outlines and draws the comic based on the stories the younger, Malachai, relates via his unencumbered imagination. Meaning the Nicole brothers are the luckiest kid and artist, respectively, alive today. When you were five and trying to draw all the crazy shit you saw in your head, wouldn’t it have been amazing to see your ideas come alive by a talented, professional artist? And now, as an adult, whether you’re in a creative field or not, wouldn’t it be incredible to be paid for fleshing out those flights of fancy? The fact that they’re brothers is just awesomesauce on the cake of awesomeness that is Axe Cop.
Here’s a taste:
So, let’s hope that the upcoming FOX animated series based on the comics lives up, and does justice, to a true labor of love. “Axe Cop” won’t feature the talents of the Nicole brothers, which is understandable considering one isn’t actually a writer and the other is still in elementary school, but if the pair doesn’t have some control over what takes place in their televisual adaptation some of the comic’s magic, it’s inherent sincerity despite the absurdity, may be lost. The head of FOX’s Animation Domination line-up, which will be expanding to late Saturday nights in January 2013, Nick Weidenfeld, had this to say about the new show:
“It’s rare that you find something that feels both so new in its tone and content but also so fully formed. To me it was very clear that ‘Axe Cop’ has potential to be a larger franchise.”
Well, sure. I’d love to put an Axe Cop action figure on my desk at work, and I’d be first in line to go see a live-action Axe Cop movie — Dinosaurs! Ninja! Dinosaur Ninja! — but I’d hesitate to call anything about it “fully formed.” I know five year-olds, and nothing they say or do is thought out beyond the moment. That’s makes the comics so damned fun. But maybe that just means FOX will hew close to the source material and tweak their adaptation ever so slightly to work in 15-minute chunks, rather than starting whole cloth? Either way, here’s a bit of unsolicited advice for FOX from a fan since before Dark Horse started printing books: Hire, or at the very least consult, “Adventure Time” creator and showrunner Pendelton Ward to bring “Axe Cop” to the small screen.
Trust me. You’ll thank me later, Mr. Weidenfeld.
Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He wonders if FOX is still accepting applications for new cartoon ideas, and if so, how he can get in on that.