Sunday, October 3, 2010

CBR Hack/Slash Omnibus

Since Halloween's coming this month...I'm gonna try having some horror-related stuff for you guys and gals.

Well, there's already my current 3 Splatterhouse reviews (and more coming up!),
but here's a comic now, truly a modern gem that still is sadly so underrated...

Comic title: Hack/Slash Omnibus (Volume 1)
Art by Tim Seeley, Stefano Caselli & various
Story by Tim Seeley

Published by DDP
From 2008 (1st issue released in 2004)
Lineup Hack/Slash
Format: Omnibus collecting the trade paperbacks Hack/Slash Vol. 1: First Cut & Hack/Slash Vol. 2: Death By Sequel (containing Hack/Slash: Euthanized, Hack/Slash: Girls Gone Dead, Hack/Slash: Comic Book Carnage, Hack/Slash Vs. Evil Ernie, Hack/Slash: The Land of Lost Toys #1–3, Hack/Slash: Trailers, Hack/Slash: Slice Hard Prequel and Hack/Slash: Slice Hard) plus Hack/Slash: Slashing Through the Snow and Hack/Slash Vs. Chucky.

Created around 2004, Hack/Slash is an indie comic written (and often drawn by) artist Tim Seeley.
It was published for most of its run done as little one-shots (as you can see from the little list above) at Devil's Due Publishing.

It's a true homage to 80s horror/slasher movies so many of us, 20-somethings, grew up on.
There's many references to the horror genre (and some "variations" of classic slasher monster, since it's difficult to get the rights for so many of these characters) and this comic series plays on the various clichés and rules of the genre.

What is Hack/Slash about?

Slashers, you now have something to fear...!!

Hack/Slash is about a girl named Cassie Hack.

One day Cassie discovers one day supernatural killer exists. Monsters that death itself cannot stop.
They come after people, innocents, guilties, young or old alike. They often come after a certain target and cannot be destroyed or arrested through normal means.
How did she find out about this? Her own mother was one of these "slashers". She tried to kill for Cassie, to help her...
After having to kill her own mother (twice!) Cassie decides to come after these slashers instead of letting them come after her.

On her journey, she mistakes Vlad, a giant disfigured muscular mask-wearing guy, for the "Meatman Killer". But after helping her against the real slasher, they decide to team up together.

The various one-shot stories collected in this omnibus (or the first two paperbacks) shows us their early adventures.
Cassie is still discovering this very strange world. Vlad is still learning how the outside world works, since he passed most of his life in a garbage can.

Cassie Hack is on your tails now and she ain't afraid to kick your asses!

Tim Seeley is both a great artist and a very smart writer.
He crafted over this series a unique world which ties pretty well the various slashers from our past cult horror movies.

There's a big picture-sort of story, tying and explaining all these bizarre monsters coming back to life.

Cassie plays with the stereotypes of the genre.
She knows the slashers come after young girls, most of the times, who aren't respecting rules, law or moral...
They're often people who came back to life for vengeance or because of some anger they had their whole life or need to pursue an unfinished closure they never had the time to get.

On the slashers sides, since getting most copyrights for well-known slashers (Jason Voorhees, Freddy, Candyman, etc..) would have been quite difficult, specially for such an indie comic at DDP, the slashers they meet in the first stories are obviously based on some popular themes and tropes.
There's a Friday The 13th-like masked invicible killer, an unkillable preacher, possessed toys and many more...
Cassie even get an inspired rogue gallery. The Hibachi Devil, Acid Angel, Mortimer Strick, X-O, Waking Man...
There's a great fourth wall-breaking issue taking place at the San Diego Comic Con (with real life authors appearances and a "twin" monster inspired by a cult 80s horror movie).
Even the first crossovers, as soon as Tim Seeley could make those, are collected here! Evil Ernie appear in a very dark gritty story.

Vlad and Cassie hit the road to track down the various appearances of Slashers all over the places.

Over the course of the first bunch of one-shots is established most of the ground of this series!
So be sure to start from the first TPB or this Omnibus!

Along their way, Cassie and Vlad help two other important characters, Chris Krank and Doctor Lisa Elsten surviving their own slashers.
Those two recurring characters will help them on several occasions later on.

There seems to be people studying the Slashers...for real-life applications? Military?

The art is great. For the most part, Tim tries to get indie artists working on the book, so the style may vary from time to time. Sometimes cartoony, other times quite dark.
Always entertaining!
He started the series with his friend Stefano Caselli, an italian artist.
Tim Seeley draw himself a couple of issues.
And there's guest artists on some covers (and pinup pics at the end).

It's a great series that tries to tie in the various horror/slasher movies from the 80s.
It creates its own little imaginative universe and covers a lot of different stories/monsters. (comedy, horror, dream possessing monsters, maniac psychopaths, gimmick-ysh killers...)

Overall, I really dig the series!
Vlad and Cassie are well explored and developed over so few stories, Tim Seeley sure knows his stuff.
I really recommend giving this book a try~
If you like horror stories, slasher flicks, indie comics or just want to read something different from all the usual superhero mainsteam comics.

This omnibus collects more than just the 2 first TPB, it aslo has a previously unpublished one-shot and the Hack/Slash Vs. Chucky issue (that I didn't talk about here since it's also collected in the beginning of the next paperback).

Cassie origins are fully explored here, but it will. The series as an on-going plot behind the "monster of the week" formula.

The series is a great homage to the genre. Even if you're not that familiar or a fan of horror, chances are - it might introduce you to horror/slasher flicks in turn!
There's a great grindhouse-like issue called "Trailers" that proposes various future plots that might/might not happen in the future.
The comic tries many different ideas and direction.

A very fun read :'3

I give it:

  2,5 / 3 ManThings!


  1. No talks about the movie rumours, future plots or the change of publisher in this review!
    For a reason! (huh, future posts simply :P)

  2. It truly is something, if you've got a girl killing off all the fearsome and terrible slashers, as well as emancipating them in the process.

  3. It's a reverse-slasher!
    She track down those monsters and kill them one by one!
    A very fun read~

    Plus, it's nice to help out indie/non-mainstream comics once in a while!
    (though the series was brought by and will be published under Image now)