Ron Swanson lends his voice to new graphic cartoon Axe Cop

[pullquote1 quotes=”true” align=”center”]Unique webcomic set to have series on Fox Network’s “Animation Domination”[/pullquote1]

BY GEORGIANNA PISANO-GOETZ ’15
Staff Writer

Axe Cop is a webcomic that may not be known to all, but should be. The collaboration between brothers Malachai and Ethan Nicolle is a creative jackpot. What makes Axe Cop so special? While Ethan is the artist behind the comic, the story lines and writing come straight from Malachai — a five year old. In January 2010, on a trip home to see his family, Ethan got sucked into playing pretend with his younger sibling, which is bound to happen. Malachai was Flute Cop while Ethan got the honor of being Axe Cop, swinging around a toy fireman axe. Malachai directed the play and, as Ethan, a seasoned comic artist already, got more and more interested in the saga, he decided to draw it. When he posted the artwork on his blog and Facebook, the response was so great he decided to continue the creative process with his brother on a website dedicated to Axe Cop.

The reaction was strong as thousands of fans liked the Facebook page, crashed the site, tweeted, and read articles on Entertainment Weekly, MTV News, USA Today, and other news outlets that covered the phenomenon.

The viral success hasn’t waned, and Axe Cop has remained an exciting creative venture for the brothers. The comics posted on Facebook and the Axe Cop website have since become a title under Dark Horse Comics. Furthermore, in March 2011, Munchkin card game creator Steve Jackson announced his partnership with the older Nicolle brother to create a card game based on Axe Cop. Jackson had the following to say about the partnership: “Axe Cop and Munchkin are a perfect match. Doing this project will be total fun for me. Axe Cop has a manic energy that goes with the Munchkin story . . . kill the bad guys, take their stuff, and level up!” The game’s slogan will be “chop their heads off and take their stuff!” which comes from a particularly violent aspect of Axe Cop’s saga, as stories told by five-year-old boys tend to contain.

A particularly great fan film already exists featuring Axe Cop and his original partner, Dinosaur Soldier, but it was exciting news nonetheless in April 2012 when it was announced Fox would be producing six 15-minute episodes of Axe Cop for its Saturday animation block. Axe Cop will air during a late-night animation block, which is reminiscent of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, despite the age-appropriate material of Axe Cop. That is due to the fact that Nick Weidenfeld, a former Adult Swim executive is now in charge of Fox’s “Animation Domination HD” (ADHD) block. Weidenfeld claims he’s had his eye on Axe Cop for a while but was unable to a get a deal done while with Adult Swim. Axe Cop, the animation show, will not be directly written by Malachai, as the network prefers to go with an older writer. Happily, show-runner Matt Silverstein recently shared that Malachai is often called for ideas and “very, very involved.”
It is unfortunate that a show written by a kid for kids will air in such a late time slot meant for adults, with its company being The Simpsons and American Dad. However, the network has promised that the show will be offered on a variety of online and digital platforms.

Axe Cop was meant to debut in the Animation Domination block in January 2013, which has come and gone. Its premiere has since been moved to July, but there has been plenty to keep fans satisfied. In a perfect collusion of events, the voice actor chosen for Axe Cop is none other than the resident tough guy on Parks and Recreation, Ron Swanson, known in real life as Nick Offerman, owner of the perfect moustache. (For the record, Axe Cop also has a great moustache. Way to get in character, Nick!) A Halloween special was released with Swanson voicing the titular Axe Cop, and, most recently, the show’s trailer aired at WonderCon in late March.

The show will debut on July 27 with guest stars including Offerman’s real life wife, Megan Mullally, as well as Ken Marino, Patton Oswalt, Dan Harmon (of Community fame) and Tyler, The Creator, just to name a few. I, for one, can’t wait to see something so perfectly unique and creative come to prime time television.

Questions? Email Georgianna at gpisanog@fandm.edu.

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