The Axe Cop Story in Detail
Creating Axe Cop was one of those things that sort of happened to me more than I made happen. It was a crazy whirlwind of an experience and now that it’s simmered down, Malachai is in Junior High and I’m a family man, I’ve looked back on the whole adventure with some fascination. So I decided I’d write a weekly chapter on the story of how Axe Cop happened. Most of you have heard the story of the Christmas visit when Malachai wanted to “play Axe Cop” with me. But I want to tell the whole story.
Why no new comics? For now, I’m not doing Axe Cop for a couple of reasons. First being financial. People aren’t buying them. I don’t resent this. I’ve been amazed from the beginning that Axe Cop became as popular as it did, and I get it, it’s a funny joke but not a series you want to invest yourself in for life. At least not most people. It’s also the age Malachai is at, and the place I am at in life. Looking back, I never could have made Axe Cop if I had what I wanted in life.
I was 29 at the time and all I could think about was how lonely I was. I wanted a wife. A family. I hated being alone, and I was alone until I was 31. But if I had a family, Axe Cop never would have happened. I couldn’t have spent large amounts of time one-on-one with Malachai, traveling to visit him for entire months. Now that I have a family I see how hard it is to ever travel, and when you do travel, you are mostly wrangling kids. As much as I resented my singleness, it afforded me the ability to spend lots of one on one time with my little brother. Time I couldn’t spend these days unless I totally ignored my family for weeks at a time.
I also respect the art of not overstaying your welcome when you make a good thing. I wanted to make a good body of work while Malachai was still young, and we did that. I’m happy with what we made, and if there is never another page of Axe Cop made I’ll be satisfied. But I’m open to revisiting Axe Cop with Malachai from time to time. He has talked about finding the right kid to “pass the torch” to as well.
For now, Axe Cop is an awesome memory for both of us. We lived two states apart and thanks to that little webcomic, we got to spend way more time together than we ever would have without it. I don’t think many other brothers who are 24 years apart, living separate lives who get to see each other as much as we did when Axe Cop was on fire. So, since there’s no new material t post, I’m posting this.
I write this as an introduction. Next week I will start into the story from the days prior to creating Axe Cop and what led up to it. I asked myself if I would want to hear the story if it wasn’t me, and I think I would. I find “how we got to where we are” stories fascinating so why not share my own? Questions and input are welcome along the way. My plan is to post on Tuesdays, so stay tuned.
Also, if you would like to see the other things I have been working on, check out www.EthanNicolle.com and consider joining me on Patreon.
11 thoughts on “Making Axe Cop: Introduction”
I definitely enjoyed it yet agree it was probably good to stop for a while. It had a great run and I’ll enjoy looking back at them from time to time. Thank you both!
Thanks. Yeah I don’t regret stopping. We put out a good body of work and that’s what I wanted to accomplish. I still love the character though and would love to do something with him again.
There’s definitely something to be said for going out on a high note. But I hope Malachai keeps writing; those last few stories showed he was really developing an understanding of complex story structure and complex human relationships. Best of luck to him and to you.
I agree. I think he has more ideas. We had a lot of fun working on a chapter over at http://www.rocketmonsterstoryclub.com. For a while he just didn’t want anything to do with Axe Cop. Not in an angry way, just lost interest. I always try to back off if I sense he’s not interested because I know if he ever feels forced he’ll likely quit forever. But he has recently talked about doing another Axe Cop story. Problem is he plays video games so much he never wants to actually talk. I was the same way.
Would have been nice to read the end of Wexter’s story, but you’ve got to have priorities, I suppose.
Yeah I should finish it some time. Problem for me is very few people come to this page to see posts when I put up a new comic. It’s not a valuable investment of my time. But I have noticed that there is a steady amount of traffic here even if I do nothing. Not much, but not nothing. So I wanted to post something. The blogs I can write straight out of my head, they don’t take planning or drawing. So for now, that’s what I’m going to do so that Axe Cop isn’t just sitting stagnant.
I have been playing with the idea of doing Axe Cop more like a sunday strip or gag cartoon. I started brainstorming some ideas. I think that could work, I just need to develop it and see if Malachai wants to get involved.
Malachi in Junior High…. That makes me feel so OLD…
Seriously. It happened way too fast.
Thanks for the update.
You raise an interesting question about value and web comics in general. You mention that Axe Cop isn’t something people would want to invest their money and life in…and to a point I can agree. However, this is a problem about anything offered first for free on the internet which is accessible by phone, tablet, computer basically any and all smart device. It cheapens the overall product, because there is little reason to purchase it. I think you were smart to take Volume One of Bearmagedon down for this very reason. That said: Web Comics do get your name out there and if you go viral or just need something visible to promote yourself and prove your body of work then a web comic is a beautiful investment. I know it helped you land some of the current gigs you have now.
Your comment is packed with much truth. I barely had a second to think about all this stuff when I posted Axe Cop online. I got caught up in a whirlwind. What I needed most at that point was a following and an audience, but now that I’m here, I still need one, or at least a bigger one if it is going to support my work. And I think I could have had it if I’d taken a moment to plan and invest in the audience I had when I had it. Shoulda woulda coulda. You will see a lot of mistakes throughout the Axe Cop story. It being any kind of success just wasn’t something I even considered a possibility when we posted it up.
I wonder if it would help to mention “The American Choppers” on the Archives page and not just on the Store page.