środa, 18 stycznia 2012

5 questions to... Ethan Nicolle

Hello and welcome everyone. For all new, non-polish readers – this is Net is Nerdy, the blog where I present the best and most interesting pieces of nerdy fiction available in the Internet. And I’m opening the new series of blog articles - short interviews with top artists and creators that use the World Wide Web as the platform for publication and promotion of their work. I never planned this blog as bilingual, but I’ve changed my mind. The people that I want to show in this series have fans around the world and I want to introduce them to as many readers as I can. So the interviews will be published in Polish and in English. I hope You’ll enjoy time spent here and I promise – there is much more to come.

And also, if You notice any errors or find my English sloppy at times, feel free to leave a comment about it. Nobody’s perfect, I’m certainly not, so any advice is priceless.

I think Ethan Nicolle needs no introductions. If You are surfing on the Internet more than once a year and comic books aren’t completely alien territory to You, You know him. It’s hard not too recognize Axe Cop after it’s amazing, almost viral in nature success. The adventures of a hard-boiled cop, whose weapon of choice is an axe, and his shapeshifting sidekick made millions of fans and may be seriously considered the best story ever told. You can even call it a cult phenomenon -  all the awards and publishing contract with Dark Horse further support this claim. I should also remind You that the creative brain and de facto writer of Axe Cop is Malachai, Ethan’s seven years old brother – and maybe because of that the comic is set in the world where literally anything can happen, full of surreal situations and kick-ass absurd humor. But Axe Cop isn’t the first outing of Ethan as a comic book creator. He debuted outside digital world and has an impressive career history, with comedic Chumble Spazz nominated for Eisner award and such. On the Web he co-created Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun (where the Saviour takes on the role of 80’s movies action hero) and, only recently, started publishing his solo work, horror comedy with a dash of B-movie atmosphere and drama – Bearmageddon. It has bears in it. Crossed with octopuses. And apparently armed with gatling guns.

Definitely must see!

And now to hell with boring introductions and straight to the interview...

I'm not starting with Axe Cop, surprisingly, because from August 2011 You're running a brand new webcomic in full color which is too freakishly crazy to not ask about it - Bearmageddon. And it's about, well, invasion of mutated things looking for example like a unholy hybrid of bear and some lovecraftian monstrosity. How You came up with that idea, what inspired it? 

I wanted to do a story about this character, Dickinson Killdeer for a while.  An insane woodsman who is sort of the Tarzan of the forest, but half crazy.  I also wanted to do a story about bears.  I love the horror/comedy/action genre and this idea, when it hit me got me so excited I really got into it.

You've started out as an author of 'standard' comic books, published on paper, with popular things like Chumble Spuzz in Your portfolio. Then You've started publishing in Internet and reappeared as a winner with the tremendous success of Axe Cop. Is the fan response and fame on the World Wide Web different? Maybe better? 

Yeah the internet has been good to me.  It is a much better place to find fans who want to try something new and odd.  If you strike a cord with people they will show their friends what they have found.  I have never advertised but my work has now reached millions.  I have enough dedicated fans now that I can regularly sell just enough stuff to live on the money, which is a very hard thing to accomplish in comics.  I won't deny that luck was involved, but the more work you put out the more chances you have of getting lucky.

You've brought so much epically awesome, totally surreal stuff to life in Axe Cop. It will be the hard choice, but is there some story arc or even a single page that You particularly love, that You consider apex of Your work? 

So far I think in Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth (printed miniseries published by Dark Horse), the double page spread of the two squish monsters fighting is my favorite moment.  It is probably the most insane thing I have ever drawn and it just sums up the logic and insanity of Axe Cop

You're known mostly for comedic, weird and even maybe absurd (in the good way) comics, like Axe Cop, Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun or, most recently, Bearmageddon. Would You like, sometime in the future, enjoy success with something more serious or grounded in reality, just for a change?

Yeah I have a couple of those stories in me that I want to attack when I feel like a more competent writer.  Bearmageddon is my first attempt since the Weevil (my first graphic novel) to incorporate some real human drama and situations into the writing. It is still in the realm of the ridiculous a lot of the time, but I'm trying to test myself as someone who can create characters who you care about.  I tend to try to always make my next project something I feel mostly competent in doing but takes me a bit further into uncharted territory.  I do want to do other genres and I am sure I will as I get the opportunity.

Last but not least, I feel obliged to ask about Malachai. He is enjoying really big success, especially for his age. But do You think he will stay 'in the game'? Will he get involved with comics for life, just like his older brother? 

I don't know, his success is only really real to him when he is with me at conventions which right now only happens a couple times a year.  I don't think his "success" is a big part of his life, which I think is a good thing.  I'm interested to see if he ever decides to take that step from just answering my questions and making up stories on the spot to actually trying to build a story and write it down on his own.  If does, he's gotten a great head start.  At this point it is hard to tell if that is the direction he will go or not.

You can follow the latest adventures of everyone’s favorite law enforcer here:

For a taste of bear-filled apocalypse, go here:

And don’t forget to visit Ethan’s home page:

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