Interview with AXE COP artist Ethan Nicolle!

7 Mar

UPDATE: Welcome, all of you Axe Cop fans! Since so many of you are new to this site, I just want to say Welcome, and if you like the site feel free to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @AllDayComics – thanks for stopping by!

(Mike here – this interview was conducted WAY back on October 29 at the Long Beach Comic and Horror Convention. Due to various difficulties, it’s just getting posted now. We thought it was still worth posting because – it’s AXE COP, so it’s awesome! – and Volume 3 is coming out soon (click the preorder link below the interview). Hope you like…)

Axe Cop artist Ethan Nicolle at his booth (photo by Orion Tippens)

Axe Cop artist Ethan Nicolle at his booth (photo by Orion Tippens)

Interview by Orion Tippens

I love Axe Cop, so much, that I have considered naming my firstborn, Axe Cop. That is how much I love Axe Cop.

And if you have not, perhaps you should visit axecop.com and understand the joys of this brilliant webcomic. Or even better, check out the first trade paperback Axe Cop: Volume 1 collection published via Dark Horse Comics, all the early strips with Ethan’s fun commentary added on the side.

Axe Cop, in short, is the brilliant product of a five-year-old’s (now seven) imaginative mind (Malachai Nicolle), brought to life by the sequential art of his 29-year-old brother (Ethan Nicolle). We meet a superhero with powerful sock arms, a flying dinosaur with gatling arms, an optic blastic dog, ninjas on the moon, a man-baby, a uni-baby, and so much more.  We as readers who enjoy such work, and laugh, love this fresh and ever-changing world centered around our awesome protagonist. He, who is Axe Cop, the mustached, axe-wielding lawman of justice with secret attacks, and well defined (and often lethal) style of fighting evil.

So imagine my delight, when I had the chance to personally meet the artist of Axe Cop, Ethan Nicolle, at the Long Beach Comic Con in Los Angeles. Ethan was alone, promoting Axe Cop and his newest self-published work, Bearmageddon. Malachai was elsewhere, tending to a book signing. Here, from the show’s artist alley section, is a transcript of a wonderful yet brief interview:

ALL DAY COMICS: Hello, Ethan Nicolle.

ETHAN NICOLLE: Hello.

(During this point, there was a nearby live Star Wars live roleplaying event going on, so please if you will..imagine the Star Wars: Episode I Duel of the Fates music track playing in the background)

ADC: With Malachai’s schooling and state of adolescence, the creative process must be unconventional, perhaps challenging in the production of Axe Cop. In working with Malachai, where and how often do you meet in planning new material?

EN: I just get his ideas as I need them, as I need more material to keep the comics coming out. Depending on the project, like for the miniseries (comics), I go spend time with him in person, sometimes an entire month with him, otherwise I call him on a regular basis.

ADC: In these processes, what was your most difficult challenge in interpreting his unique ideas? What was the most challenging piece that you have done for him?

(there was a bit of a chuckle on this given our understanding of Malachai’s whimsical nature  at the recent panel, where he discussed and took questions over Ethan’s cellphone put on speaker. Malachai didn’t seem to take anything seriously as he talked to the audience in various alter egos including Wrestler Grandpa, and some bizarre characters I don’t quite recall in the strip, perhaps new creations to come)

EN: It’s actually the next mini series that we’ve done. It has given me so much for me to work with.

(I recall some of this from the recent panel, an Ice Cream Planet, witch doctor cats, Fwinky Dog, some other incredibly weird, yet awesome stuff I wish I wrote down. Some from the next series, others from the current webcomic arc, “The Dogs.” This, is much fun stuff that has me excited)

ADC: And again, published by Dark Horse, right?

EN: Right.

ADC: This next miniseries? Will this be like Bad Guy Earth (the recent and very over-the-top first mini-series, and the first Axe Cop material published exclusively as a traditional comic) 2? A continuation of the last story, or something entirely new?

EN: It will continue where Bad Guy Earth left off (title unknown at this point). There is not much more I can say about that right now.

ADC: Speaking of Bad Guy Earth, I did enjoy the later brief battle and introduction of the strange opposites of Axe Cop and company. Particularly, Bootarang. Is there any chance of Bootarang’s return, if I can forward a request to Malachai?

EN: I think they are all dead.

ADC: Yeah, but in Axe Cop, anything is possible!

EN: Yes, Malachai likes to bring characters back, even after he kills them off. That’s why we have so many.

ADC: Do you have any favorite characters of the Axe Cop Universe? I love Sockarang.

EN: I like a lot of them, I like BatWarthogMan, I do like Sockarang a lot, some new ones coming up. I like them all, really.

ADC: The new card game, Munchkin: Axe Cop Edition, was a cool surprise to us fans. Is there any other merchandise out there planned in the near future for Axe Cop?

EN: There is an official Axe Cop costume in some online stores right now. We have some new shirts and stuff. We haven’t really nailed down anything as far as licenses yet.

ADC: Cool. Then, moving along to your other newer webcomic written and drawn by you – Bearmageddon. I found the opening story interesting, involving threats of mutant bears. Axe Cop fans should check this out, and would love to see some similar exposure on retail bookshelves. Any plans for a collected edition or trade paperback soon?

EN: Yeah, when I posted enough, I hoped to make a book of it.

ADC: The mutant bears are a fresh concept. What are your inspirations for such? Why not ducks?

EN: I think bears are awesome. I just had this idea for a comic about this guy defending his city, being overrun by bears. I then thought, what would I call this attack by bears? And then I thought: Bearmageddon. Then I decided to start this comic and went from there.

ADC: In a crazy dream world, if there was any mainstream comic hero license that you and Malachai could ever work on while having total creative freedom, what would you like to pick?

EN: I think Batman, or the (Teenage Mutant) Ninja Turtles.

ADC: Nice, I would love to see you both do the Ninja Turtles… (ED. NOTE: Ethan Nicolle drew a variant cover for TMNT #9, coming soon from IDW.)

EN: Or the Tick, because the Tick is a big kid, and it be cool for Malachai to write it.

ADC: Ha, I could see that, too! That’s all I have for now. Thank you very much, Ethan.

(The Star Wars music playing in the distance seemed to also end)

BUY THESE NOW:


Axe Cop, Vol. 1


Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth


Axe Cop Volume 3


Munchkin Axe Cop

Orion Tippens loves comics and talking to people. Currently travels and does crazy stuff, visit travelingorion.tumblr.com for his personal nonsense.

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  1. ADC Comic of the Day(s): HEART OF A CORPSE « All Day Comics - March 23, 2012

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