For those of you that don’t know, two brothers, Ethan and Malachai Nicolle, write and illustrate Axe Cop. Malachai, the writer, is 9. Ethan, the illustrator, is 32. This is the most important part of the comic. What Axe Cop (the comic, not the character) does is hold up a lens to show you the brilliant, limitless, and occasionally psychotic imagination of a child. According to Malachai, the only possible recourse when faced with a bad guy is to chop his head off. That is, unless the bad guy is particularly awesome, then you might want to try to hypnotize him, so he becomes a good guy.
I could analyze Axe Cop and tell you that this comic exists in a world of absolutes or that he represents the clash of radical left wing and radical right wing philosophies. (Thank you, English degree.) Instead, I will just say that you should read this book and laugh. I am 100% serious when I say that by seriously depicting his 9-year-old brother’s story, Ethan Nicolle has created one of the finest examples of comedy I have ever seen.
This collection features several “Ask Axe Cops,” which are the best things ever: a short called “The Dogs,” in which the dogs in the axecopiverse go on an adventure; and “Axe Cop Gets Married,” where Axe Cop needs to get married after his divorce from his wife, Abraham Lincoln, who is a dude but not a heavy-handed symbol of tolerance. Malachai doesn’t really understand marriage. Abraham Lincoln is a good guy, and Axe Cop would marry a good guy. Also, girls are kind of gross. I cannot stress enough how much I love this comic.
The two “stories” in this collection completely fail to follow any of the rules of narrative. There isn’t much in the way of structure, character development, or sense. This is not even close to a problem. Axe Cop doesn’t worry about this stuff, because the story you get is funnier when you don’t know what is coming next. All you know is that the bad guys will lose, and the good guys will win. The good guys always win.
The “Ask Axe Cops” are one-off explorations of the beautifully surreal world that Axe Cop lives in. We learn why Axe Cop wears a hat, how bad guys learn to be bad, and what you should get your mom the next time she needs a gift. These are short, funny, and funny. (Take that, rule of three!) I could read these “Ask Axe Cops” all day long and never get bored.
That’s why I love Axe Cop; the second I start to get used to the story, something insane pops up and I am engrossed all over again. I would recommend it to anyone looking to explore the fertile imagination of a child or anyone who likes absurd comedy.
Five Time-Traveling Assassination-Preventing Abraham Lincoln Wives out of Five