One of this year’s biggest webcomics success stories is Axe Cop, the webcomic created by five-year-old Malachai Nicolle and his older brother Ethan. Arriving Dec. 22 is the first Axe Cop collection, published by Dark Horse, who were kind enough to send out some preview pages today. If you’ve been wondering why the axe-wielding cop never married, well, you’ll find that answer on the last page.
Which is a good excuse to point out that the Nicolle brothers are having a big Christmas sale over in the Axe Shop, where you can find prints, shirts and more.
Check out preview pages and the solicitation text after the jump.
Hello and welcome once again to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew talk about the comics and graphic novels that they’ve been enjoying lately. Today our special guest is Bill Reed, who contributes to our sister blog Comics Should Be Good!. To see what Bill and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click the link below.
It was not even nine months ago that a brand-new webcomic called Axe Cop went viral within days of its creation, thanks in large part to its irresistible high-concept creative team: 29-year-old cartoonist Ethan Nicolle drawing the crazy action-adventure ideas of his 5-year-old kid brother Malachai. But I recently had occasion to read the entire strip in one sitting in preparation for a freelance assignment, and I was struck by how well the thing holds up long after you’ve gotten over the “haha that’s a great idea”-ness of it all. Nicolle the Elder’s art is uniformly kinetic, cartoony, and lovely, while Nicolle the Younger is obviously years away from running out of ideas for Axe Cop and his crew of very weird superheroes (or hitting middle school, for that matter). No wonder Dark Horse is releasing a collected edition this Christmas.
Anyway, the strip is still going strong, and this week it’s tipping its cop hat to All Hallow’s Eve with “The Night Monster”, a four-part saga of creatures who live in outer space in hopes of catching “space babies.” Yeah, it’s already wonderful, isn’t it? Check it out, and be sure to tune in for the remaining installments!
Retailing | Heidi MacDonald confirms rumors that well-regarded Brooklyn retailer Rocketship, the setting for numerous signings, release parties and art shows, has closed after five years. “We’ve come to the end of a five-year lease, and are deciding what to do now,” said co-owner Alex Cox. “Five years went by fast, and my partner and I are suddenly making some large life decisions about what comes next. We love the shop, and as fun as it is, we have to figure out what makes sense for us on a practical level.” [The Beat]
Pop culture | KRCW-Santa Monica (89.9 FM) will rebroadcast the 1991 radio production of American Splendor, starring Dan Castellaneta, from 7:30 to 8 p.m. PST today. This broadcast will appear on air and via KCRW.com live stream only, and will not be available on demand or via podcast. [KCRW.com]
Legal | The Wall Street Journal’s Tomomichi Amano looks at efforts by a newly formed coalition of Japanese and American manga publishers to crack down on U.S.-based scanlation websites. “People might say it’s like whack-a-mole,” says Vertical Inc.’s Ioannis Mentzas, “but we think even making one (legal) case will greatly change the situation.” [Japan Real Time]
Welcome once again to What Are You Reading? This week our special guest is Justin Aclin, editor of ToyFare magazine and writer of Hero House and S.H.O.O.T. First, which you can read on MySpace Dark Horse Presents. To see what Justin and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below …
Twitter has given us some good things — breaking news from Iran, Tom Brevoort — and some bad things — celebrity death hoaxes, #nowthatsghetto. Yesterday, it served as the social-media equivalent of Paul Revere, spreading word of a new webcomic called Axe Cop to every nerd and geek village and farm.
What’s so special about Axe Cop, you ask? Well, it’s an action-adventure series about a superheroic cop armed with an axe, joined by his partner, a half-man/half-avocado who used to be a half-man/half-dinosaur who used to be a cop who used a flute for a weapon. It’s illustrated by Ethan Nicolle, the Eisner-nominated writer-artist of SLG’s Chumble Spuzz.
And oh, yeah, it’s written by Nicolle’s five-year-old kid brother Malachai.
One look at its genuinely childlike imagination, action and sense of humor — my favorite bit is when a guitar-wielding supervillain called Bad Santa is defeated when another character gains his powers and becomes Good Bad Santa — seems to have been all it took for the twitterati to get hooked, no doubt recalling all their own afternoons spent making up stories and playing hero in backyards and basements. Indeed, the site has been fairly groaning under the collective interest of the Internet; it was completely down last night, and the strip’s image loading has slowed to a crawl as of this writing.
The elder Nicolle has been blogging about the strip’s literally overnight, Twitter-driven success, providing a unique in-the-moment document of a webcomic “making it.” (I did my part by reviewing it on my other blog.) Hopefully he’ll be able to shore up the infrastructure so that you too can thrill to the adventures of the coolest mustachioed hero since pre-goatee Tony Stark.