Dark Horse's Axe Cop: Volume One
collects 130 pages' worth of the insane, hyperactive and absolutely delightful webcomic Axe Cop
, created by five-year-old Malachai Nicolle and his 29-year-old brother Ethan Nicolle.
Axe Cop began when Ethan visited his family for the holidays and found himself illustrating the madcap adventures of his little brother's imaginary hero "Axe Cop" -- basically a cop with an axe who has the power to behead, poison, explode and chop up his many enemies, often with the assistance of a super-team of shape-shifting giant babies, giant avocadoes, giant dinosaurs, giant robots, ninjas (including a pair of Vampire Ninja Werewolf Wizards From the Moon!) and so on and on, each superlative attracting another until they are daisy-chained into a synthetic molecule of pure, superdense awesome.
Axe Cop became an Internet sensation, and sold enough merch to keep young Malachi in toy guns and action figures for quite some time, and it was only a matter of time until the book came out. Getting all your Axe Cop between covers in one concentrated blast is quite an experience, but in a very good way! Ethan's notes about Malachi's creative process and their extraordinary collaboration really help to frame the strips, and the best stuff of all are the reprinted Ask Axe Cop, in which Malachi fields questions from the Internet at large.
There are plenty of comics artists who've tried to recreate the unbridled exuberance of a hyperactive kid's imagination, but this is the real deal. As Graham Linehan says in his cover-quote: "Axe Cop is actually a time machine. Through its pages, we can return to
that state of intensely excited, unbound imagination-overload that we
all shared as children, and lost bit-by-bit as the years progressed.
Read Axe Cop, and you will remember the kid you once were."
Axe Cop: Volume One
Lindy West is one of those web-writers who’s done consistently great work over the years, whether it’s talking about boobs or talking about trolls, and so I expected to like her memoir Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman, but I didn’t expect to find myself laughing aloud over and over, nor did I expect to end up crying — and having done both in great measure, now I can’t get that most excellent book out of my head.
Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths’ Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions is pitched as a combination of personal advice and business book grounded in the lessons of computer science, but it’s better than that: while much of the computer science they explain is useful in personal and management contexts, the book is also a beautifully accessible primer on algorithms and computer science themselves, and a kind of philosophical treatise on what the authors call “computational kindness” and “computational stoicism.”
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