I wonder if Axe Cop is what Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood had in mind when they talk about creative play for children. If you haven’t read Axe Cop yet, go there now to right this injustice. I’ll wait. See, he’s a cop and he’s got an Axe, and he partners up with all these superheroes to fight the likes of Dr. Stinkyhead, King Evilfatsozon, and Vampire Man Baby Kid. The kicker is that it all comes from the head of a 5-year-old Malachai Nicolle and drawn by his 29-year old-brother Ethan.
This comic is just pure fun. Axe Cop runs into wish-granting unicorn-babies, robot zombie worlds, and rides a rocket-powered dinosaur dragon named Wexter (who has guns for arms). Best of all, he defeats bad guys with his axe. Although this is all springing from the mind of a small child, parents groups would be outraged if something like this ever made it to television. The main character is literally an axe-wielding maniac. He uses violence to solve his problems, not words. His all-birthday cake diet sets a terrible example of healthy eating habits. Worst of all, he only has one girl on his team. Talk about gender stereotyping!
As long as I could remember, adults were always trying to impose their insecurities on kids’ playtime. I can distinctly remember as an eight year old finding out what the words “violence” and “influence” meant from a TV Guide column. GI Joe, Transformers and Robotech were supposed to influence me to commit violent acts. Even as a kid I could tell this was pure garbage. It’s a children’s cartoon, not mind control! In fact, I remember many episodes warning against the dangers of mind control.
The problem is we don’t recognize childhood for what it is. We’ve got this idea that childhood is an idyllic paradise free of problems where everyone plays nice and no one calls anyone names. Malachai is a nice, normal 5-year-old boy who did what any 5-year-old boy would do when presented with the opportunity of infinite possibility. He took the most extreme elements he could find in his world and mashed them up into a story that’s entertaining for him and everyone else on the internet. If we really want children grow up to be more creative and think for themselves, we need less social engineering and more Axe Cop!