Page 218 – Fresh And Yummy


Today’s page is entirely Amelia’s writing.

…having nothing else to say today, I’ll just leave you with that.



“If you want to be with a girl like me, like me, like me,
You can’t be like that, like that, like that.
You have to be cool, be cool, be cool.
You have to be a werewolf.”
                                        -Charlotte, 6 years old

Amelia’s still in diapers. She’s got a distant look
on her face and that tends to mean only one thing.
Me: “Mia, are you pooping?”
Amelia: “No. …Are you pooping?”
                                        -Amelia, 2 years old

Page 217 – Bright, hot rainbows


“…and then Rainbow Girl shot a rainbow up in the air. It was so bright and hot that some of the good guys fainted.”

The last panel is one of Amelia’s contributions, and though it doesn’t happen often, the text there is exactly as she said it when she was telling me the story: “the dragon breathed fire and never died until the end.” It’s got that kid storytelling thing to it, where saying that a big bad guy doesn’t die while you’re fighting him is making the story exciting. I love it. Anyway.

Last week our GET REVENGE ON RAINBOW GIRL contest wrapped up. Our winner is… Aaron Pokoj. His revenge scheme is as follows:

“Rainbow Girl and the dragon fuse, creating Fire-Rainbow Girl, who then promptly eats Lightning Boy to steal his powers. At this point, Axe Cop is discouraged, but then Mr. Stocker reveals that he actually had super powers all along! He grows to a massive size and fights the new monstrosity, paralyzing it. Axe Cop kills it by chopping off its head. He then takes the monster’s bones to make a new surprise-proof suit, and takes the exact change needed to buy a smoothie out of its pocket. He then cuts off Mr. Stocker’s head for lying about not having powers.”

Poor Mr. Stocker. But really, if you’re going to be on a crime-fighting team, you have to divulge these things right away.



they’re eating dinner that daddy has prepared.
Charlotte: “I give this… a 10.”
Daddy: “Aww, thank you Charlotte.”
Charlotte: “…out of 20.”
                                        -Charlotte, 8 years old

Walking around somewhere:
“Can you pick me up, Unca Tommy?
My feet are getting hurting.”
                                        -Amelia, 4 years old

Page 216 – Some bad guys have tails


Not having much of anything to say today, I guess I’ll plug myself.

I do illustration and design for hire. Check me out here at my page. Contact me if you have something you want me to scribble. Here’s a recent project I completed for an AT&T conference done in my best attempt at a Jack Kirby style, of all things.

AT&T booklet_001

I also do vocals in Lich King, we do 80s thrash metal. I understand there’s likely not much organic overlap between Axe Cop and thrash metal fans, but screw it, we go where the fun is. We have a song about Axe Cop that Ethan’s been kind enough to spam to you a few times. Here’s that and a couple of other jaunty ditties.

We’re touring in March down the east coast with our pals Exmortus. If you’d like to come out and see the (other) guy that draws Axe Cop making a fool of himself on stage, here are the dates. Click the image for more details. Y’know. If details are what you’re into.

Tour Art FB3

That’s it for this week. Next week, Rainbow Girl and the fire-breathing dragon strike.


Charlotte’s playing Minecraft and flying over a desert. A forest appears.
Charlotte: “Oh look, I can burn down the forest and build a house there!”
Me: “Why do you have to burn down the trees to build a house??”
Charlotte: “Because we need space!”
Me: “I think you just want to play with fire. There’s
space in the desert, why don’t you build a house there?”
Charlotte: “Because sand is stupid! …Okay,
now let’s light some trees on fire.”
                                        -Charlotte, 8 years old

The kids are being shown STAND BY ME.
Charlotte: Why do they keep saying the F word?
Amelia: I don’t hear it, all I keep hearing is “f***.”
                                        -Amelia, 6 years old


Page 215 – The Fight Begins!


UPDATE: the splash image is no longer found by clicking the image, but you can CLICK HERE for it.

Let the violence commence!

Today’s page is what’s known as a double-page splash, so it’s technically two pages. When I started plotting out the comic I did it based on how I wanted it to look in print. Ethan says that’s the way to go, but because I wasn’t paying attention to how to leave off for each page, sometimes the pages for the site will leave off on a boring panel. Keeping two media in mind when drawing these things is not easy. As a double page splash it doesn’t really fit in the page format for the site, so handy Axe Cop site-guy Doug worked up a way to have it work out. Click  above for the full-sized page.

The only dialogue here wasn’t written for the comic. In the telling, Charlotte merely started describing the fight. For the beginning of the battle, though, I wanted a big double-page dealie with an introduction to the action. I took the dialogue from something Charlotte said when she was four. We were on the couch and she attacked me, and we started wrestling. She yelled “THE FIGHT BEGINS!” I always liked it as a line that one combatant would yell as a battle kicks off, and it seems very appropriate to Axe Cop. So here we go.

Interestingly- or not- Axe Cop’s “get out of my way!” on Page 3 was likewise based on something Amelia said when she was three. I probably couldn’t communicate what was funny about it, but she was grinning and barreling at me at the time.

First (non-child) blood next week, as we learn how to kill bad guys Dinosaur Soldier and Army Chihuahua style.


The following was a playful insult:
“You’re a baby. You’re a baby that
was just born out of a belly.”
                                        -Charlotte, 5 years old

This was a song:
“i only had a sissy if you only had a sissy
with a gun, with a gun, with a gun”
                                        -Amelia, 3 years old

Page 213 – You Will Never Be Evil Again


And there it is, the first blow of the coming battle is struck, and it’s called foul right off. The way this came about was in telling the story, Charlotte got to this part and said:

“…Axe Cop walks up with all his pals. And he says to them “you will never be evil again! And then he chops off the little kids’ heads.”

She immediately rethought it and started to go another way, but it was too funny to let go so I kept it. You HAVE to keep a sudden, unprovoked axe attack on little kids to punish the parents. You know, when I type it out like that, it’s not so funny anymore. But… well… at least it’s funny in the Axe Cop universe. Infanticide is many horrible things, but at least we can enjoy that it’s hilarious in the context of an Axe Cop comic.


‎”If The Hulk just played dead,
nobody would ever bother him.”
                                        -Charlotte, 6 years old

Amelia’s in trouble and she thinks her
stuffed bear, Vanilla, has told on her.
She yells 
“Curse you, Vanilla!!”
then throws him down the stairs.
                                        -Amelia, 5 years old

Page 212 – Showdown


Well, all right, all that art-talk over the last two blogs was a complete dud and no one cared. Sorry ’bout that.

 I don’t have the time to write up much of a blog this week, I’m under the gun on an art deadline and am cranking out pages. I wouldn’t leave you with nothing, though, so here’s the audio of Amelia telling an Axe Cop story. I requested it be in a smoothie shop because I was trying to tie it in to the comic story, and didn’t wind up using this at all. I definitely don’t have the time to draw it these days, but if anyone  has the time, this’d make a good guest strip.


Me: “I need to take a shower.”
Charlotte: “Why?”
Me: “I need one, I’m stinky.”
She gives me a hug.
Charlotte: “You’re not stinky.”
Me: “Aww, thanks!”
I sneeze.
Charlotte: “But you ARE gross.”
                                        -Charlotte, 6 years old

Amelia is going to get her room painted.
She says she’s going to have pictures painted
of “blocks and tigers and people and butts and people.”
                                        -Amelia, 4 years old

Next week, the first act of aggression in this street fight is about to go down, and it’s a doozy.

Page 211 – How to be a bad guy


For anyone wondering, yes, Axe Cop only slept for two minutes.

Last week, I mentioned that I’ve come up with a pretty solid inking technique in Manga Studio and said that if anyone wanted to know the process I’d fully detail it. It got a couple of responses, so here we go. These instructions are for Manga Studio 5 or EX5. If there’s some way you can make it work for your inking program, do it up.

Coloring Detail-02-02

Before you begin, go to Manga Studio > Shortcut Settings and in the Main Menu settings area, find Transfer To Lower Level. Set its shortcut to Cmd + F. You’ll be using this function a lot, and this command will make the process much quicker for you than clicking the button on the Layer palette, seen above. Note that I use Mac, so PC users substitute Cmd with the Ctrl key.

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 10.55.46 AM

1. Have your pencils on a layer. Set the Expression Color to cyan and lock the layer.

Expression Color is a very useful setting in the Layer Properties palette. It applies a lightening color to everything in the entire layer, but not permanently- meaning that if you click it off again, the image is normal. You’re using it as a way to see between your layers while you work.

2. Create two layers above your Pencils layer. These are your inking layers. Name the top one “Working Inks” and the bottom one “Finished Inks.”

3. Set the expression color of Finished Inks to red.

4. Begin inking, in black, on the layer Working Inks. Hit Undo frequently and redraw a line as often as it takes to get the line you want.

Remember that you can change your brush size on the fly by holding Option + Cmd and dragging your pen to find the desired size. This keeps things moving so much more quickly than clicking over to the brush palette and sliding the brush size slider. Also hit the R key to rotate the page freely as needed.

5. When you have a chunk of inking you’re happy with, hit Cmd + F. You’ll see the inking turn red as it moves to the Finished Inks layer.

6. When you have overlapping ink lines at corners and edges, erase at will on either inking layer until you get the desired effect.

Hitting the C key will set the color you’re drawing with from black to erase. This keeps things moving somewhat more quickly than switching over to the eraser. Hit C again and you’re back to black.

7. Repeat steps 4-6 until you’re done inking.

8. Delete Working Inks and click the Expression Color button for Finished Inks to turn it off, and to turn the red lines to black. You’re done!

I hope some of you find this helpful. It’s really streamlined my process quite a bit. To think that just a year ago I was inking on paper, erasing pencils, scanning, and cleaning up the mess in Photoshop. I’ll never go back.


Me: (yawn) “Man, I’m tired.”
Charlotte: “So go to sleep.
Blah blah blah, end of story.”
                                        -Charlotte, 6 years old

Daddy: “Charlotte, you have to eat some of your salad.”
Charlotte: “But I don’t LIKE salad.”
Amelia: (points to bottle of bacon ranch dressing)
“Probably, this will help you.”
                                        -Amelia, 3 years old

The kids are planning to stay up until midnight tonight and then camp out in the living room in Amelia’s new Spider-Man tent that she bought with her Christmas money. Amelia’s a huge Spider-Man fan. Everyone got her Spidey stuff for her birthday and Christmas (I got her a full costume, she loved it) and she still bought more on her own. It’s pretty awesome. Anyway, I’m predicting that Amelia will have passed out by 10:30, and Charlotte will be a zombie by 12:20. They always think they’re going to go all the way on these late nights they occasionally have, but they never quite make it.

This year’s been good for me, and I hope 2014’s even better. Have a great New Year’s Eve, everyone, and a happy 2014.

Next week, it’s a showdown on the street, good guys vs. bad. Heads are about to start getting seriously chopped.