Appearances

Unchopped #4: T Rex School

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I bring you another loosely scheduled installment of UNCHOPPED. The cotton balls used in the last scene made their way into this one in the form of a bad guy who bombs you with extra fluffy cotton balls, the Cotton Bomber. What I love most though is this storyline about Wexter returning to 4th grade with his dad so he can finish school. This was the element that made me love this story. Our dad dropped out of highschool and ended up going back and finishing later in life. I assume that inspired this idea in Malachai’s head at the time.

Speaking of Malachai, he is 12 years old as of yesterday, so happy birthday little brother. He is singularly obsessed with video games now, just as I was at that age. We chatted and were fantasizing about an Axe Cop video game. It really would be the greatest game ever made if done right.

Thanks for reading, and if you know any game companies who want to make the greatest video game ever, send me a message.
Ethan

Unchopped #3: the Minder

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I had a busy Wednesday and Thursday this week, so I decided to post on Friday.  Surprise!

The next mission Wexter and his dad go on is here. They fight Codack’s room mate, the Minder. This whole story was pretty much made up during one very fast paced play time while we were working on Axe Cop: President of the World. I was spending a month with Malachai to work on that story and he kept wanting to go off on tangents and side stories. One of my favorites was this whole series of events with Wexter and his dad. So you will see things like the last bad guy was based on a Kodak camera and the Minder can be stopped by cotton balls. There was  a bag of cotton balls laying around at the time and they became integral to the story. As you will see next time, there is even a bad guy called the Cotton Bomber. But my favorite part of the story is yet to come.

If you enjoy new Axe Cop content and want to help keep it coming, please become a Patreon supporter. Every little bit helps. Thanks for reading!

 

Ethan

 

Unchopped #2: Codack

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This part of the story was highly inspired by two things. The new Kodak camera I had bought for recording our creative sessions, and our old dad.

The camera became the inspiration for Codack’s name, his address and the fact that he must be killed by being placed in 3 meters of water. This was a small sports camera I had bought. One of the cheaper ones in the store, just to have running while we played. We also wrote a lot of this one while in the car, so we had the GPS there as well.

The moment when we find out that Wexter’s dad never finished T Rex school is one of my favorites. It figures in later on as well, as you’ll see. This is inspired by having a dad who was born right at the end of the Great Depression into a very poor family. He dropped out of school at a young age as many did back then. He eventually finished school and went to college as well.

I started a Patreon page for Axe Cop, if you feel like supporting the comic. Thanks to all those who already have!

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That’s all for now. Next week, Wexter and his Dad go on another mission on their little father and son outing. This time they will take on “the Minder”.  See you then!
Ethan

Hiatus Update

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Hey there head choppers,

I apologize for the long time with no updates. I figured I owed it to you to at least post a little something to let you know where the axe stands and what the future may or may not hold.

One reason I have not posted or said much is because I don’t have much to report. You could probably deduct the reasons for Axe Cop’s hiatus if you have followed the comic at all over the past year or two. As it stands right now, I’m working on other things. Some of you know I have been a writer on the VeggieTales series on NetFlix for the last two years. That job (hopefully) has one year left on it. In my spare time I have been developing new ideas, trying to find more possibilities for my future beyond that year. I know right now that, as it stands, Axe Cop will not be able to cover me when this job ends.

So I have had to put Axe Cop off to the side indefinitely. Same with my other comic Bearmageddon. Until I have another ball rolling, I can’t consider myself a responsible husband and father if I am spending my time drawing comics that are not providing for the family. I need to invest that time wisely and when the time is right I can revisit projects like Axe Cop and Bearmageddon.

In truth, this is pretty close to what my vision for Axe Cop was from the start. I never knew how long it would last, and I made no predictions. But in my mind it made sense that, through Malachai’s younger years we would create a big body of work (six volumes. not bad!) then “retire”. Beyond that, I think it’s safe to say that every now and then we may revisit Axe Cop and do a story here and there. Who knows, maybe at some point Axe Cop can be my job again. Right now, it’s back to being a hobby. That’s fine with me, I’m proud of the work we did on it and it was never my plan to only draw Axe Cop for the rest of my life.

As for the TV show, I don’t know what is next for it. I suspect it is done but I have not heard anything.

Thanks for all your support and kindness throughout the life of Axe Cop. It has been a lot of fun. I look forward to revisiting Axey again in the future. If not at least to do a few “Ask Axe Cop” episodes. Until then, keep being awesome.

 

Ethan Nicolle

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 215 – The Fight Begins!

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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.

KIDS’ QUOTES OF THE WEEK

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 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.

Ask Axe Cop #88 – Our Noble Sun

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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.

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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 204 – THANK YOU

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My wedding was, up to this point anyway, the best day of my life.  I had been a lonely, lonely man for a long time.  I was not looking for a casual relationship, I wanted a woman who wanted to be my wife and wanted to have a family and live together forever and ever… a woman who loved God, loved me and I could not only fall in love with, but share true friendship with.  That kind of woman can be hard to find, especially in the vicinity I had found myself (Los Angeles County).  When I found Jessica, I knew pretty much from our first date that I had found my wife.  I was so thrilled to have found her, that on the same day as our second date, I also had lunch with Nick Offerman for the first time, and I was so distracted by my excitement for that evening the entire time.  My life was pretty wild… I was in love, and I was getting a TV show.

For a period of time, I was doing well financially.  People assume that if you have a well known comic and a TV series you must be set for life, but no, it’s not that simple.  There are good times and hard times.  Amazingly, around the time I had made a down payment on an engagement ring, my car’s engine fried and cost me $7,000 to replace.  I did not have that kind of money, and what I did have was supposed to go towards the ring.  Amazingly- with perfect timing, a royalty check arrived in the mail that was shockingly bigger than any other royalty check I had ever received up to that point (and since!).  The check covered the cost of the engine and it enabled me to upgrade the wedding ring.

Then, things really did sort of dry up for a while.  The way my “career” works, money really does tend to be unpredictable.  Licensing deals come at random, so I may get an advance on a licences at the same time I get an advance on a book deal, but then I get nothing a month or two, or three… So as we began wedding planning I realized I really was hitting a financial dry spell (literally only months from the TV show premier).  I had only done Christmas commissions a few months earlier, but I knew I had to try something to help me raise the funds to pay for the wedding.  Paying for the wedding was a big deal to me.  My wife came out of a relationship where she covered the costs of just about everything, which I found deplorable, and it was a huge deal to me to show her I was not only able and willing to cover this gift to her, but that I could be creative in times of need and, if money was not coming in, I could make it show up.  So, along with taking on a few little side jobs, I started the “Axe Cop Wedding” campaign, where I would create special exclusive items like a sketchbook, prints and other stuff (similar to tiers in a Kickstarter campaign).

My brother, Malachai, had already been to a number of weddings because both of our other brothers had been married that same year, and he was always the “ring berrier”.  Malachai loved my new family-to-be.  So I asked him what he would think of doing a comic to help me pay for my wedding.  He was all for it.  I proposed a few ideas, like maybe Axe Cop has a nightmare that he gets married, or maybe a bad guy tricks him into it… because I couldn’t really imagine Axe Cop actually getting married.  But Malachai, very matter-of-fact, said that Axe Cop would marry Axe Girl.  Though, not long into the writing process, somewhere along the way, Malachai decided that Axe Girl was too much like Axe Cop and that Axe Cop would marry his friend.  I have no idea where he hit this, but he had stumbled upon a very classic love story convention…. if you fall in love with someone who is just like you, or who fits your ideal of the perfect person… you probably are really in love with yourself, or your magnificent ideals.  You are not in love with the real person.  If this is you, you do not need to love, you need to get over yourself.  However, if you fall in love with someone who is also your friend, and you love them for who they really are, regardless of who you wanted them to be… you have found one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind.

So Malachai decided that Axe Cop would marry the Water Queen.  We had established that the Water Queen and Axe Cop had some history as friends in President of the World.  I had modeled the Water Queen after my (then) fiance’, assuming it was a cameo role.  Woman characters never last in the Axe Cop universe.  So I thought it would be cute to model her after the love of my life, since she was all I could think about while drawing that book anyway.  Malachai’s reason to make the Water Queen Axe Cop’s wife?  Because Jessica is the Water Queen, and I am Axe Cop.  It is true, often when we play together, Malachai makes me Axe Cop.  That is one reason he stays so consistent.  That first day we “played Axe Cop” together, before the comic even existed, he said I could be Axe Cop and he would be Flute Cop.  That is why Flute Cop so quickly turned into the awesome Dinosaur Soldier.

So the wedding campaign, I have to admit, struggled. It was not like hitting a jackpot.  It was a lot of work, and it was not a huge turnout as far as support and sales… but honestly, it was the perfect amount.  It was not overwhelming.  It was a lot to handle, but not too much.  The money it brought in was basically perfect.  Actually, it was about $5,000 short.  Then, literally on the day that final $5000 payment was due to finalize the wedding venue, another royalty check arrived (no others had arrived since the last one) and covered it almost to the exact dollar.

Having paid off our wedding completely, all the money we were given as gifts from friends and family went to our honeymoon, and that was covered too.  We came home with a little bit of money in the bank to get things started.  Some other amazing things had happened.  One of the things I really wanted to do for my wife was help her cover some of her debts.  A friend from church covered one of her biggest debts as a wedding gift.  Through various means, we covered other debts.  I had worried that going into marriage we would need years to pay off the debts we had between us, and by combining our incomes (my wife is a very hard working hospice nurse and mother) we were able to get almost completely out of debt within the first four months.  Credit cards, student loans, cars, and other fees… all paid off.

So I just want to send a HUGE thanks to the people on this list because you really played a part in helping me accomplish a big dream.  Not just my wedding, but my goal to give a gift to my wife that was really meaningful and indicative of the husband I wanted to show her I was determined to be.  Jessica has deserved for a long time to know that she is truly adored and treasured, and you guys helped me make that very clear to her.  I have never seen her smile like I saw her smile on our wedding day.  There were many happy tears shed all day long.

Now, in marriage, another amazing development.  Another personal goal was to make her job optional.  A couple months into marriage I got another job- a really good job – working for Dreamworks.  I am now writing Veggie Tales and this income pretty much covers what she was bringing in.  For now, we are killing off bills (ugh, taxes) and saving.  Whatever happens… I can’t believe how far we have come in such a short period of time.  I thank God, I thank everyone who supports my work, and I really do want to make sure the people on this list feel thanked.

Side note on the list… if you contributed, or ordered something, and your name is not on this list and you never received anything in the mail, CONTACT ME!  Just click “contact” up in the menu.  We need to make it right.  I did find that a few of the orders did glitch and somehow I got the money, but did not receive the order. I will do what I can to make it right if this happened to you.

Also, if you paid to be in the wedding photo album, it is going to be in the published version.  Axe Cop Vol. 5: Axe Cop Gets Married and Other Stories.

I want to mention that if you download the FOX ADHD iPhone App, you can see all 6 episodes that exist AND ONE NEW ONE.  The new one, When Night Creatures Attack, is really fun.  It is based on the Halloween special we did a couple years ago, as well as one of our  Ask Axe Cops about the Sun Thieves.

Also, check out this leaked preview for the new episodes…

What else?  I will be at Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles this weekend!  I apologize for previously saying it is in Anaheim.  DOH.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting my work!

 

Ethan Nicolle

Page 198 – Water and Power

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Truly, this has become a family affair.  They are going to have quite a story to tell about their wedding day, I tell ya!  I remember my main thought drawing this scene was “Yes!  please, kill Cauber Helen so I don’t have to draw it ever again!!!”.

Want some good news?  New episodes of Axe Cop are set to air on FOX starting Nov. 2.  That is less than a month away!  I’ve seen a few of them already and I can assure you they are awesome.  The night creatures episode in particular is really well done.

That’s all I have to report right now.  Thanks for reading!

 

Ethan