MTV’s Splash Page names Ectopiary, Axe Cop, and Octopus Pie the best webcomics

As you know, the end of the year means year end lists. Everyone wants to give you their take on the best of 2010. Our latest “Best of 2010” list comes from’s Splash Page, the site’s blog for comic-related news. Rather considerately, they’ve given webcomics three whole categories:

“Ectopiary” by Hans Rickheit

Since Hans Rickheit decided to serialize the follow-up to his 2009 graphic novel “The Squirrel Machine” online last year, the story has been as haunting as anything the Xeric winner has produced before. Up until recently, the tale of a young girl named Dale grappling with the truth behind her isolation from her mother and father has been uncharacteristically realistic, but Rickheit has slowly been building a world of terrifying implications and mysteries outside of his panels while drawing one of the most gorgeous webcomics out there.
– Brian Warmoth

“Axe Cop” by Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle

A true testament to the unconstrained creativity made possible by the minimal publishing barriers in webcomics, “Axe Cop” became a transcendent success in 2010, crossing over with “The Adventures of Dr. McNinja” and eventually snagging a publishing deal with Dark Horse. The concept dreamed up by a 5-year-old and drawn into life by a 29-year-old is so simple but so gobsmackingly hilarious and outrageous with its sudden twists and turns that it deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as “The Tick” and “Flaming Carrot Comics.”
– BW

“Octopus Pie: There Are No Stars In Brooklyn” by Meredith Gran (Villard Books)

Collecting the first two years of Gran’s popular webcomic about Brooklyn-dwelling roommates Eve and Hanna, “There Are No Stars In Brooklyn” not only looks great in print form, but the format offers a fresh take on the series’ continuity — specifically, how all of the serialized stories gel together into a single, fascinating story of life in New York City. With its distinctive green-hued pages and themed chapters that provide context for each story arc, the book is a great example of what the best webcomic collections strive to present: it offers a unique way of looking at the series that will appeal to new readers and longtime fans alike.
– RM


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on December 20, 2010, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I might be just a plain old hater… But I just don’t get the appeal of “Axe Cop”.

    I didn’t really find any of them to be all that funny. If you took the webcomic on it’s own without knowing any of the backstory… I doubt it’s popularity would be as high as it is.

    But people always mention “And it’s written by a 5 year old!” as if that’s the draw. It’s a gimmick and it’s worked so far, so more power to them. I’m just not sure of it’s long lasting appeal.

    I’m sure I’ll get blasted by a few defenders of “Axe Cop”, and that’s fine.But you still won’t convince me to like it even if you call me mean names. 🙂

  2. Axe Cop isn’t THAT bad. It’s silly and fun – but it does get old and tired quick. I’m not sure how much more Ethan can squeeze out of his little brother before he gets bored and doesn’t want to do it anymore. I suspect next year we’ll probably see a dramatic decrease in the number of Axe Cop related stories as Malachai grows up and matures.

    I think it’s deserving of best NEW title, since it’s pretty innovative. I think we’re just a little tired of it because Axe Cop was officially launched around this time last year, and we’ve had a full year of updates to look at and its sort of OLD news to us now.

    Ecopiary is a great choice, and you definitely can’t go wrong with Octopus Pie. 2 out of three aint bad.

    • I agree with the criticisms on Axe Cop. I think the comic’s run its course and probably should have wrapped up six months ago.

      I think also naming it the Best New Webcomic was well deserved. Axe Cop managed to reach mainstream readers who wouldn’t typically have read webcomics. While the “5-year-old kid writing a comic” thing does sound gimmicky, it really is something we haven’t seen in any other medium. It does do its job in transporting us to the days when our imaginations would run wild and were crazier and more violent than we’d like to admit. Plus, Ethan Nicole’s artwork really is quite good… much better than what you see from most webcomic creators.

  3. I’m surprised that the best webcomic only has 54 pages. It’s not bad so far, but. A little short. And not really a lot to judge by. Weird award is weird.

    • I think the award is somewhat pre-emptive, given by someone who’s familiar with his past work. I read his (print) graphic novel, The Squirrel Machine, earlier this year, and while I would highly recommend it (to anyone who likes surreal stuff anyway), Ectopiary appears to be gearing up to be better than it was.

      Incidentally, another good online graphic novel, which I just finished reading, is Troop 142, about a week at a boy scout camp. It is vicious.

  4. Merry Chrismas right back at you man.

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