Appearances

Page 226 – Coffee Party

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So, that’s it. This concludes AXE COP: REVENGE ON RAINBOW GIRL.

Thanks to Ethan and Malachai for letting us take a shot at our own AXE COP story. Thank you for reading. If you commented, thanks extra for that. This has been a long slog- I’ve been working on this comic for almost a year now, in between other projects. Getting feedback was the return on my investment and I appreciated all of it. …That was a lie. I didn’t appreciate the guy that said “I don’t like this artwork” a couple of weeks back. That guy can get eaten by sharks. The rest of you, though, you’re nice.

Now that my docket’s wide open, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself. I’ll be needing new art projects. Got one? Hit me up at my FB page. Don’t mind the zombie and skull art, I do metal album covers and that stuff is all over the place over there.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go treat the kids to a coffee party.

 KIDS’ QUOTES OF THE WEEK

We’re playing pretend.
“Okay, you be Spider-Man and I’ll be the King of Ostriches.”
-Charlotte, 3 years old

“Mommy! Mommy! …Mommy, listen!
Mommy, listen to this! Ready?
Are you ready?? Fish skipple.”
                                        -Amelia, 4 years old

Page 223 – The Kids Don’t Care

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So I’m back from tour now. I’ll spare you any details or adventures, no one cares. The big event I’d like to talk about came up two weeks ago with Page 221. It seems I brought Fire Slicer back to life, and I didn’t even know it.

Fire Slicer was killed off in THE MOON WARRIORS GO CAMPING, a one-page story Malachai drew. I recall reading it back in 2011, but I apparently didn’t recall that the Moon Warriors were eaten by the God Of All Bears. I began to see the comments roll in about Fire Slicer being alive again and got all irritated with myself. I’ve been dreading this because in these big battle scenes, I’ve been drawing ancillary Axe Cop characters here and there and then wondering- are they alive? What’s the continuity, here? I had similar concerns about Leaf Man, Hand Cuff Man and Mr. Stocker. I’m pretty sure Mr. Stocker’s dead according to continuity, but I just couldn’t resist putting my favorite non-Axe Cop Axe Cop character in my story.

I went to Ethan a few times asking up on whether a character is alive, but the dude was planning a wedding, drawing a comic, overseeing a TV show and doing any number of other things. Eventually he just said “draw who you want, don’t worry so much about continuity.” That’s not a direct quote, mind you, I don’t feel like hunting through gmail to find that. Anyway. In a kid logic universe, death may mean even less than it does in the Marvel Universe. Hell, Axe Cop was killed on the same page where Fire Slicer returned and it meant almost nothing.

So, yeah, I brought back Fire Slicer by accident. Whoops. Ethan says not to worry about it for reasons that remains to be seen. Let’s just say that God Of All Bear stomachs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

KIDS’ QUOTES OF THE WEEK

‎”I’m gonna have the most beautiful wedding,
and if you guys don’t die by then, I’ll invite you!
But if you DO die by then, I’ll invite your
ghosts. Just don’t creep me out.”
                                        -Charlotte, 7 years old

Me: “I dunno Mia, this is a pretty scary story.
I don’t think it’s good for you to hear it before
bed, I don’t want you to have nightmares.”
Amelia: “It’s okay Unca Tommy, when you
say scary things, my head doesn’t
hear them. So I don’t hear them either.”
                                        -Amelia, 3 years old

Page 222 – The Perfect Revenge

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And there you have it: the perfect revenge. We got to this part in the story and she laid out the revenge. I said “that’s it?” She said “yeah!” So, why not. An elaborate plan can be a simple murder, sure! You don’t argue with kid logic.

So. Yeah. Rainbow Girl’s dead. Enjoy your meal, Wexter.

The story’s not over yet. Next week: Lightning  Boy strikes back.

KIDS’ QUOTES OF THE WEEK

Charlie has lost a Wii game.
She sadly says “I have no hearts left.”
                                        -Charlotte, 6 years old

Amelia’s woken mommy up. 
“Come on mommy, let’s get up!  I sitting up, you sit up!
I getting out of bed!  I go on my BELLY!  Let’s GO!”
                                        -Amelia, 3 years old

Page 214 – First Aid

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Doctors spend years getting degrees and wasting their time. Just stick things back together and walk it off.

…I honestly don’t have much to say today, so this is going to be a pretty anemic blog post. Actually, let me take this opportunity to post something Charlotte and I talked about when she was four years old. We were in her room playing with her stuffed animals, and she established that we live in a world of dogs. I joked that I wanted to eat one of the dogs.

Her: “No, don’t eat one of the dogs. Here…” she brings over a stuffed dog. “This one’s dead.”

Me: “It’s dead??”

Her: “Yeah. So you can eat it.”

Me: “Oh. Well, that’s considerate and creepy. Where’d you get this dead dog?”

Her: “The store.”

Me: “You bought a dead dog at a store?”

Her: “Yeah.”

Me: “What else do they sell at this store?”

Her: “I dunno. Nothing.”

Me: “So it’s a dead dog store.”

Her: “Yep.”

Me: “What’s the name of the store?”

Her: “World Dead Dog.”

Me: “Wow. What’s their slogan? A slogan is something the store says about itself. McDonald’s is I’m lovin’ it. What’s World Dead Dog’s slogan?”

Her: “I’m Puppin’ it.”

Me: “How much can I buy a dead dog for?”

Her: “Twenty cents.”

Me: “What do you do with a dead dog once you’ve got it?”

Her: “You eat it!”

Me: “Do they come in different flavors?”

Her: “Yep. Chocolate and strawberry.”

Me: “This sounds great, but how do the dogs die?”

Her: “Well, they live to 65 years old, and when they get to 75 they die.”

Me: “And World Dead Dog sells them to eat. Aren’t old dead dogs less tasty than fresh ones?”

Her: “No, they’re delicious!”

Me: “So if my dog dies, can I sell it to World Dead Dog?”

Her: “Yep. Fifty-five cents.”

Me: “They’re not making much of a profit, then.”

Her: “No they’re not.”

Me: “Do they have a kids’ meal?”

Her: “They have little monkeys that kids like to eat.”

Me: “Are the monkeys dead too

?”

Her: “Of course.”

Me: “I thought World Dead Dog sold only dead dogs.”

Her: “Well, they sell a few dead monkeys.”

Me: “I see. Do they do catering?”

Her: “What’s catering?”

Me: “Catering is when a restaurant brings food to a place. So do they go to parties and set up piles of dead dogs on long buffet tables?”

At that point I imagined silver catering trays filled with dead dachshunds and burst out laughing hysterically. I’d been trying to hold it in and just couldn’t anymore.

Oh, hey! Ethan and I are throwing a contest on the Axe Cop Facebook page. It’s the GET REVENGE ON RAINBOW GIRL contest, in which you tell us how you’d get revenge on that dastardly villainess. The winner gets a bunch of cool signed Axe Cop stuff. Visit the page for details and enter.

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I guess that’s it for this week. Big page next week, and from here on out, not one page of REVENGE ON RAINBOW GIRL isn’t packed with violence. It’s been a peaceful story so far, but things are about to go off. Have a great week.

KIDS’ QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“I have a boo-boo in my mouth
and it’s like a toy for my tongue.”
                                        -Charlotte, 5 years old

“Mommy? I wanna be a drag
queen when I grow up.”
                                        -Amelia, 5 years old

Page 213 – You Will Never Be Evil Again

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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.

KIDS’ QUOTES OF THE WEEK

‎”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

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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.

KIDS’ QUOTES OF THE WEEK

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

KIDS’ QUOTES OF THE WEEK

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.

Page 208 – Hot Rainbows

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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.

KIDS’ QUOTES OF THE WEEK

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.

Page 207 – Meet the family

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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.

AMELIA’S HORROR STORY (age 4)

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.

 CHAPTER ONE

 CHAPTER TWO

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.

CHAPTER THREE

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.

CHAPTER FOUR

The bear ate her.

CHAPTER FIVE

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

 THE END

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.

KIDS’ QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“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