While it’s rare, there are times a webcomic becomes so popular that its fame eclipses any and all critical analysis. Around this time last year, Axe Cop was one such comic. The comic is famously written by a then 5-year-old kid, Malachai Nicolle, and illustrated by his older brother Ethan. Axe Cop went online in the waning days of the last decade (December of 2009). In the days that followed, it rocked the internet like a hurricane.
The initial reaction was overwhelmingly positive… sometimes, too positive. If you dared to mutter a bad thing about it, you incurred the wrath of rabid pro-Axe Cop fans, who — like a bunch of pre-teen girls reacting to Esperanza Spalding’s Grammy win — would label you as a bitter contrarian or a big meanie-head for picking on a sweet, innocent kid. (I should note that creator Ethan Nicolle was not one of them; from what I’ve seen, he’s far more receptive and accepting of criticism.)
But, as we all know, good times only last so long. Let’s face it, every single person who read Axe Cop thought, “Amusing, but no way this doesn’t get annoying after a while.” Eventually, the whole “playa hata” syndrome set in. Sentiment swung the other way a bit. People who liked Axe Cop were derided for being suckered into a cheap gimmick, and that the whole “child writer” thing was just a timid excuse for tiresome “random” jokes. So it goes.
Joe Casey’s Officer Downe (Left), Axe Cop and Dr. McNinja (Center), and Beachhead from G.I. Joe (Right)
So everyone, it seems, is going wild over the prospective Axe Cop/Dr. McNinja crossover. You know what? It works. The former is an innocent take on random adventures, and the latter is more self-conscious. But they deserve each other, and I imagine that the crossover will work, more or less. It will definitely, by default, be better than the Spawn/Batman crossover. Plus the Snakes on a Plane-like logo is money in the bank.
Plus, the discussion on the Something Awful forums led to talk about favorite collaborations, which led me to Lizzy, the epic tale of love, magic, and centaurs created by Emmy C. and Anthony “Nedroid” Clark.
Best of luck to Malachai Nicolle and Chris Hastings. You’re going to need it to top this gem.