Everyone’s favorite axe-wielding police office is getting the animated treatment on network television. According to Variety, Fox has acquired the rights to the webcomic-phenomenon-turned-print-comic “Axe Cop” written by 8-year-old Malachai Nicolle and drawn by his brother Ethan Nicolle. The current plan is for Fox to order six 15-minute installments of the series to air early 2013 on the network’s new Animation Domination HD Saturday evening companion block. The acquisition was spearheaded by Animation Domination HD head Nick Weidenfeld, a former Adult Swim executive, who had been eying “Axe Cop” since he began scouting potential properties for Animation Domination.
“It’s rare that you find something that feels both so new in its tone and content but also so fully formed,” Weidenfeld told Variety. “To me it was very clear that ‘Axe Cop’ has potential to be a larger franchise.”
“Axe Cop” originally hit the web in December 2009 and featured the adventures of a police officer who equips himself with an axe to fight evil with allies like Flute Cop, Sockarang and Wexter, Axe Cop’s pet T-Rex with Gatling guns for arms. Malachai Nicolle, who was 5 years old when the series began, conceived of the Axe Cop persona while playing with his other brother, Ethan. Since the premiere of “Axe Cop,” the character has grown exponentially in popularity, gaining a version of the popular tabletop card game “Munchkin” from Steve Jackson games and a publishing deal with Dark Horse Comics for a limited print run. The most recent miniseries, “Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth,” released from Dark Horse in 2011 in both single issues and a collected trade paperback.
Check out the press release below and stay tuned for more on the “Axe Cop” animated series.
Official Press Release
Animation Domination HD, the new animation unit created by Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX), has acquired the rights to the hit comic phenomenon AXE COP, it was announced today by Nick Weidenfeld, Head of Animation Domination HD. AXE COP will premiere as part of FOX’s new Saturday late-prime Animation Domination HD block (11:00-12:30 PM ET/PT) debuting in 2013, and across digital platforms.
“AXE COP is one of the most creative, hilarious and naturally viral comic properties to emerge in the last decade,” Weidenfeld said. “I’ve hoped someone would adapt AXE COP for television for years and couldn’t be happier that we get to be that someone. AXE COP has all the makings of an iconic animated series and it will help set the tone for FOX’s new late-prime Saturday animation lineup.”
AXE COP is the first new series in development by Animation Domination HD. The new unit has ordered six quarter-hour episodes of the series. Additional auspices to be announced.
The “Axe Cop” web comic was created by then five-year-old Malachai Nicolle and his 29-year-old brother, Ethan, and chronicles the adventures of an axe-wielding police officer and his loyal team of allies as they fight bad guys. Written by Malachai and drawn by Ethan, the first five installments of “Axe Cop” were put online on January 25, 2010 and went viral in a matter of days. Three days after AxeCop.com went live, it was featured as Entertainment Weekly’s “Site of the Day,” and the series quickly became an Internet meme. Since its debut, “Axe Cop” has gained cult status and prominent recognition in the comic sphere through Dark Horse, on the web, and various media circuits.
ABOUT ANIMATION DOMINATION HD
Building on its more than 20 years of animation domination, Fox Broadcasting Company created the Animation Domination HD unit to oversee the development and production of alternative animated series, shorts and user-adapted material for its brand-new late-prime animated programming block and new digital multi-platform network. Led by former Adult Swim executive Nick Weidenfeld, the unit develops and produces original animated shorts and series to run both on air and online, extending across platforms such as Web, mobile apps, game consoles and Video on Demand. FOX uses its expertise and cross-promotional power to nurture these new assets through this pipeline, building a clear bridge for talent to develop and grow ideas in the digital arena and organically move them into the mainstream.