Axadaisy – The creators of Lackadaisy and Axe Cop interview each other

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The alternate title was "Lackadacop" which is what Italian people say to me when they want to compliment me on Axe Cop.

I think I first discovered Tracy Butler’s Lackadaisy back when I was watching Axe Cop go viral and trying to figure out who to thank. In my memory, I found the Lackadaisy twitter when she shared the link to Axe Cop and got me a ton of traffic. Butler’s work has from that day forth stuck out to me as how to do webcomics right. She has a fan following that adores her and her comic. She has managed to go full time making Lackadaisy, living off of her Patreon income. As a creator who has been trying to crack the Patron nut myself, I decided that, after my interview with Scurry creator Mac Smith, I would see if Butler would be willing to chat next. You might call these my cat and mouse interviews.

If you haven’t checked out Butler’s work, I highly recommend it. Even if you don’t have time to read more comics, her visuals aren’t just a treat, each page is a fancy meal. If you are a fan of the Milt Kahl noir inspired character design of Blacksad, Butler takes that mixed genre and gives it her own mischievous spin. And, much like the artwork in Scurry, each page proves how precious the subject matter is to the artist with her painstaking attention to detail. What Butler has in spades is style. She is not ripping someone off, she is not simply drawing well. She is designing. She has nailed down a gorgeous tribute to prohibition era decor while fitting it around her own style and take on a genre.


The conversation felt like it could go on forever. Even if nobody ever reads this, I had a blast talking to her and I hope we can do it again some time. We both had a lot to say. So, I decided to break our conversation up into two parts. I give you part one…

Axadaisy – The creators of Lackadaisy and Axe Cop interview each other 


Ethan Nicolle: I will admit up front that I have seen a lot of your art, but I have not read many of your comics. I’m sure you experience the same phenomenon. The more comics you make, the less you have time to read. But I have seen your work and it is amazing. My aim is for this conversation to be less about either of our actual comics and more about the life of creating comics and trying to make a living of it.

One thing that really stands out to me is your style and consistency of design. Everything you make is instantly recognizable, which I think is really impressive. Did you plan it like that, or did it just sort of happen?

Tracy Butler: Well, thank you for the kind appraisal!  It’s nice to hear my work is recognizable too.  I spent an unhealthy amount of my childhood and teenage years consuming animated fare – Disney, Don Bluth, and Warner Bros. stuff.  I’d watch it, then watch it again, then rewind and watch it in VHS slow motion, trying to discern the individual drawings comprising the animation so that I could try to imitate it.  My reclusive notion of fun also included redrawing the canon of Calvin and Hobbes strips. The influences are probably pretty evident in my work.  Everything I took in culminated into ‘the way that I draw’, which is more or less the style Lackadaisy is rendered in.  As much as I’d like to say I planned it with great foresight, it’s really just what naturally happens when I put a pencil to paper.


It’s when I need to draw something other than bug-eyed, mugging cats that I have to put a concerted effort into concocting a separate look for it.  At my former day job where I worked as an illustrator and 3D game artist, I did a lot of character and creature designing in the high fantasy vein.  Early on, I’d get a lot of mixed feedback from my colleagues – “Tracy, these kobolds are really cute, but the players are supposed to enjoy slaughtering them wantonly.”  I had to work past some of my habits and find ways to be more versatile, lest our player base develop some sort of guilt complex.

Ethan Nicolle: Wait, when you say you redrew the Calvin and Hobbes canon, you don’t mean you literally redrew every strip? Your art has a discipline evident to it that this would not surprise me, but still! I can only say I spent time trying to ink trees like Watterson. Never really got the hang of it though.

Tracy Butler: I didn’t redraw every single strip, but I made it through most of the colored Sunday strips.  My mother got pretty fed up with having to hang them on the fridge.
Anyway, that’s the evolutionary process of an artist in a nutshell I suppose; spend years going through phases in which you chase after the look of one idol or another until one day you realize all of the bits and pieces of style and technique you’ve purloined along the way have snowballed into something separate and yours.

Ethan Nicolle: My influences are all over the place too. As a young aspiring artist, part of me wanted to be the next Eastman and Laird, another part John Kricfalusi, and another part Jim Lee. As I’ve grown up, I am still figuring out who I want to be, and it’s definitely none of those guys. It’s whatever the heck I am. I have them and many others to thank for their influence, but if I became any of them I would not be happy. Even with the ups and downs of my own attempts at being free to make comics, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But if you look at my various works, you will notice a mish mash of styles. As you mentioned in Bearmageddon, my humans are more influenced by artists like Doug TenNapel. My Bears are inspired by actual bears. In Axe Cop I went for a quasi-superhero mixed with old Dick Tracy or Superman comics, and in my first books, Chumble Spuzz, I was going as all-out cartoony as I could (though I did often draw the beasts, like my Satan-possessed-pig in great detail like I do my bears. I’m not sure why I do that. I think it’s my deep desire to make a clone of myself and ALSO be a concept artist because I love drawing creatures).  Specifically, I think in Bearmageddon I wanted the reader to feel that the bears are not a joke when they show up. They are real. My characters are slackers, they are cartoons, they aren’t serious about life and the bears are here to let them know this is serious. Time to shape up, it’s the end of the world.


Tracy Butler: What’s it like working with a team of other artists on Bearmageddon?  How do you manage to maintain such a specific and consistent style in that situation? (We’re not talking about the comics themselves, I know, but as an aside, I really like the juxtaposition of the grotesque, sort of terrifying sci-fi look much of the bear art has with the comparative levity in the character designs).

Ethan Nicolle: I have done all the pencils and inks on Bearmageddon. I have had two lead colorists along the way. I never saw myself doing a color comic, but when I started this one I decided to post something saying I’m looking for a colorist if they want to collaborate. I found a guy who lasted for quite a while, but I think life got in the way. That was frustrating, deciding if I should just post black and white when I didn’t get the colors back in time. Eventually I just did and I stopped getting colors. Then Kailey, who has worked on Axe Cop in the past sent me a sample page to show me she could imitate the last guy’s style on Bearmageddon, and she could! So she picked up where he left off. In general I avoid collaborating because I like to be in control of everything and not having to worry about someone else flaking or losing interest. But I love having a colored comic. I hate coloring, so I am very grateful to have someone who colors for me. I would never have the patience to do it myself. I started paying Kailey a page rate a while back when I got some steady work because I feel so sorry for her having to color every obnoxious detail I draw.


Tracy Butler: I spent the last several years at my former job in an art director role, so I do understand the struggle that it is to keep a team of artists on point and sticking to guidelines you’ve painstakingly laid out for them. Even when they’re showing up for a regular, salaried office job, it’s not easy. When you’re working with artists remotely on a project that’s probably one of many freelance gigs they’re juggling at once…yeah.  “Herding cats” comes to mind.


I’ve often had readers suggest that I hire additional artists to facilitate faster updates with Lackadaisy, but I doubt they understand the array of complications that introduces to the process.  I’m happy to continue working solo, even though it means losing readers who don’t have a particularly long attention span.

That said, though, I think full color was a good choice for Bearmageddon.  It really looks great, and I’m sorry to hear that you have to pull funds from a different job to pay your colorist.  Something of that caliber really ought to pay for its own production costs and then some.  At least that’s how it would be if there were any justice in the world.


Ethan Nicolle: Speaking of money, one of the main things that made me want to chat with you is your Patreon success. I see a lot of excellent comics out there who don’t get a lot of Patreon support. It seems like a business model that throws a lot of people off if they are used to spending their money at the store, or on Amazon on a finished book, or even on Kickstarter for a future single item as opposed to investing in a person’s career. I’d like to know what your Patreon journey was like and what you learned along the way.

Tracy Butler: Patreon…well, that’s a big topic.
I wish I could say I knew why Lackadaisy has done pretty well there compared to comics that are better-looking and faster-updating.  I was really quite surprised by the response when I launched.  I spent a few years scrimping and saving enough money to survive on for about 12 months so that I could make that ‘going full-time’ leap and know that if/when things went financially awry, I’d at least have some time to try to build up the patronage or make contingency plans.


Well, then I made the leap, launched the Patreon, and for reasons largely unbeknownst to me, it vastly exceeded my expectations right off the bat.  I still have these recurring inferiority complex-borne thoughts about it like, one day, suddenly my patrons will come to their senses, realize this comic isn’t worth it, depart and leave me struggling mightily to make a living on it like I expected I would be.  I’m definitely not complaining that things turned out the way they did, but it makes for a strange sort of anxiety that I didn’t anticipate having.

Anyway, I’ve done a lot of thinking about what happened and why since I began supporting myself through Patreon in 2015.  Here are some theories and thoughts about it (that may or may not have some tenuous connection to reality)…

…Two be continued in part two NEXT MONDAY

Go read Lackadaisy
Follow Tracy on Twitter
Support Lackadaisy on Patreon

WebComic of the Week: Dr. McNinja

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Old fans of AxeCop might remember Dr. McNinja from their epic team up. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s an intro to one of the funniest webcomics on the net… Dr. McNinja is a webcomic developed by Christopher Hastings, who has been a friend of Axe Cop and Bearmageddon from the early days of both. It started in 2003 as a one-off but has since been a regularly scheduled webcomic since.


It follows the misadventures of Dr. McNinja who’s a middle-aged doctor who happens to also be a ninja. It’s humor mixes well with the action and serves to fuel its unquestionable charm. What started out as a humble idea through an internet forum site, then as an art class comic, turned into a multi-media success story that continues to this day with video game ventures and other possibilities down the pipe.  …Read the rest of this review at

Web Comic of the Week: The Scurry guy gets interviewed by the Axe Cop guy

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Mac Smith sneezes out art like this into napkins.

Mac Smith’s Scurry struck like lightning when it hit the internet with its amazing painted pages of brilliantly lit rodents and scowling demonic cats. I don’t remember exactly when it came out, but I remember how I felt the moment the images showed up on my screen. How do I describe it? I was excited by the subject matter, in awe of the art and hungry to see more pages. I’ll be the first to admit that I, myself am not an avid reader of comics, print or web.

even the logo looks like it is glowing from cracks into another dimension

But Smith’s Scurry stands out from the crowd in a way that makes it something more than another comic. It’s like a fully rendered storyboard for some movie that, if ever made, won’t look as beautiful as the source material. Every panel could be hung on a wall. If Smith sold a huge format version without word balloons, I’d buy it and make it the centerpiece of my coffee table, if I had a coffee table. Mac Smith is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for a Scurry book. It funded in the first few hours it was up and has gone way beyond its initial goal. I went in for the premium edition and I plan to put this book on my shelves of inspiration, a book case I keep in my office, an arm’s length away, so that if I ever feel like I need a little inspiration I just reach out and grab something that will make me want to make stuff again.


Mac Smith’s work is exactly that kind of work. Sure, his work is so good I run the risk of feeling like everything I have ever done is subpar and will never measure up. But when you look at a work like Scurry, you get a sense of wonder at what humans can do with a little color, imagination, and practice. It’s inspiring and, at least for me anyway, looking at Scurry makes me want to scurry off and make better art.

Smith posts tons of process videos and GIFs and has his brush set available on his site too, so if you want to learn his techniques they are easily available. I highly recommend checking this stuff out if Smith’s art amazes you the way it does me. I messaged Smith to see if he would be up for doing my first creator interview on my weekly webcomic feature and he agreed to.


     The Scurry Guy gets interviewed by the Axe Cop guy

Ethan Nicolle: First question. I used to take pride in my ability to crank out pages. That was until I saw Scurry. How are you managing to get so many painted pages done?

Mac Smith: I post twice a week. If I don’t have anything else to do, I can create 3-4 pages a week. It took awhile to build up to that. The first 10 pages or so took a lot longer, but I completed the first 30 pages before I ever posted the first one, so I had a buffer. I had to come up with a good process and stick to it. There was a lot of trial and error involved.

Ethan Nicolle: Do you go one page at a time from start to finish, or do you pencil a bunch then go back and paint them? Are you working from a completed script?

Mac Smith: I usually work on 2-4 pages at a time, but I switch it up. Sometimes I’ll sketch out several pages, then flat color them, then render, etc. Other times I’ll work out one page from start to finish before moving on. I tend to get bored doing it one way for too long. I script about 20-30 pages at a time (about one episode), but the overall story exists in an outline.


Ethan Nicolle: What is it about Scurry that makes you feel like this is a story that has to be told and you are the one to tell it?

Mac Smith: Growing up, I was always drawn to the dark and creepy kid’s movies of the 80s, and feel that those kinds of stories are sadly lacking in today’s sterilized and child proofed world, so I’ve always wanted to do something in that vein. It’s a certain tone I try to hit… a mix of wonder, mystery with a bit of horror and comedy, too. It’s hard to find that balance, but when it works, it’s great. I’m certainly not the only one out there doing similar stories, but I just do my thing and hope for the best.

Ethan Nicolle: Do you see Scurry coming to an end, or going on indefinitely? Do you have other stories you want to tell some day?

Mac Smith: The main story takes place over 3 books, plus I have 2 or 3 side stories I want to do as well. There could be other stories, but I’ll probably do some other projects first.

Ethan Nicolle: I just watched your Kickstarter basically double its goal the first day! You must be on Cloud 9 right now. How has the response to Scurry been for you overall? You must have had some hope it would get some amount of fans. How has the response been compared to how you hoped it would be when you posted page 1?

Mac Smith: I really had no idea what to expect. It’s so hard to gauge what the interest would be. I wasn’t sure if people would want a printed book, but it turns out there is still huge demand! The funding goal was the absolute bare minimum I would need to print for backers, so I was hoping for a bit more to give me a chance to take advantage of bulk printing. That way I will have enough leftover to sell at cons. I didn’t expect to fund in a couple of hours, though.

But I’ve been building a social media presence for awhile, so I knew I’d have at least some early backers ready to go. The art community on Facebook and elsewhere is really great about supporting indie projects like this.

Ethan Nicolle: On another topic, the first time I saw your art, I saw that image of the mice going into the abandoned kitchen. A cracked door beaming a line of light through the doorway. I was amazed by your use of lighting in that image, it was so unexpected and dynamic. Also, the background on that page looks nearly photorealistic. Where do you draw inspiration for your dynamic lighting, and how do you tackle backgrounds? Are they imagined or referenced from a photo?


Mac Smith: The funny thing is that house in the comic is very similar to this horribly built house I lived in for a few years growing up. I hated that house. Hot in the summer, and freezing in the winter. But I remember how the light would pour in to the kitchen in the evenings. I’ve become really interested in light and color in the last couple of years. I never really studied it much before that, but its a great way to direct the eye and establish a certain mood or tone. I always try to think about where the light is coming from and where I can use it best.

The background was mocked up in Sketchup. Just some basic block models. That’s a good fast way to find cool shots and interesting angles. I don’t like the straight lines though, so I make manual selections with the lasso tool, and completely paint over the model. If you look closely, there aren’t really any straight lines. They all wobble a bit. I sometimes overlay some texture, but usually just paint over it with various texture or splatter brushes.

Ethan Nicolle: You clearly love animals. I grew up obsessed with animals. My mom was a librarian and I would wait in the library after school until her shift ended reading every animal book. I had every pet I could get my hands on. What are pets you have had, and what are you favorite animals to draw?

Mac Smith: I grew up in the sticks, so growing up there were lots of random animals hanging around: Stray cats, dogs, an evil parakeet, a horse, a couple of chickens, a rabbit, a turtle… lots. But I didn’t have any as an adult until I picked up Doug the Dog, my editor and business partner, seven years ago at the shelter. He mostly sleeps all day while I work, so he’s pretty low maintenance. I’ve been tempted to pick up a couple of mice, too. I still might.

I think the mice are my favorite to draw. Since drawing them, I realize why there are so many animated mouse movies: They are basically balls of fur with cartoonish hands and feet and very expressive faces. They can be squashed and stretched into almost any shape. They must be an animator’s dream. The cats are really hard to get right, for some reason. I have to redo them a lot.

Ethan Nicolle: I agree. cats are very hard. When I took on Bearmageddon I couldn’t draw bears to save my life. I did a lot of cheating before I could draw one somewhat decent without a reference or something to basically trace.

Mac Smith: Yeah I should probably use more reference on them. I was trying to make them more monstrous than real life.

Ethan Nicolle: I think it’s effective, your cats have a real demonic crumple in their faces. If I may coin the phrase.

One last question. What are some projects (webcomics, etc) you are keeping your eye on these days. Any recommendations?

See? Demonic crumple, right there.

Mac Smith: I’ve been so busy lately it’s hard to read much. I haven’t even watched many movies this year. Maybe 4 or 5. Anyway, Wormworld Saga and Stand Still Stay Silent are amazing, but I’ve been following some others like Angels Power, Tistow, and Beast Legion. There is a new one called Rising Sand that is freaking gorgeous.

I suggest you head over to the Scurry Kickstarter. You may also check out these links for more of Smith’s goodness:

Mac Smith’s web site


Mac Smith on Twitter

Mac Smith’s page on Facebook

Mac Smith’s Patreon page

Ethan Nicolle is the co-creator of Axe Cop, writer/artist of Bearmageddon, animation writer and maker of children’s books

Webcomic of the Week: THUNDERPAW

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Note: I decided that, since Axe Cop is still frequently visited, I would at least use it as a place to promote other webcomics for people to check out while Malachai and I don’t have new material. I’m picking comics out and having my friend, Duran Rivera write the reviews. I’ll also be posting conversations between me and other creators. Don’t miss Thunderpaw, it’s amazing. -Ethan

Jen Lee is a freelance visual artist who works out of her farmhouse in Idaho. Other than the fact that she has two dogs, two cats, and various farmland animals, not much is known about this fantastic artist. She’s chosen to keep those aspects of her life private and let her amazing art speak for itself. Her internet native webcomic, Thunderpaw is speaking very loudly.


Thunderpaw:In the Ashes of Fire Mountain is an animated webcomic about two anthropomorphic dogs, Bruno and Ollie who are left in their car by their owners. Realizing that they’ve been stranded, they set off on a wondrous journey through a barren dark wasteland that was once civilization to find their way back home. What makes this webcomic stand out from so many others is the fantastic effort toward visual presentation. The muted color palette and the fact that the entire webcomic, panel for panel, is presented through animated GIFs makes for a distinct experience.

Despite all the great animations and special effects, it’s not gimmicky and that’s what sets this webcomic in a category of its own. The elements intertwine with the story in a natural, way. For someone who claims to have never taken an animation class, she really has done herself proud.


The journey the reader takes with the dogs is cerebral and trippy. It’s a phantasmic exploration of themselves as much as the mysterious and strange world set around them. One is as much a witness as they are a “reader” to this hallucinatory odyssey. The animation serves to capture the optical conjuring that takes place as we move through the rest of the story. It seems the artistic expression is crafted by someone who’s not afraid to do something different. She sets muted, kaleidoscopic visuals to have us feel the disorienting nature of Bruno and Ollie’s emotions.


As with any story, we learn and explore with the characters. We start off as co-explorers wondering if they’ve found themselves in the middle of some post-apocalyptic nuclear event, or some war zone somewhere. Bruno and Ollie are two buddies who just want to find their way home again. One almost feels like, as with any hero’s journey tropes, they can never go back home again, even if they get there. We’ve got to read to find out.

You can check out some more of Jen Lee’s work on Tumblr at:
You can also find her on Twitter at repoghost
Support her work on Patreon.

rivDuran Rivera

As an Illustrator, Writer, and Entrepreneur, I’ve had the boundless pleasure to work with various talents and creative organizations. Add me on Instagram @ Drnriv  or on Facebook:

My new web site for kids!

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I decided to try something new. I got together some old artwork from a show pitch I created and used it to build this web site called Rocket Monster Story Club. It’s a lot like Axe Cop, except it’s not created by me and my little brother. It’s created by me and your kids. Any kids. All kids. It’s been a lot of fun so far, and if you sign up for the email list you get a free 65 page kids book I made about a boy who builds a friend out of the mess in his room and goes on an adventure fighting worms, poodles and giant bugs called I Named My Toys Alex.


Some of my favorite images to come out of this experiment so far are the Meat Unicorn…


This alien hamster who gets very upset and turns into this man eating beast with no hands, named Banana.


And this bad guy named Donedee. A shark who sits on a merry-go-round eating and drinking.


So, between this, my writing job, Bearmageddon and the books I am working on, I won’t be making more Axe Cop for a while. But I wanted to do something in the spirit of Axe Cop that was a little more kid friendly and interactive. I hope you’ll give it a chance and show your kids, or share it with your friends who have kids. There is no charge or catch, it’s a total creativity free for all. Check it out, and if you enjoy it, please share it.




Malachai is 10!

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OK, I admit that this is really late.  Malachai turned 10 on March 6th.  That means Axe Cop will have been around for 5 years by next Christmas.  I was out of town on his birthday, and I did not have anything to post with Revenge on Rainbow Girl having taken over these last couple months.  I sent him his gifts, talked to him, all that stuff, but I didn’t post.  Usually I post.  Finally I thought, man I really should post.

Devoted Axe Cop fan Blake Roten sent me this home-made birthday card for Malachai and I decided I needed to post it:


We are currently in the middle of another mini-series, the American Choppers.  I think that, with the 10 year old milestone, and the amount of content we have created in the last 4+ years, that we may be exploring some new avenues after this miniseries is done.  Malachai can write now.  He can type, and he can sort his thoughts out much better than he could at age 10.  He is still intensely creative and we always have fun coming up with new material, but I think that, now that he’s done some growing up, I am going to see if I can get him to write out an outline.  See if he has it in him to really “write”.  I think, as he has aged, that it might be fun for us to be a writing team.

Sure this may change the flavor of Axe Cop.  And who knows, maybe we will do something else, maybe we will just take a break.  I want to try something new though.  I don’t want Malachai to think writing is as easy as answering questions.   I want him to start learning why I ask the questions I do, and why I sort the answers out the way I do.  I think he is ready.  One thing I would really like to do at some point?  A Liborg comic.  I love Liborg (though admittedly I do not see him having the personality they gave him in the TV show.)

I have a lot of ideas, and none of them are final.

For now, wish Malachai a happy belated birthday.  Axe Cop is growing up!  Thanks for being  a part of something huge for both of us.

Happy birthday little brother!  I love creating with you and I hope we never stop.


An Introduction to the Book I May Write Some Day About Kids and Creativity

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There is a tendency in all things to see them only from our unique position and be done with it.  A man will look at a woman and expect her to think manly thoughts and live by manly rules.  A woman will do the same, thinking that he is simply a more hairy version of herself.  Pet owners will look at a cat or dog and apply their own human emotions and reasoning to the behaviors of a beast.  One culture will look at another culture and be baffled by their choices, customs and traditions.  Most of us would admit that wisdom is born out of a healthy ability to see outside of ourselves.  We would also agree that doing so is one of life’s greatest challenges because it requires growth, and growth always hurts.  

I think that in most cases, people are at least willing to entertain the idea that they cannot apply the reasoning of a man to a woman, or a man to a cheetah, or a man to a dandelion.  Many will resist this at first because life would be easier and simpler if your world was THE world, but in that view all we do is make the world small.  So small, in fact, that our life becomes a never-ending cycle of running into walls and then cursing at them.  Most of us, to some degree, will begin to remedy the problem by simply admitting that there is a lot to learn outside ourselves (or our walls).  I would say that those who never begin to learn this are bound to live the most miserable of lives.  But as willingness to look outside ourselves goes, there is one area I feel this is not so readily accepted:  Little boys.

Having been in the unique position of creating a comic and TV series with my much younger brother, who was 5 at the time we started, I’ve experienced a lot of opinions and reactions to the way a little boy thinks.  On one hand people marvel at the freedom, creativity and wonder that pours out of that active imagination at a seemingly endless rate.  On the other hand, they are often horrified by the results.  They see a five year old talking about lopping the heads off of evil men and they shudder.  They think something must be done immediately.  This child must be corrected before he becomes the next Charles Manson.

But just as a man means something totally different than a woman when he speaks of sexual attraction, and a human means something totally different than a horse when they say “neigh”, a 5 year old boy means something completely different from an adult when he says “kill”.  The idea of killing, thus far in his life has mostly been limited to what happens routinely in a game of Super Mario Brothers.  And in that context, if we were to be so literal and adult about things, a bloodbath has ensued and the body count is breathtaking.

What a little boy actually means when they talk of killing bad guys is another huge topic for another time. I do not claim to have it all figured out.  But when we claim to know what they mean because they are kids and we are adults, we have simplified them.  We have taken them for granted because they are small.  Understanding the world of a child is as deeply and widely complex as trying to understand the opposite sex.  That is why I will not try to dive into it too much here.

I write this only to make this first point.  When you look into the world of a child, look into it with the same awe and wonder with which you would look into an alien world, or a mystical world inside of a Wardrobe.  Assume, from the start, that words and ideas have different meanings.  Humble yourself before that little mind and it will become vast before your very eyes.  There is a reason Christ said that “anyone who will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it” (Luke 18:17).  He is telling us that most of us, as we grow, lose the thing we needed to hold onto the most.  What was it?  That is the question, and the answer is in your four year old son who day dreams of battle with monsters and defeating every kind of evil.

We grow up and we get jaded.  We learn that flight is impossible, super powers are imaginary, guns are bad and the only real ultimate good is to put your pop cans in the proper container and don’t judge anyone or anything.  We may get bigger, but our world gets smaller.  We shrink.  We carry our withered and jaded view of reality like a badge of wisdom and we try to force kids to accept it before their time, and it is in that moment that we rob them of what being a kid really ought to be.

I want to make it clear that I am not one who thinks that kids possess wisdom and should be our teachers.  All I am saying, truly all I am trying to say in this posting, is that it is a mistake to view a child through an adult filter and act like you have them all figured out.  If it were so easy, Christ never would have had to utter those words that surely shocked the monocled know-it-all’s of his time.  A child is not only a wonder because they inhabit a different world than adults.  They are an even greater mystery because they possess a world we once inhabited ourselves, but lost along the way.  Like with all wisdom, there is a paradox at the heart of the matter.

It is not enough to say we should give up our world to regain theirs.  We need to remain adults.  But to really see a child and accept their world beyond the confines of our adult perception expands our world.  Just as when we really work to let go and see the opposite sex on their terms, or to love someone for the sake of who they are and not what they can be for us… our world is inevitably made more robust, deep, meaningful and those little walls of our own world broaden.  Seeing a child’s world does not make us kids again, it makes us better adults.

I would like to get into the specifics of my own observations on the philosophy of why little boys obsess over battling bad guys, but for now I will leave it at this.  Look at your kids, and all kids, with humility.  You do have something to offer them, but they have something to offer you too.  When we try to turn kids into little adults we make the whole world grow up too fast, and in so doing, it shrinks.image

From my 4 year old step son’s 94 page story book titled “Stories That Knock You Out”.  Available on Lulu in print or digital.


Welcome to the new Axe Cop!

Posted in Blog, News

Howdy all, Doug here, since Ethan’s on the road to SDCC.

We’re really excited with the new look and feel, but we need your help!

The site is still in a bit of flux — for instance, character archives aren’t complete, the videos section needs some love and comic archives will be a work in progress for a bit longer, but the comics are all there. It’s pretty much a guarantee that there will be kinks to iron out.

So, with that being said, if you notice a bug or something a bit amiss, would y’all mind dropping me a line via this handy-dandy little form right here? I’d be much obliged.

In Love

Posted in Blog

It's weird for Axe Cop to say he is in love, but many great super heroes have fallen in love.  All I know is that the upcoming scene is one of my favorites in a long time, so I guess we will see what you guys think.




The Voices of Axe Cop!

Posted in Blog

Ok, first, I apologize this post is a day late.  We celebrated my first ever Father’s Day on Monday, because the kids were with their dad on Sunday, so we made Monday step-father’s day and it totally threw off my week.  I didn’t realize I missed Tuesday until Wednesday was already here.  So here is your post, a day late.  Last week the site was down for three days so we never were able to post the Thursday episode.  It’s been a little rough around here.

I’ve been pretty excited to talk about the amazing voice casting that has been happening over at ADHD for the Axe Cop animated series.  The one voice I was not allowed to own up to was the most obvious one, and that’s Axe Cop himself.  We were all legally obligated to not say that Nick Offerman is playing Axe Cop.  Well, now we can say it apparently.  To celebrate I have decided to put together a little list of some of the coolest voices the show will feature, coming July 27th.  There is going to be a lot of reasons to like this show, but here are some to add to your list…

Yes, Axe Cop is voiced by Nick Offerman.  Ron Swanson himself.  Until just yesterday we were not allowed to say this because Offerman was under contract with NBC, and Axe Cop is on FOX.  He was going to do the role “uncredited” and we were set to list Axe Cop as “himself” in the credits.  Offerman is a big fan of Axe Cop and a super cool and friendly dude.  Before the TV show deal was even a thought, Nick took me out for beer and meat and along with his writing partner spent most of the time talking about his love of woodworking and Axe Cop.  At the first big meeting to kick off creating the TV series, Nick showed up with his Axe Cop books worn and ragged, with sticky notes all over the place picking his favorite moments.  He knows the comic like it’s scripture and where I feel a false respect from a lot of folks in Hollywood, Offerman emits a real respect and I always feel like Axe Cop is in good hands with him.  He often reminds everyone in the room to remember Axe Cop is great because of its two creators, which is honoring, because another typical thing that seems to happen in Hollywood is that the more other people work on an idea, the more they start to act like they came up with the whole thing.  Offerman is humble and grounded and he is just not your typical Hollywood type of guy.  He also knows how to deliver Axe Cop lines.  He was made for the role.

Up next is Flute Cop, voiced by the hilarious and talented Ken Marino (Children’s Hospital, Party Down).  Probably my favorite change in direction we took on the TV show from the comic, Flute Cop, while he does transform when blood rains on him, he defaults at Flute Cop.  In the comic, he often defaults at Dinosaur Soldier.  Ken waited in line at San Diego Comic Con one year to meet me and tell me how much he loved Axe Cop.  I didn’t know who he was at the time because I watch hardly any TV.  Since then I fell in love with him in his role on Party Down and seeing his take on Flute Cop has been nothing short of amazing.  I know he wanted to be Axe Cop from the beginning, but he nails it as Flute Cop.  Marino and Offerman really play off of each other and give the characters a dynamic literally impossible to pull off in comics.  I’m pretty excited for you guys to experience Axe Offerman and Flute Marino.

Sockarang is voiced by comedian and actor Patton Oswalt.  The day of our first meeting to kick off the show, Patton randomly was walking by because we were only meeting two houses down from his home.  He came in and on the spot said he’d love to be on the show.  He gives Sockarang a great childish personality that really works well to contrast Flute Cop’s more grown-up demeanor.  When Malachai visits, my three-year-old stepson, Ezra sees him as a total hero.  He loves him and he thinks every single thing he does is awesome.  Sockarang is like Axe Cop’s Ezra and Patton nails it.  I got to sit in on voice recording one day while he recorded and he nailed 95% of his lines on the first try.  I’ve tried doing some voices on the show myself so I know how hard that is to pull off.

Gray Diamond took on a character of his own when Rob Huebel of Chldren’s Hospital voiced him.  Rob’s take on Gray Diamond was so good we started adding him to other episodes and making him a regular part of Axe Cop’s team.

British actor/comedian Peter Serafinowicz (Sean of the Dead, Darth Maul) is amazing when it comes to voices, as exemplified in the multiple roles he takes on in the show.  Pretty much every male with an accent.  In the Zombie Island episode alone he voiced three of the main characters who all sound very distinct from one another.  But I think his Dr. Doo Doo is the best of all of them.  Peter was another early adopter of Axe Cop and he has been a fan and very supportive for quite a while.

It’s true.  Michael Madsen is Baby Man (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill).  Apparently when Madsen came in to do the role it took a while to convince him he was not on Punk’d.  He had not heard of Axe Cop and it is quite a bit to take in moments before you start voice acting in a sound booth.  Unlike the Baby Man of the comics who is mostly silent, the Baby Man of the show will speak when he isn’t sucking on his pacifier.  Madsen’s delivery of the line “Shake what your baby gave ya” is pretty priceless.

Here’s one that, as a big Breaking Bad fan am pretty excited about.  Jonathan Banks plays Book Cop.  You have to see the episode to understand what Banks brought to this character who was just a clone of Axe Cop before.  He is amazing and a sincerely kind man as well.

More awesome Breaking Bad casting… Giancarlo Esposito plays Army Chihuahua.  It’s surreal to hear the voice of “Gus” delivering lines Malachai and I wrote.  Just wait for the origin story, it’s chilling and hilarious.

Of Madmen fame, Vincent Kartheiser is Bat Warthog Man.  He plays the sad superhero who lost all his friends, and the episode is downright awesome.

There are more great voices and I am sure even more to come.  Megan Mullally is doing most of the female voices.  Jared Harris as the King of England.  Tyler the Creator as Liborg.

And that’s just the voices!  The art, backgrounds, designs and storyboarding I have seen has also been phenomenal.  This show is being created all in-house, similar to South Park, but at a true Saturday morning cartoon animation level of quality.  It’s something pretty unheard of and everyone working on it is really putting their all into it.

If you catch the ADHD panel, or the Axe Cop panel (or even better, BOTH because they are back to back) as San Diego Comic Con this year, you will see the premier.  Otherwise, the first episode airs July 27th on FOX at 11pm pacific time.  That’s almost a month away!