Ask Axe Cop #90 – Law & Order Part 2

I guess crime and punishment would be a better title for this one.  I think some of these are genius, namely the money stealing one.  If you were at SDCC I showed these there and at a couple other cons since.


Page 208 – Hot Rainbows

Let this be a lesson to anyone that takes too long in line: know what you want when you get to the counter, or die of hot rainbows.

I believe this marks the first time Axe Cop has melted from surprise outside of the Ask Axe Cop wherein it was revealed as his one weakness. Correct me if I’m wrong. Funnily, Charlotte didn’t know about his one weakness when she wrote this scene. It went something like “Axe Cop is so surprised that he faints.” I told her about his problem with surprise and melting, and things just came together. I tried to make the panel of him melting something of an homage to the original panel, because I really laughed hard when I first saw it. On that note- man, it’s weird to work on something you’ve loved for years.

Today’s Amelia’s birthday. Her nickname is “the bean,” because as a baby she didn’t do much. This led to her being called “beany,” “beanydoo,” and “the beaner,” which we didn’t know at the time was a racial slur. Whoops. She gave herself her own nickname, once. She walked downstairs, held her arms up in muscle poses, and started yelling “I’m a beast! I’M A BEEEEEAST!!!” We have no idea where she got the idea, but it stuck. We use that nickname for when she proves herself to be unnaturally fierce or brave, like when she enjoys getting shots at the doctor’s, or when she launches into one of her hysterically funny silly performances that just come out of nowhere. Her dual nickname has become a Jeckyll & Hyde thing for her. She once said that she’s “beasty during the day, and beany at night.” We don’t really know what that means.

Here’s an Axe Cop guest strip she wrote a while back. I still giggle girlishly about Hulk Wonder’s powers.


Charlotte is drawing a picture of me. She says
“You’re not gonna like this. Not unless
you like tiny hands and squished-up arms.”
                                        -Charlotte, age 6

“”Amn’t I the beaniest?”
                                        -Amelia, age 3

She IS the beaniest. Amelia’s a great kid and I love her madly. She’s very excited about her 6th birthday, so if you’d like to brighten her day, wish her a happy birthday in the comments, would you? I’ll have her read them when she gets home from school.

Thanks everyone! Have a great week.

Ask Axe Cop #89 – Law & Order Part 1

If you have seen me at any recent conventions (since San Diego), you will recognize some of this page and especially the next part.  I present to you: the laws of President Axe Cop.  This episode mostly focuses on what Axe Cop does about jobs and poverty.  I did my best to explain to Malachai the conundrum of politics, and the two sides of the issue… that if you give people too much free money they will not work and earn their own, but sometimes people really do need financial help, so you have to decide who gets free money and how much.  But then of course you have to have some honor about it because otherwise you are just buying votes.  He took it from there and came up with the “love they neighbor law” and the job shock collar.

Well I had a great time in Leeds, and an awesome Thanksgiving in Nashville.  You guys seem to be enjoying Revenge on Rainbow Girl, and so am I.  I think Tom is doing some awesome work.

Amazingly… yesterday I received an email from myself from 6 years ago.  I apparently was up at about 4am on Dec. 4th 2007 and came across a link to a site called “” and sent myself an email talking about where my life was at and my hopes for the future, as well as some advice for myself.  At the time, I lived in a small attic above a garage.  My band had recently broken up and I was pretty lonely.  I was making very little money because it was my first year really trying to be self employed.  I was just starting to work on Chumble Spuzz vol. 2 and at the time I don’t know if I knew I was going to move to California soon.  I had a horrible sleep schedule… I would stay up all night until 10:00am, then sleep until 6 or 7p.m., totally avoiding the sun.  I drew a TON but I had no idea if it would amount to anything.  In the message I reminded myself to keep in touch with my family, do your best to be a regular part of Malachai’s life, and the lives of my sisters, as well as my other brothers and my parents.  It was so weird to get this email from a version of me who had no idea what he was in for.  Crazy.  I teared up a little as I read it, mostly because I know that guy was painfully lonely and I have never been happier now, married and living in a home with a family, able to provide for them with my income from drawing comics.  I really am in the midst of a dream come true.

Last weekend, season one of Axe Cop ended on FOX.  Axe Cop is not over yet, but we will be in a season break for a while.  If you saw the “Best Fairy Ever” episode, Axe Cop sings the song “Chicken Little” in his band.  The folks at ADHD asked if I could get Malachai to sing how the song would go, so I asked him to call me up and leave a voice mail singing Chicken Little as he heard it in his head.  This is what he recorded.

That’s all I’ve got this week.  Thanks for reading!



Page 207 – Meet the family

There she is. Rainbow Girl. She can flood a village with rainbows, so watch out and keep your village in line.

…Not having much else to say this week, I thought I’d paste to you a ghost story Amelia wrote last year as we were sitting in chairs around the wading pool, drying off in the sun. She started rambling off a horror story and I recorded it, then typed it out. Here you go.


So, once upon a time. You know… a girl was in a gravestone, and one gravestone was open. There was a big cage. And that was the (indecipherable) cage, it said “don’t enter.” And then she goed into… she had her flashlight and she looked everywhere. And then guess what? She hears sharp claws. GRABBED onto her leg! And then it grabbed onto her whole body. She fall on her face, and then “Rarrrr!” It was a black bear. And then it almost ate her but then she runned out and goed back home.



Then the bear came alive. Now it’s just a ghost, so that’s actually white. So then he runned home. You know how ghosts can go through things? The bear goed through her roof. And goed upstairs. Then it goed upstairs into the attic. And then she saw the ghost. She runned down, runned into its cage, and runned out, runned into her room! She couldn’t find anywhere to hide. So she just… the best place to hide was the quietest place ever. It was empty. It was a perfect hiding places. And then, guess what? She hided, and the ghost didn’t go there because she locked the door. But the bear had keys, and you know he can unlock things? He unlocked it. He goed in, he looked. She had the goodest place ever. Guess where? The cabinet. And then, guess what. She blowed him bubbles. And it popped on him! His body keep going blup, blup, blup, down. And then, guess what, he died.


There, the ghost found her. His feet was left. His feet had a mouth. She didn’t even know that! And had eyes. And everything a body could have, except legs. Except arms, and legs, and a belly. And they have hands, so it grabbed her. Boom! And then he had hands so he could do that. End of chapter three.


The bear ate her.


Then the mother and the sister and the father and the brother, the whole family got eaten.


She really did say “chapter one,” pause, then say “chapter two” and continue. The story ends on a dark note- Amelia can be spectacularly morbid, but always with a big smile, like she doesn’t know that what she’s saying is really grim. She was singing an impromptu song once that went “My birthday is today, my funeral is tomorrow.” Creepy.

Oh, hey, I almost forgot that months back I recorded the inking of the top panel as a speed art video and did a voiceover of the process. Here it is, check it out.


“Once when I was little I tried talking to a dog.
I said ‘ruff ruff ruff.’ It started barking at me and
I thought I’d accidentally said something like
‘your breath smells’ in dog language or something.
I got embarrassed so I said ‘I’m sorry’ and went inside.”
                                        -Charlotte, 7 years old

I let Mia have a handful of change.
“Now I’ve got millions of money!”
                                        -Amelia, 4 years old

Page 206 – When in doubt, improvise

Hiya everyone! Well, last week’s first page seemed to go down smoothly with everyone. Truth be told, Ethan and I were a bit afraid that people would be hesitant to accept an ongoing Axe Cop story from creators other than the Nicolle brothers. Luckily, things went over well and no one groused. That’s good, because we’re in this for the long haul here.

Today, we learned that young Axey’s means of dealing with bad guys isn’t too far off from his adult means. Get ready for lots more shocking and sudden violence in this vein… I think shocking and sudden violence will prove to be a hallmark of this story. One example in particular is, I think, destined to go down in Axe Cop history as one of his more rash actions against bad guys. Trust him, though. He’s Axe Cop. He knows what he’s doing.

If anyone wants to commission some art from me or is just curious to see more of what I do, you can look at my rapidly-becoming-outdated portfolio site, or go to my Facebook page. In recent years I’ve found myself doing a lot of album artwork for metal bands, which is okay, but those guys want an album cover choked with details, and they don’t want to pay for the time it takes to create it. I’ve been hoping to expand into more comics work, so… hit me up if you’ve got a project.


Charlotte: “what’s sheep meat?”
Me: “What?”
Charlotte: “What’s sheep meat?”
Me: “sheep meat??”
Charlotte: “Yeah.”
Me: “Mutton.”
Charlotte: “What?”
Me: “Mutton.”
Charlotte: “What’s mutton?”
                                        -Charlotte, age 8

Amelia has requested, for dinner,
“chicken wif the handle
like chomp chomp chomp.”
She means chicken drumsticks.
                                        -Amelia, age 5

Next week, we return to the present day and see what this flashback is leading up to. Also, next week, we finally meet Rainbow Girl herself.

Ask Axe Cop #88 – Our Noble Sun

Howdy folks,
Ethan’s out on travel for the next little while, so he asked Tom and myself to mess the place up a bitkeep things up and running while he’s out. We’ll be responsible adults*, promise.

I’m sure you all have already seen the first page from Tom’s set of guest strips. I’ve gotten to read ahead and I think you guys are going to love this series. After the decidedly “adult” turns (love, sacrifice, romance, etc.) that the “Axe Cop Gets Married” storyline took, “Revenge on Rainbow Girl” seems to be a return to levels of silliness and straight out Kid Logic(tm). We’ll see if Malachai is open to making it canon, but I certainly hope so. Oh, and spoilers: Snape kills Gandalf! Also, Donnie Darko is actually Finkel and Einhorn.

But enough frippery! Down to business.

This Saturday’s Axe Cop on Fox ADHD features an all-new character, invented purely for the show: Turkey Turkey. He’s definitely a Bad Guy Who Is Up To No Good. Ethan thought you all might enjoy a few of the concept sketches before you get to watch him in motion at 11pm Eastern** on Fox.


Click to embiggen! Then watch on Saturday night, and tell your friends to beware of Turkey Turkey!

PS: Hot Topic is doing a test run on sales of Axe Cop t-shirts featuring Wexter. Now, I’m not saying that if sales are good enough, they’ll order more and soon kids the world over will be wearing the shirts with nary a hint of irony and that massive royalties will come streaming in, thus ensuring that Axe Cop will turn into a franchise that is eventually written by Ethan’s great-great-grandchildren, amusing countless generations of kids and adults and bringing about world peace***, no sir. But Hot Topic will order more shirts, so tell your friends to buy them. Also, they’re selling t-shirts whereon Axe Cop looks like Rosie the Riveter. I think you know what to do.

* As responsible as two adults given the reins to a website dedicated to posting comic strips invented by children can be, that is.

** More like 11:38PM Eastern. Stupid football/local news.

*** World peace or new uniforms? Asked and answered.

Page 205 – What the heck?

Hiya. I’m Tom, and welcome to the first page of REVENGE ON RAINBOW GIRL. This story is written by my two nieces and drawn and colored by me. This is step 3 in a 16-step plan to subtly manipulate Ethan as a contact and get my own TV show. Don’t tell Ethan I’m abusing him as a contact; he doesn’t die until step 14 and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

So as it turns out, I’ve got these things called blog posts to go along with the comic strips. I wasn’t ready for that. I guess I’ll get into it by starting with why I’m doing this, and why I like Axe Cop: kids are hilarious. I know a lot of people with little kids in their lives, and the kids have always just said something hysterical. What these people don’t always do is what I’ve been doing since the girls were little, and I’m going to recommend it to everyone here- write down their quotes. I keep a Google Doc full of things the kids have said, grouped by how old they were when they said it. What I’m planning to do is give each kid a quote of the week whenever I post.

Considering I’m the much-worshiped frontman of metal band Lich King, this’ll probably endanger my reputation as the Ice Cube of thrash metal*, because adoration of the cute things kids say isn’t supposed to be a trope of thrash guys. We’re supposed to enjoy violence and apathy and 80s action movies and zombies and beer. In light of that, if you’re a metal guy that’s put off by that I love little kids and now you can’t like my band, I guess it doesn’t bother me if you take a walk because you’re not the kind of person I want enjoying my band anyway. Metal is supposed to be fun. Hug a puppy now and then, you miserable churl.


Amelia: “Ow. Charlotte’s hitting me!”
Me: “Charlie, what are you doing?”
Charlotte: “She just told you.”
                                        -Charlotte, age 8

Picking crabapples from the tree in the kids’ yard,
Amelia points to one and I pick it for her.
Amelia: “Thank you Unca Tommy. You’re a good
picker and no car could ever run you over.”
                                        -Amelia, age 3

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy REVENGE ON RAINBOW GIRL as much as I did listening to it being written on the fly by two awesome little kids. I’ll be back next week with page 2!

*…No one calls me the Ice Cube of thrash metal. I call myself that in hopes that it’ll stick.

Ask Axe Cop #87 – Sensing Perfection

This episode ties into the end of Axe Cop Gets Married. He is able to look at a baby and determine if it is a boy or a girl using these same powers.  The bottom left panel is the closest thing to something sexual we have had in the Axe Cop comic.  It’s also just really weird seeing him with no mustache.  I feel like we have slowly been peeling away the mysteries of Axe Cop’s head in Ask Axe Cop.  We took his hat off, we shaved his mustache… all that is left is to see his actual eyes.  Maybe some day.

Just a reminder that next Tuesday, Axe Cop: Revenge on Rainbow Girl begins.  Check out the interview with artist Tom Martin I posted last Tuesday and the preview art we posted.

Saturday night, one of my favorite Axe Cop episodes is airing on FOX.  When Night Creatures Attack.  I think I actually like it better than the Halloween episode it is based on.  I like the design of the night creatures.  They remind me a of a combination of the Attack the Block creatures and Sam Keith’s “Isz”.


One Week to Go!

One more week to go before Axe Cop: Revenge on Rainbow Girl starts posting.  To introduce you guys to the project, and to it’s artist, Tom Martin, I did a little interview with him to discuss the project, and what it was like jumping into doing a full Axe Cop story with his nieces. He also shared some of the project artwork here above as a sort of preview.

Ethan:  So, you have been a pretty faithful Axe Cop follower for a while now.  How did you first discover Axe Cop?

Tom: I don’t even remember. I… I think it was just one of those links people post randomly. “Check out this comic strip, written by a kid!” or something like that. It was in the very first weeks, when it was first starting to catch on. I clicked and got caught up in an action man with a mustache that, for once, wasn’t some ironic Chuck Norris homage. It was that very real feeling of action excess, without the sort of forced bravado that ruins similar projects like BLACK DYNAMITE or PLANET TERROR and every other 70s / 80s action tribute. I’ve been a devotee ever since.

Ethan:  Yeah I think that is what fascinated me as the comic started to take shape. It never tries to be dark or ironic or edgy, but it just is by accident at times and that makes it so much more fun.  

Tom: It does. There’s an earnestness in it, that this is the best possible outcome for this particular bad guy and his particular attempt to… rob the bank or take over the world or what have you.

Ethan:  So, have you been into other comics and do you consider yourself a comic fan? Where does Axe Cop fit into your love of the genre?

Tom: I went to comic art school- I graduated from the JOE KUBERT SCHOOL in 1998. I just never managed to make that full-on leap into comics work. I got sidetracked with having to get paying work, and while I wasn’t doing comics, I got into graphic design. That ate a nice decade of my life, but at least the pay was good. I haven’t kept up with comics much of late. I certainly don’t read any other webcomics. I used to read PVP, and did a guest strip there, but I got lost over time and now I don’t even follow any ongoing comics except for Axe Cop. I still tightly clutch my Alan Moore and Frank Miller graphic novels from my 90s heyday. Axe Cop fits in somewhere at the top of my comics pantheon. I haven’t given any time to jotting out a list, but the feeling I get from a good Axe Cop beats any feeling I’ve gotten from comics in a very, very long time.

Ethan:  So when you decided to sit down with your niece, Charlotte, and make your first guest episode, how did that come about?  What made you think to involve her, and it did it go as you thought it would?

Tom: I just wanted to get involved. I felt like I got the Axe Cop THING, that thing that I’d seen a lot of other people miss when they wrote their own guest strip. It’s not about a cop with an axe doing crazy action things. The Axe Cop thing is a kid telling a wild story, and you need a kid to do it. So if I were going to get involved, I’d need kid imagination. I stoked it with candy and turned on a video camera and set her loose. It probably helps that I put a costume cape on her before she began. Then she just unspooled a story and I put it down.

Ethan: Yeah when I read your first guest comic I really felt like you got it.  Your style works really well, you have good storytelling sense and you do a good job of organizing the chaos a kid will give you to tell a story with.  You submitted a good number of guest episodes and they have been my favorites.  What are your initial feelings, going from guest episodes to doing a full story arch?  What was the process like with your nieces, and what do you think of the story you’ve cooked up?

Tom: Going from guest episodes to a full story arch has been a bit of a shock- the process in busting out a page without any editing is very different. I learned a few things from you that I hadn’t gotten about the strip in reading. For example, the narrator doesn’t speak in the kid’s voice. I’d started the story as Charlotte did, with “Once upon a time, there was Axe Cop. The end. Just kidding.” Then we cracked down on that and other things like making certain Axe Cop knows he’s right, all the time. I had to fine-tune a number of things, but nothing was a hassle. the biggest issue was learning how the story structure gets adjusted. When I drew my first draft, it was very much a literal retelling of exactly what Charlotte had said, and then we went about shifting things for the sake of telling a more dynamic story. Very good, excusable changes, but things I hadn’t imagined would be in the Axe Cop creative process. The process for that was just me getting the kids alone for a while, clicking on the voice recorder and setting them loose. I encouraged the wildest options when I saw her backing down from a strange choice. I like the story they’ve cooked up, very much. I just wish Charlotte could get around trying to make everyone’s hair pink. Seriously, that’s a recurring thing with her.

Ethan: Haha awesome.  So, you are creating history in the tiny little world of Axe Cop, but for those of us who live in it, this is the first comic story to be done by a team that is not Malachai and me, and this is also the first time an official Axe Cop story will be penned by two girls.  How do you think Charotte and Amelia’s approach differs from Malachai’s, and have you found that they stay faithful to the rules of the Axe Cop universe because they think in “kid-logic”, or do they create new rules?

Tom: I’d say they definitely have a different approach from Malachai, and I’ve been betting this whole time that if Malachai got his hands on the story, he’d not approve, haha. Malachai seems to be much more about what I’d have been about at his age – ninjas and weapons and big action set pieces. The girls are different. Charlotte is very much about creating an awkward social situation, and having the characters talk it out. Originally the story ended with no fighting at all, they just talked things out and the story resolved with hugs and friendship. That’s great in a practical sense, but for an action comic we needed a battle. That’s why I included her little sister Amelia, who’s 5 and immediately said “Okay. The bad guys have a fire-breathing dragon.” Her approach is very much kid logic and the stream-of-consciousness kid storytelling thing. “And then this happened, and then this happened, and then this.” Very little comes back and gets resolved, but in the meantime you’re getting so much good material to wrap back into the actual story of it all, and it tied together nicely. I’d say their approach was different, but that the results, with some tweaking, will not be disappointing to the seasoned Axe Cop reader. …I hope.

Ethan:  Well from what I have seen it definitely fits into the world.  It does have a different flavor than what Malachai and I create, but I think it fits well.  I really enjoy seeing Axe Cop working in the realm of how little girls think, because they do tend to think much more about “how does this impact my character’s feelings” whereas little boys seem to be concerned with “how does this blow everyone on earth’s mind?”.  I think some of the best moments for Axe Cop is when he has to be relational.  

So, just to wrap this up, I grew up on Ninja Turtles, and some of my favorite comics were the Mirage Studios original series, when Eastman and Laird opened up the Turtles to be created and drawn by other creators in the independent comics scene.  It was a great gateway drug into indy comics for me because I got introduced to so many other creators.  How do you feel about handing the reins on Axe Cop over to you guys?  Do you feel like that works with this property?  

Tom: I do, and with respect I think it’s the only way things can go on. Kids grow up, and eventually Malachai’s going to be too old to reap these little gems from. I don’t know if you’re grooming your stepson to take on the mantle like Batman trains a new Robin now and then, but at some point someone’s going to be handed these reins. I think the best thing for the readers is to condition them to the idea now- that Axe Cop can live outside of the original creator, and can go on so long as there’s a kid brain that can think up wild ideas like a ghost shark planet or something like that. It’s a monument to a kid’s imagination, which is friggin’ sacred.

Ethan:  Definitely, and it is because you see it in that way that I asked you to take this project on.  Everything you said is totally true.  For Axe Cop to continue on, we need some other creative teams to take a crack at it.  All the great comics have had to do the same thing.  I think that, with the TV show coming out, we have seen Axe Cop taken into the hands of other writers and I think that generally it works as long as the writer’s write in the right spirit.  I think Malachai has set a precedent and a tone that, if anyone is to make a good Axe Cop story, will need to be faithful to.  You have been faithful to that, and I’m excited to start posting your pages on the site here.  Consider this your formal introduction to the Axe Cop audience.  Everyone say hi to Tom.

Tom: Assuming you said hi, hi back. Assuming you snfifed in derision and thought “this isn’t the guy I’m used to,” I’m hurt by your recalcitrance. Seriously though, I’m excited to start getting this out there. We’ve got a lot of pages with big moments and things that I think will have been worthy of the loyal Axe Cop reader. Stick around. As mentioned: we’ve got a fire-breathing dragon.

Ethan:  Alright, so just so everyone knows, you will be updating your pages on your own, writing the blogs every Tuesday until the story ends.  On Thursdays, I will post Ask Axe Cop episodes.  In the meantime, you are helping have more regular content while Malachai and I work on the new print-exclusive miniseries, so thanks.  I can’t wait for next week!

Tom: Excellent, thank you for giving us a shot. This is going to be fun. And not a lesson in hubris. I hope. Cheers people!

 Axe Cop: Revenge on Rainbow Girl will begin posting next Tuesday, November 19th!



P.S. Check out this great interview with Nick Offerman over at Newsarama.  Also, this blog at the Daily Caller about Axe Cop and kids being censored.

Revenge is Coming!

Well, you made it to the end of Axe Cop Gets Married and you probably began to wonder what is next?  Well, here it is.  Prepare yourself for a historical Axe Cop event in two weeks, starting on November 19th .  The new Axe Cop story will be presented to you by the awesome artist Tom Martin (age 37), and written by his nieces, Charlotte O’Brien (age 9) and Amelia O’Brien (age 5).  Why historical?  Besides this being the first full-length Axe Cop story by someone  Malachai and me, it is also the first to be written by girls.  Revenge on Rainbow Girl is a strong, fun Axe Cop adventure, and  Tom has worked hard on it with Charlotte and Amelia.  This comic will post every Tuesday for the next 22 or so weeks.  What’s it about?

Rainbow Girl is an enemy from Axe Cop’s past. She can shoot rainbows out of her hands with some kind of hot stuff that can kill you. Also, she can flood a village with rainbows. She has a plan to take over the world, but her reckless actions enrage Axe Cop, who plans to get the perfect revenge on her.

If you are not familar with Tom, Amelia and Charlotte’s previous Axe Cop guest episodes, they stand out as some of my all time favorites.  They have a real synergy and Tom has a knack for getting the storytelling and style nailed for an Axe Cop comic.  Please, take a second and read those!

Axe Cop and Super Charlotte part one

Axe Cop VS Hulk Wonder

Nothing Beats Axe Cop! part one

Nothing Beats Axe Cop! part two

Not only that, but Tom, as the front man of a highly skilled Metal band called Lich King, wrote an Axe Cop metal song that is pretty amazing.  Check it out here.

Every thursday for about 15-16 weeks I will post new Ask Axe Cop episodes.  During this time, Malachai and I will be working on our new print-exclusive miniseries the American Choppers.  Please give Tom, Charlotte and Amelia a hearty welcome here and prepare for a lot of fun as they join in on the fun.

Also, if you did not catch it on Saturday, new episodes of Axe Cop are now airing on FOX.  Last week we got to meet Baby Man for the first time, amazingly voiced by Michael Madsen.

You are probably wondering where we go this storyline… well, we actually took the Telelscope Gun Cop story and put Baby Man in his place.  Something about him wasn’t working on the show, and Baby Man just brought a great level of creepy to the story that just worked.

Also, as mentioned before, if you get the FOXADHD app for your smart phone, you will be able to watch another new episode called the Night Creatures.

This coming weekend I will be at Coast City Comic Con in Portland, Maine!

Woo!  Thursday I will post a new Ask Axe Cop.  Next Tuesday I’m going to introduce Tom to you guys in a little interview and we will show off some images from his sketch book for the new story.  See you then!