Axe Cop: insane comic collaboration between 5 year old and his 29 year old brother

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


    1. Some of the funniest moments in Axe Cop are when Ethan matter-of-factly illustrates the rather horrible fates that Malachai invents for the bad guys (or civilians). Kids have a very abstract view of violence.

      1. My own kid (who is 6) comes up with very similar scenarios to those that occur in Axe Cop, including ludicrous violent fates for whatever bad guys there are. When I actually read Axe Cop to him once it totally freaked him out and scared him.

  1. I’m fortunate enough to have a friend that works at Dark Horse. I received a birthday present from him in the mail the other day: my own copy of Axe Cop, signed by both Ethan and Malachai. OH YEAH.

  2. Ethan & Malachai will be @ Meltdown Comics in LA doing a signing on Tuesday night. If you’re local & want a copy there’s no better time.

    I believe it’s from 7p to 10p so maybe Malachai won’t be there the whole time but I suppose if you’re the creator of Axe Cop, bedtime means nothing!

    1. I can’t stop laughing!

      I can totally see how a 5 yr old came up with this stuff. But it’s genius the way he condenses like every meme on earth of sweetness and his brother illustrates it.

      A flying dinosaur with machinegun arms flying an axe weilding cop into space, then fighting a samurai lamp. I’m crying this is so funny!

      Why didn’t anyone before illustrate what a young kid thinks up in playtime?

  3. This is friggin hilarious! I love it!

    The last one is the best. “And they would die. Because it is really poison.”

    They might not know it, but they are channeling the very absurd among Japanese manga. Specifically, it feels like I’m reading something by the writer of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, one of the most insane manga ever made. Serious in presence, yet devolving into absurd realism.

    My god, this is genius. I am totally buying this!

  4. I think one of the big appeals of Axe Cop is that, while the story is off-the-walls batshit surreal, there is actually a very strict consistancy of how things work in the Axe Cop world. Unicorn horns grant special powers, so getting more unicorn horns naturally expands your powers, lots of little things like that.

    It’s worldbuilding that makes perfect sense on a gut instinct level, and I don’t know if that comes from Malachai or Ethan, or if it something that happens when two people who are on the same level share a story. But it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

  5. Some of the strips have been turned into epically epic videos with appropriate narration and voice acting:

    1. According to the Axe Cop facebook group, there is a fanmade liveaction version in the works too.

  6. If they keep doing this strip for a few more years, Malachi will enter junior high and Axe Cop will slowly morph into Emo Cop.

  7. Not that I’m a huge Axe Cop fan, but I hope everyone has been to the online store at Through it, I’ve “discovered” some other awesome web comics. Most BBers know “Hark! a Vagrant” as well as “Sam and Fuzzy.” But I get the most enjoyment from Aaron Diaz’s comic “Dresden Codak.” It has bits of extreme nerdism with more art that xkcd ever imagined. I love the story lines that relate to science (even ordered a single for my classroom display) and his blog where he compiles his sources and inspirations. Through that blog I’ve also found some great French comics (that I can’t read but look cool) and “The Meek” (not sold at TopataCo). All are worth checking out.

  8. Am I the only one that thinks that is seriously worrying that a 5 year old fantasises about beheading, poisoning, exploding and chopping up characters?

    1. You probably are, Toplus. Malachai’s stories seems like pretty typical imaginative play for a little boy.

  9. in my son malachai’s defense as an avid gamer no enemy goes into councilling and and re-hab, they are killed. if you are good you are an hero, if bad you die.

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