Hello, Comic Booked cohorts! Popular indie comic Axe Cop is now taking an exciting step forward with a new animated YouTube series! To learn all the juicy details and more about the one-of-a-kind series itself, we interviewed creator and illustrator Ethan Nicholle and producer Brendan Burch about the process.
Ethan Nicolle: It started on Christmas, three years ago. My brother Malachai wanted to play “Axe Cop”. The play time turned out to be so entertaining I decided to make a comic out of it.
Comic Booked: Also, the credits say the series is written by a 5 year old. How is this?
Ethan Nicolle: Axe Cop is “written by a 5 year old”, which means the story came from him. I rearrange his stories and put then put them in order. I then edit the language to make more sense. I also ask him questions to fill in holes to get a complete story (or close enough), but all the ideas and concepts came out of his head. He gives me the content, I make it into a visual presentation. There are probably more accurate credits that could be constructed for the unique method we use to create Axe Cop, but I wanted to keep the credits feeling like traditional comics… an artist and a writer. I wanted Axe Cop to feel like a professional comic written by a kid, so I gave him the writing credit because I think it immerses the reader in his world, rather than trying to parse out what is from me and what is from him. It really is all from him in its concept form.
Comic Booked: What has been your favorite part about making Axe Cop?
Ethan Nicolle: I think just the overall relationship it has afforded me with my brother and my family, and also the massive universe we have created together because it became my job. Axe Cop was not meant to be a big epic project in the beginning. It was just for the family at first. I didn’t realize we were making a Dark Horse comic book when we drew the first episodes. I’m glad it expanded and I have really enjoyed doing bigger and more epic stories with Malachai. We have created so many stories and characters we never would have if Axe Cop was just something we did during holiday visits.
Comic Booked: The new web series coming out has a lot of people really excited. How did it get started? Whose idea was it to make it into a film series?
Ethan Nicolle: A few years agao, I joined forces with some Axe Cop fans who were also talented in animation, music and voiceover. They created a few Axe Cop motion comics that attracted a good audience on YouTube, but everyone did it in their spare time and it took nearly half a year to complete each episode. The series kind of fizzled out but Six Point Harness, an animation studio I’ve been friends with for a while thought they could remake the series, release it at a much faster rate and really build an audience around it. They have experience with online cartoon success and they truly respect and love the Axe Cop material. They are also very perceptive and on board with me and Malachai as creators. They do not try to go behind our backs or do things we don’t approve of. I feel like these motion comics are great for Axe Cop purists and for new fans alike. I love the voice selections and the tone of the series.
Comic Booked: I’ve read the webcomic, seen a board game based on Axe Cop, and now there’s the film series coming out. That’s a lot, and the momentum’s still building! What are the plans for the future of Axe Cop? Anything more we should be excited about?
Ethan Nicolle: Besides the YouTube series, there is also an animated series coming out on FOX this summer I am also still releasing new comics every week at www.AxeCop.com and my other webcomic www.Bearmageddon.com. We also have a new Axe Cop comic series in the writing stage for Dark Horse Comics called the American Choppers.
Comic Booked: Could you tell us a little about the YouTube channel that’s going to host this series? What’s the YouTube Rug Burn channel all about? What other great things can we find there?
Brendan Burch: The Rug Burn channel is a collaboration between two independent animation studios called Titmouse and Six Point Harness. We have a lot of great shows lined up for 2013 and beyond. In addition to Axe Cop, we are programming a show every Sunday called Apollo Gauntlet. Rug Burn is a brand new channel that is truly creator friendly. We give our writers and animators a lot of freedom and the result is quality storytelling and amazing concepts. Expect to see some fun shows in the future. Subscribe to Rug Burn as soon as you can!
Pretty exciting stuff there! There’s a taste of what you can expect in the upcoming YouTube series Axe Cop. For a more in-depth review of the webcomic itself, check out our thoughts here. Please stay tuned to Comic booked for more of the latest and greatest information, and share your thoughts in the comments section below!