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Film, Comic Books
Axe Cop‘s journey toward world domination continues this week with the launch of a T-shirt line at WeLoveFine.com. You can now sport the webcomic-turned-animated series by brothers Malachai and Ethan Nicolle on your torso, mashed up with A Game of Thrones, Kool-Aid Man, Super Mario Bros. and various food items, like tacos and cereal.
Check out the shirts below.
As part of its upfront presentations Monday in New York City, Fox screened a new trailer for Axe Cop, an adaptation of the hit webcomic by brothers Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle premiering July 27 as part of the network’s new late-night animated programming block.
If you’ve read the source material, or watched any of the previous teasers, you pretty much know what you’re in for with Axe Cop, although this trailer features Parks and Recreation‘s Nick Offerman offering some wisdom for the ages: “I want you to listen very carefully: There is something even better than friends — killing the guy who killed your friends.”
Part of Animation Domination High-Def, Axe Cop also features the voice talents of Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, Ken Marino and Peter Serafinowicz. ADHD premieres Saturday, July 27 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
Although the animated adaptation of Axe Cop, the hit webcomic by brothers Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle, doesn’t premiere for more than six months — July 27, to be exact! — Fox is offering a taste of what we can expect from the show in the form of another installment of “Ask Axe Cop.”
In the clip, which you can watch below, young Keith asks, “Would you ever consider running for president? And if so, what would your platform be?” The answer, as delivered by Nick Offerman — yes, in case you missed it, Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation voices Axe Cop — is as funny as you might expect.
Part of Fox’s new Animation Domination High-Def late-night programming block, Axe Cop also features the voice talents of Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, Ken Marino and Peter Serafinowicz. ADHD premieres Saturday, July 27 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
Fox has announced a July 27 television premiere for Axe Cop, based on the hit webcomic by brothers Malachai Nicolle (who was 5 when it launched in 2009) and Ethan Nicolle (28), as part of the network’s new Adult Swim-style Saturday-night animated programming block ADHD.
Axe Cop, which follows the adventures of the title character and his loyal partner Flute Cop as they deliver their brand of vigilante justice, features the voice talents of Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, Ken Marino and Peter Serafinowicz. The show is joined in the 90-minute block by High School USA!, from Community writer/actor Dino Stamatopoulos, and an untitled project from twin comedians Kenny and Keith Lucas.
Teasing Axe Cop in October, Fox released a Halloween-themed test clip based on the comic’s “Ask Axe Cop” feature. You can watch it below. ADHD (Animation Domination High-Def) premieres Saturday, July 27 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
Awards | The National Cartoonists Society initiated a webcomics award last year, and this year the organization is splitting it in two, one for short-form works and one for long-form. The challenge with including webcomics, says NCS President Tom Richardson, is that to be eligible, creators must make the majority of their money from cartooning. “That isn’t an easy thing to quantify anymore. With online comics, we need to take into account site traffic, professionalism in consistent and regular publication, online community activity and other factors that are the hallmark of professional online work,” he says. “In some cases, it’s pretty obvious the creator is making a career out of cartooning. In some, it’s not so obvious.” [Comic Riffs]
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15, the third issue of Batman Inc. would be a must for me this week [after Chris turned in his picks, DC announced that the issue will be delayed until next month], especially since it features the return of Matches Malone, a character I wasn’t even aware I missed until now. I might also spring for the first issue of Axe Cop: President of the World, a new limited series featuring the hatchet-swinging lawman.
I read very little manga by Moyoco Anno, but what I have read has impressed me and what I’ve read about her has made me want to seek more of her work out. So with $30, I’d almost certainly nab Sakuran, Vol. 1, about a high-priced courtesan/geisha looking to escape her gilded cage.
If I really, really wanted to splurge, I’d plunk $125 down for the second printing of the Wally Wood EC Stories Artist Edition from IDW, of which I’ve only heard wonderful things. If my splurging had to be a little budget-friendly, and I was in a more academic mood, I’d at least flip through Cerebus: The Barbarian Messiah, a collection of critical essays on Dave Sim’s controversial opus.
“It’s when somebody dressed as Axe-Cop removes his mustache and hat to reveal that ‘he’s’ actually True Blood star Deborah Ann Woll that I realize that everything about Comic-Con starts to sound like a crazy dream if you describe it long enough. Nothing ever really dies at Comic-Con, to the point where there’s a panel for a ’70s TV version of Shazam that I’ve never even heard of. But that also means that everything you could ever possibly think of is here and wandering around, all the ghosts of your childhood entertainments live and in the flesh. Today, I stood in line with a Snork and saw a sexy Tom Servo. And those are among the more easily understandable costume choices. Everything about wandering around here has that feel of when you fall asleep after being awake too long and your brain starts rummaging its own couch cushions for spare change.”
– Todd VanDerWerff, writing for The A.V. Club about his frustrating first day at Comic-Con International
Publishing | Damien Lucchese, a production artist laid off last week by Marvel, explains why fans should not boycott the publisher over the layoffs: “What I’m trying to say is that I don’t want everyone to just see the MARVEL logo and think of a huge, top-heavy company, full of money hungry suits that make poor decisions (in some peoples’ opinions). That’s not what MARVEL is and there are still people working very hard (even harder now), day after day to put out comics for people to enjoy.” [Blog@Newsarama]
Digital piracy | Jim Mroczkowski posts his third interview with a digital pirate; as in the first two episodes, what comes through is that social pressures and one-upmanship have a lot to do with it. Also, piracy is expensive for the pirates, who usually buy the comics they scan—and often don’t even read them. [iFanboy]
Publishing | In a wide-ranging interview with retail news and analysis site ICv2, Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson discusses the state of the market, the potential impact of Borders’ bankruptcy, digital comics, the decline in manga sales, the success of Troublemaker and more. Of particular note is Richardson’s confirmation that Apple’s stricter enforcement of a prohibition on in-app purchases outside the iTunes store was behind the delay of the planned January launch of Dark Horse’s digital comics program. He also says that Frank Miller is working on the third issue of his 300 prequel Xerxes, which is expected to be “roughly six issues, but he hasn’t exactly decided yet.” [ICv2.com]
Publishing | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson provides an overview of recent changes to BOOM! Studios’ kids’ line, from the loss of the Pixar licenses to a new imprint name — changed from BOOM! Kids to kaboom! — to the announcement this week of a Peanuts original graphic novel. “BOOM Kids! was designed to publish children’s comics — kaboom! is designed to be a true all-ages imprint, and for that reason Peanuts is the perfect launch title, the sort of material that adults and kids read alike,” CEO Ross Ritchie said. “Roger Langridge’s Snarked! is along these lines, as is Space Warped and Word Girl. I put the Word Girl announcement on my wall on Facebook and immediately there were a zillion adults commenting, ‘My child loves this show but I’m buying this comic book for myself!’ The title mix will be broader for kaboom! than it was for BOOM Kids!” [Publishers Weekly]
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.
This week’s a big week for me, so with only $15 I’d have to leave a lot of things back and make some hard choices. My five under $15 would start with Joe The Barbarian #8 (DC/Vertigo, $3.99) by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy. I’m a big fan of both guys, but I have to admit the story went over my head the same way The Filth did in serialization. Be that as it may, I’ve kept buying the issues just to amaze myself with Murphy’s art. Now that the complete series is out, I’ll re-read it all in one sitting and hope for the best. Second would be the fourth issue of Incognito: Bad Influences (Marvel/Icon, $3.50) because, well, Brubaker and Phillips can do no wrong. After that I’d get Secret Warriors #25 (Marvel, $3.99) because Hickman’s writing here plays up to all the things I like — espionage, secrets, and overly-complicated story arcs. Over on the DC side I would pick up Brightest Day #21 (DC, $2.99). This series has ebbed and flowed for me, depending on which story arcs are brought to the fore in each issue… but I’m excited to see what happens and that’s what it should be about, right? My last pick is a cheat — I only have some change left, but thankfully the Fear Itself Sketchbook (Marvel) coming out is a free promotional item. I’ll take Stuart Immonen sketches any day!
Broadway | The New York Times reports the producers of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark are considering delaying the $65 million musical for a sixth time, until as late as June, a move that would make the show ineligible for this year’s Tony Awards. Speculation about another possible postponement follows a wave of scathing reviews, reports that comics writer and playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had been approached to rewrite the book, and the hiring of veteran conductor and musical supervisor Paul Bogaev to help improve the production. A spokesman for the show would only say that, “Opening night remains scheduled for March 15.” [ArtsBeat]
Comic-Con | Hotel reservations for Comic-Con International will open at 9 a.m. PT on March 9. A preliminary list of hotels included in the Comic-Con block is available on the convention website. [Comic-Con International]
It’s happened again (last time it was Michael May), I am interviewing one of my fellow Robot 6 pals. This time it’s writer Sean T. Collins, regarding Destructor, the webcomic described as an “ongoing story of villainy byCollins and Matt Wiegle, updated Mondays and Thursdays … ‘Alone he fled, and came in from Outside. Upon the seething streets of Planet D he landed, in his armor and his rage. With General at his side and Wall behind, he wrote his name in blood across the worlds, worlds he would conquer, filled with foes to crush. He formed the Mob and set their star alight, the guns and gangs, machines and magic theirs, the red ambition his and his alone, until the System shuddered at his name: Destructor—the most dangerous man alive.'” As engaging and sometimes maddening a co-worker (we have vastly different critical minds, an observation that I hope he takes as the compliment it is) as Collins may be, I was not surprised in the slightest to find him to be a great creator to interview.
Tim O’Shea: You are a faithful reader of Tom Brevoort’s Twitter account, do you think he returns the favor and is an avid reader of Destructor?
Sean T. Collins: Hahaha! Aw, I’m sure we don’t have nearly enough commenters asking us who would win in a fight, Jean Grey or the Blue Marvel, and given how much he looooooves that sort of thing we’re probably not high on his reading list. He’s a reader I’d love to have, though. Are you there, Tom? It’s me, the guy who makes posts out of your tweets.
Okay, not quite: It’s just a two-minute fan film by Peter Muehlenberg, based on the first installment of the overnight-sensation webcomic written by 6-year-old Malachi Nicolle and illustrated by his 30-year-old brother Ethan. But for God’s sake, film producers of the world, you are looking at a gold mine. With a mustache. And an axe.
In December of last year, brothers Ethan and Malachai Nicolle concocted Axe Cop and posted the first five episodes as webcomics in January 2010. A mixture of factors–including being declared Entertainment Weekly‘s Site of the Day as well asa deluge of Tweets (as well as getting praised by Robot 6’s Sean T. Collins of course)–allowed the buzz to build on the webcomic fairly quickly. The stories (aptly described by Dark Horse as “We live in a strange world, and our strange problems call for strange heroes. That’s why Axe Cop–along with his partner Flute Cop and their pet T. rex Wexter–is holding tryouts to build the greatest team of heroes ever assembled.”) were collected and released by Dark Horse in Axe Cop Volume 1 last week. For those who have not heard about Axe Cop before, I kind of buried my lead regarding Ethan’s co-creator and brother: Malachai is six years old. I recently email interviewed Ethan about the collected edition and the creative process to date as well as going forward, including the three-issue Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth miniseries that launches in March 2011.
Tim O’Shea: It’s clear that you are careful to make sure your co-creator/six-year-old brother Malachai enjoys the creative experience and does not get burned out. How hard is it to involve him in the process while at the same time not burdening him?
Ethan Nicolle: I simply have to work at his pace. If he is burdened he simply will not write… he is not like writers in comics or in Hollywood who are writing to try to put food on the table. In fact thing he is kind of weirded out that I am still asking him “so then what happens?” a year later. He is just playing, and if it doesn’t feel like play, his short attention span will switch him to something else in an instant. Since most of our writing is done on the phone, I have to wait until he has some inspiration (usually after he has seen a movie or cartoon or has not noticed an update on the site recently). For the Bad Guy Earth series I actually went and spent an entire month with him writing it in person, and it was all based on a month of actual play time together doing fake car chases in my car, in his room playing with toy dinosaurs and going to the playground. I just kept bringing our narrative back into the playtime. He will say “we need to work, Ethan” but that’s him saying “let’s play”. The word work means play to Malachai. He is learning early why so many people want to be writers and comic artists.
Welcome once again to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy based on certain spending limits — $15, $30 to spend and if we had extra money to spend on what we call the “Splurge” item. Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
If I had $15:
I’d be all about the Axe Cop, Volume 1 ($14.99). Should be the best thing since Katie Mignola’s The Magician and the Snake.
If I had $30:
I’d add On the Case with Holmes and Watson, Volume 5: The Adventure of the Speckled Band ($6.95) and Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword #1 ($7.99). Those On the Case books are cool and a Howard anthology of new and reprinted material sounds awesome. Especially when the creators involved include Paul Tobin, Marc Andreyko, Tim Bradstreet and Barry Windsor Smith.