I have been following Axe Cop since its inception, so I knew what was in store to some extent when I embarked on Volume Three. Not that anyone can really predict any of the Axe Cop craziness that always ensues.
For any unfamiliar readers, I really can’t explain, only give you the premise: Axe Cop started as a webcomic….well, almost experiment, I guess you could say. Ethan Nicolle decided he wanted to illustrate some of the characters and stories that would arise when he and his 6 year old brother played. Axe Cop is a comic written by a child, illustrated by a (very talented) adult.
This is the reason why Axe Cop is so immensely popular. The insane characters, the wonderful there’s-a-planet-for-everything premise, even the dialogue, is all from the POV of a little boy. It’s fresh, crazy, funny, wildly creative, and gorgeously drawn. It’s that combination of extreme raw freshness of the storytelling, drawn by a hand with immense skill. Sure, I have heard it argued that it’s only the novelty of the kid-telling that makes it good only ironically, and that when Malachai hits a certain age it won’t be good at all. To these commenters, I say: phooey. This stuff is incredibly creative, fearless and wonderful. Any of us who create works of art should hope to be so fresh and fearless. As for the child-style writing, I agree that it will be interesting (and already has been) to see how Axe Cop changes as his creator ages. I can’t wait to see, for example, if Axe Cop will ever allow a girl onto the team. Maybe when his “cooties” stage is over…
I am sure you can tell I endorse reading this series in general. Here is why I highly recommend Volume Three in particular:
1) The inclusion of several “ask axe cop” episodes. It’s even funnier and fresher to hear the sorts of questions readers ask Axe Cop, and the answers to those questions are never boring, and the “episodes” are short one-page gems.
2) Various artists’ poster-style renditions of Axe Cop and his friends. Bat-Warthog-man never looked so good.
3) Dinosaurs, babies and their poop, Chihuahua Soldier, Wexter, the co-op with Dr. McNinja, whom I must now follow, the magicians’ planet, and the Funny Episode! Oh my God, the Funny Episode!
This is the third volume in an ongoing series, but I have a feeling this collection stands alone. There are a few interesting origin stories and nothing that’s really a spoiler or completely reliant on past episodes. And said past episodes are always noted within the text, which is quite convenient.
If anything, just and read if you’re ever depressed, uninspired, or have Writer’s Block. There will be no more stagnation in your creativity once you read Axe Cop Vol. 3.