ATTENTION: This blog is much easier reading if you have read my previous post. You can do so here
Greetings and welcome to Comical-Musings. If this is your first time, I’m happy that you came to get my take on comic book culture. I would also love to hear your opinions in the comment section. If this is a return visit, I am happy that you stopped by again to view my blog. So happy in fact that it over-rules how very upset I am that I just accidentally deleted this entire post. Not kidding. I had 5 paragraphs written, but I hit “undo.” How very silly/stupid of me? Well anyways, instead of chopping my computer into little bits, I will just find solace in re-composing my previous work.
One thing that I want you all to be very aware of is the fact that you CAN read these comic books. You don’t have to just read ABOUT them. The source materials are available in many different forms that I can tell you all about if you just ask. One such way to get a hold of comic books is Things From Another World. I really want to spotlight their website TFAW.com. They sell nick/dent books for nearly 40-50% off of original prices. They have a great selection of items for sale as well. My favorite thing that they do is “Grab Bags.” A trade paperback is a collection of one whole story (usually 5-8 comic books) bound into one book. Trade paperbacks are a superior way to read comics as you don’t have to keep up with individual issues. The grab bag offer to you the consumer is that you just pick your favorite publisher (I.E. Dc, Marvel, Dark Horse…) and then they charge you $3 a trade paperback for a random selection. The typical sale price for trade paperbacks is $15-$20. This is obviously a great savings and there is a “fun factor” to getting random comics if you don’t already have a sizable library that could create the fear of getting doubles. I tell you all of this to promote the industry, but also because the comic that we will discuss today is only available online or in comic stores.
My friends, Joseph Higgins and Marshal Blessing, have been telling me about Axe Cop for about a month now. It sounded mildly interesting, but seemed trendy. I wasn’t all that interested in checking it out, but when I finally read it, I was surprised by what the pages contained.
Last Wednesday, I had been having a long conversation with a friend about the end of the world, food shortages, gas prices, guns, rioting, and the like. Many of you may not know this about me, but thinking about these things often causes me to become a little obsessive and a lot depressed. I get caught on terrible thoughts of my children dying from starvation, murder, or disaster. I can’t stop thinking about horrible images that you might see in a book like “The Road” by Cormac Mccarthy and begin to descend into my dark place. Once there, it is hard to get me out as conversations that you have with me might be met with short answers and empty stares. The cruelty of men and the entropy all around us is no laughing matter and when I get like this I cannot shake it. So I sat alone like this in my dark place, in my mother’s house last Wednesday. My wife and children were far away from any protection I might offer them and any joy that they might offer me in Idaho. Marshal tried to joke with me, but I was alone in my thoughts.
I began to indulge the one luxury that I am allowed by the fact that my children aren’t around and that is to read comics. My children usually won’t leave me alone while I read and they tear pages or unplug my computer incessantly. I decided to read Axe Cop on a whim and it was exactly what I needed.
Axe Cop is a comic book created by a seven year old little boy name Malachai Nicolle and his brother Ethan Nicolle, a 29 year old professional artist. It is a chaotic world where plot lines weave in and out of reality. It is a place where things don’t have to make sense as long as they are fun. Dinosaurs, aliens, heroes made of socks, villains, ghost knights, it’s all there. To put it succinctly, it is one of the purest/most entertaining things that I have ever come into contact with in my entire life. The plot lines are long winded. The characters are rich. The stories are like roller coaster rides that you don’t want to get off of. For example, in the world of Axe Cop, when you get another creature’s blood on you, you transform (at least partially) into it. So, if I hit a squirrel with my car and some blood got on me, BAM! I would have a tail, climbing abilities, fur, the lot. This is the silliness that permeates each volume. Is it childish? Yes. Is it weird? Yes. It’s also sweet and innocent, which is a stark contrast to the comics of our day. It’s a shocking contrast to the villain, Onomatopoeia, that we discussed in my last post.
I find myself wondering: what if worlds collided? What if Axe Cop met Onomatopoeia? It is certainly possible that they would meet as Onomatopoeia’s modus operandi is to murder non-super powered vigilantes. What would happen?
In Onomatopoeia’s world, he would probably kidnap Dinosaur Soldier (Axe Cop’s sidekick) and gut him slow in a dark alley of Gotham City to draw Axe Cop out. He would have killed Uni-man (a genius on Axe Cop’s team who can wish for things to happen with his unicorn horn) days before and cut his horn off. Axe Cop would run down that abandoned, dark alley to try to save Dinosaur Soldier and stop him from bleeding out. A tear would fall from his eye as he is sickened by the pained vision of his friend suffering. Right as Axe Cop got maybe 6 feet away from his dying companion and emotions took over, Onomatopoeia would erupt from the shadows to stab Axe Cop in the heart with the unicorn horn. The precision and force from the blow would take Axe Cop from his feet and he would lie instantly dead in a pool of blood. Onomatopoeia would remove Axe Cop’s aviator sunglasses and slip back into normal suburban life. Three vigilante heroes killed, one trophy taken.
In Axe Cop’s world, Onomatopoeia would be at some sort of Bad Guy Cafe having lunch. Axe Cop would go into the restaurant to order a pastrami on rye and notice Onomatopoeia in the corner. Axe Cop would walk over and pull the golden axe from his face (see Axe Cop #32) and cut Onomatopoeia’s head off. Some of Onomatopoeia’s blood would splash onto Axe Cop and his costume would magically change in a roar of sound to look more like Onomatopoeia. Onomato Cop would look down at his costume and simply say the word “magic,” just as Sockarang swoops in and says “your costume sucks.”
The stark contrast is amusing. It really makes you consider entertainment and whether violent, stylized, and cold-blooded can trump clever and amusing. If you look at the pure joy that is given by young Malachai’s writing as opposed to the jaded, biting, adult humor and action that Kevin Smith presents, the answer is clear. We see two moral/intellectual sides of the coin in these two books. Both have their place. One makes you excited and the other just makes you feel good. I encourage everyone to read Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth which is on stands now or check out the blog posts at www.axecop.com. It is very funny and reasonably priced. The Kevin Smith runs on Green Arrow and Batman can be found in back issue bins or at Barnes and Noble for your reading pleasure. Read on!
~ Scott Deaux ~