Saturday, March 12, 2011

Obligatory American Comic Review: Axe Cop

Have any of you ever met a six year old? They are awesome. They view the world completely objectively, and are prone to saying brilliant things that us non-six year olds have been formally trained not to say, or perhaps even think of.  At least, that's the impression I get of Maichai Nicholle, the young author of the brilliant web comic, Axe Cop.

At this point, I would normally give you an idea of the plot, but I don't really need a whole paragraph for that. Cop finds axe on ground. Calls himself Axe Cop. Chaos ensues. This ingeniously simple story comes courtesy of 6-year old (former 5-year old, now 7) Malicahai Nicholle, and his cool cartoonist (and 30-year old) brother Ethan "Eef" Nicholle, two geniuses who I have great respect for. But what is it that makes Axe Cop such a rewarding story?

One of the things that makes Axe Cop a rewarding read (outside of the latent internet-meme worthy awesomeness) is the perfect realization of the childhood psyche. Thanks to the purity of Malichai's writing and the care put into the artwork by Eef, Axe Cop is a treasure trove of childhood. Costumed heroes, silly bad guys, shocking (when taken seriously) violence, and poop jokes litter a four-color world of storybook unreality. This is a universe where anything can happen, but nothing is ever really a surprise, because we used to all know this story.

But here's the funny thing. Axe Cop is actually well written. While the early stories are definitely a bit crude, Malichai actually seems to be a good writer, turning all kinds of cool into a cohesive story. Many people have expressed concern over the fact that, well, kids grow up. However, I wouldn't mind seeing Grown Up Malichai's Axe Cop, as I long ago stopped simply viewing Axe Cop as a comic that's cool because a kid wrote it. I view it as watching the evolution of a new writer basically from the ground up, an experience that few may ever have again.

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