Absurdity for Absurdity’s Sake?

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There is a great write up about Axe Cop over at CBR that just went up.  Apparently Axe Cop is one of the 365 Reasons to Love Comics.


I did what all really lame comic artists do and I was googled my own comic at 4:30am then found this article about it and joined in the discussion in the comments section.  Oh well, I felt like making my case.  I wasn't super offended or anything, but people were writing off Axe Cop as just absurdity for absurdity's sake.  Here is my response to that charge (as posted in the comments on this article):


ok I know it's super lame to comment on an article about your own comic, but I wanted to chime in on this for a couple reasons…

First, wow, thanks for such an awesome write up. This is one of, if not thee best write ups on Axe Cop I have seen and I love it.

Second… as the guy who draws Axe Cop, I have to say that the ironic thing about Axe Cop is that people are comparing it to all these comics I am not really into. I am not entertained by nonsense for the sake of nonsense, or absurdity for absurdity's sake. When a 32 year old draws a ninja werewolf, we all get it, he's crossing genres, being quirky, trying to make a cool t-shirt design. It's generally not my style but I can smile at it, though I did enjoy Street Angel as someone above mentioned, but for the most part these nonsense comics get old fast.

The fun of Axe Cop for me is that there IS a logic to it and the main point is not to be absurd, and that is what is fascinating to me about it, because sure, we all know kids who weave wild stories… but who sits there and asks “and then what happened?” and really digs into that world? Not that it is a genius world or a magical world, but it is just this sort of excavating of ideas where ninja werewolves are produced, but not to sell a t-shirt, not to be ironic… it's just my 5 year old brother taking what is awesome in his mind and piling it on, and combining it with what is logical in his mind. It becomes this interesting peak into a world most of us only have a vague recollection of, because most of us, when we were 5, did not have our imaginations chronicled. Most of us, when we started telling our stories, got ignored… which is fine. This is art based on a thing people often ignore… and to that extent I argue it is good art, because good art makes you notice what you grew used to not noticing. Maybe it doesn't do it for every one, but it does for many, and it does for me, and to that extent I am proud of it.

I'm not going to sit here and try to toot my own horn about how more than simply drawing pictures goes into making this comic… I've had some great defense in here and I really appreciate it. I was more surprised than anyone when this comic became as popular as it did, so it's fine if you aren't into it. But to dismiss it as absurdity for the sake of absurdity is missing the point. Malachai rarely sets out to just be absurd. To him, he is just thinking “what would be awesome?” Axe Cop is a study in 5 year old concepts of awesome and it tries to take that short attention span and limited sense of logic and force it into a world that takes itself seriously. I am not claiming it to be profound, but I am claiming to be making more than just a quirky, absurd comic that depends solely on non-sequiter. If that was all I was doing, I would not need to involve Malachai… I have my own ass to pull stuff out of. I don't think all comics should be this way, and I don't think it should go on forever… but it's a damn fun project and I'm thrilled so many people are enjoying it as much as I am.

Thanks again for the great article.

Ethan Nicolle


So there you have it.  I'd love to hear more opinions on this.  This whole Axe Cop ride has been fascinating for me… I am constantly suprised where these characters end up.  I mean, I do love abusrd humor but I never set out to make abusrdity my one trick.  Do you think I'm fooling myself? 



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