Friday, March 18, 2011

A Friday Night Quickie

So we’ll be keeping it short and sweet for Friday night. Even nerd farmers have a life, you know…

Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #1 (of 3)
by Malachi and Ethan Nicolle

One of my favorite comics of the last year bursts forth from the interwebs and into its own original print funnybook! And I’m happy to report that any concerns I had over the strip’s charm being extended over an entire full-length comic have proven to be unfounded. I suspect that this format means we’re getting a little more shaping of the narrative from Ethan, and a bit less of Malachi’s pure unfettered imagination being poured molten onto the page, but that’s okay.

The ideas and actual plot movements are obviously coming from the same mind that brought us such beloved concepts as Wexter the fire-breathing T-Rex and Axe Cop Fire. And the new issue-length narrative has the added benefit of giving all of Malachi’s little-kid-crazy ideas a more comfortable bed to lie in than the one-page on-line strips often do. The overall pace is more leisurely, so the rapid-fire craziness doesn’t exhaust the reader as much. Not that Axe Cop’s gone all decompressed on us or anything. This first issue ranges all over the place, chronicling Axe Cop’s battles with the regular cops, a mysterious bad guy planet threatening the Earth, the creation of a new hero, and the many bizarre machinations of the Psychic Bad Guys.

Ethan’s done his usual great job interpreting his little brother’s ideas, too. He consistently comes up with great character designs, even for throw-away characters, and his sound effects are always hysterical. My favorite this issue is “BOOK!” for the sound of one of the regular cops slapping his handcuffs around Axe Cop’s wrist. But his artwork is fun all the way around, featuring strong cartooning and good storytelling chops. As I’ve said before, though Axe Cop’s charm comes from its five-year-old author, Ethan’s the one who holds it all together.

Grade: A

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