Slashers.....
You know the genre....
Some masked nut case chases down and creatively murders a group of attractive teenagers with poor decision making skills, who have unleashed the killer's repressed psychosexual anger.

These movies are associated with popcorn fun. They're low brow entertainment to take a hot date too.

But for Cassie Hack, this ain't no popcorn movie.
Cassie, the daughter of the notorious Slasher, the Lunch Lady, travels the world with her monstrous partner, Vlad, hunting and destroying Slashers where ever they may be, whatever form they may take.

HACK/SLASH: SLICE HARD
Writer: Tim Seeley
Art: Nate Bellegarde and Mark Englert
Cover: Stefano Caselli, Crank! and Seeley
Intended Audience: Fans of horror films, Army of Darkness, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Format: 48 pages color comic. Saddle stitched. ONE SHOT; Cover Price $4.95
Synopsis: More Hack/Slash insanity! Cassie and Vlad are completely weaponless and trapped in a medical facility with six of the most outrageous, deadly slashers ever to stalk a nubile teen! One-liners! Lab rabbits! Severed limbs! It's both action and horror movies combined! If you're gonna slash, ya' better Slash Hard!

LIVE FREE OR SLICE HARD: SEELEY TALKS "HACK/SLASH: SLICE HARD"

When you lock two people inside a large building with undead, homicidal maniacs chances are those two people are going to die in a spectacular and gory fashion unless those two people are Cassie Hack and her partner Vlad. Cassie and Vlad have been stalking undead killers or "slashers" for awhile now in the pages of Tim Seeley's horror humor series "Hack/Slash" and in the latest installment, October's "Hack/Slash: Slice Hard," a 48 page special from Devils Due Publishing, the duo find themselves unarmed and up against not one but six slashers. CBR News spoke with Seeley about the story which pokes fun at the conventions of both action and horror films.

"Slice Hard" picks up right after the events of last month's "Slice Hard Pre-Sliced 25 Cent Special" and Seeley is happy to bring readers who might have missed the economy priced issue up to date. "You missed the 25 cent special?! What's wrong with you?! It was only a quarter!" Seeley joked. "I kid. In the 'Slice Hard Prequel,' we saw Cassie and Vlad try to catch a slasher called Acid Angel, but the tables were turned and the duo was lured into a trap and captured by a mysterious organization. Cliffhanger-larity ensured."

The mysterious organization captured Cassie and Vlad by tasering them into unconsciousness and when the two awake they find they are the prisoners of this sinister and shadowy group. "'Slice Hard' finds Cas and Vlad waking up in a pharmaceutical company called Ceutotech, a giant corporation that's doing nefarious experiments with slashers....." Seeley told CBR News.

The Ceutotech employee who caught Cassie and Vlad in the "Slice Hard Prequel" won't be appearing in "Slice Hard," but readers shouldn't think that Cassie will forget about him. "He's a mercenary that works for Ceutotech," Seeley explained. "He doesn't show up in 'Slice Hard,' but I have plans for a confrontation with him down the line."

The promotional art for "Slice Hard" showed two of the six slashers that Cassie and Vlad will have confrontations with in the special. If these two slashers seem familiar to long time "Hack/Slash" readers, well, they should be. "Two of the slashers in this one first appeared in 'Euthanized' [The first Hack/Slash special] in a panel where Cassie explains slashers," Seeley said. "The tic tac toe guy is called XO. The other one from that scene is Mortimer Strick the rodeo clown."

Readers can expect Cassie and Vlad's confrontations with XO, Mortimer Strick and the other slashers to end with scenes of spectacular and often twisted, wacky carnage. "I really pushed it in this one," Seeley said. "Basically, I had to combine the 'action movie death' with the 'slasher movie death' which makes for some hilariously twisted stuff. This one is definitely the most over- the-top 'Hack/Slash' I've done. With six slashers instead of one, I kinda had to make it that way."

"Slice Hard" won't be just over the top humor and violence. In each issue of "Hack/Slash," Seeley provides a fun, twisted and amusing tale chock full of boobs and blood letting, but he also uses each issue to further develop his two protagonists and provide insights into their pasts . "I can't do a Hack/Slash story without any relevance, and in this one, you'll see some of Cassie's past explored," Seeley explained. "Vlad basically acts as the John McClane of this one, so there wasn't much time for flashbacks with him. Haha."

It won't be just Cassie's past that readers will learn about in "Slice Hard." Since the plot of the issue involves a corporation studying slashers, readers can expect some glimpses into the phenomenon behind the creation of a slasher. "Bits of the slasher back story are revealed here - there's more to it than random resurrections of bad dudes," Seeley stated. "Ceutotech will play a part in the future as we'll see that you can't have unstoppable killing machines running around without people taking notice and trying to exploit that."

Another detail that Seeley plans to further develop in "Slice Hard" and future stories is Cassie and Vlad's growing celebrity status among certain circles of society. "I want to play up the 'underground fame' or 'urban legend' status that Cas and Vlad are getting," Seeley said. "People are forming web groups and writing blogs about their experiences. Cassie, Vlad and the slasher phenomenon are finding a place in 'kook culture' alongside alien abductions and ghost hunting."

To bring to life Cassie and Vlad's latest exploits for the annals of kook culture, Seeley enlisted the art team of Nate Bellegarde and Mark Englert, a team whose work might not be familiar to all "Hack/Slash" fans but should be familiar to fans of Seeley's work at Image Comics. "Nate and Mark did the art on my Image comic, 'Loaded Bible: Jesus vs. Vampires,'" Seeley said. "I loved how that book turned out. Nate and Mark together make this really amazing, energetic artwork. I figured that would be perfect for 'Slice Hard,' and I think I was right. It's looking awesome...even better than the stuff they did on 'Bible.'"

Nate Bellegarde will most likely also illustrate the next installment of "Hack/Slash," which is currently in the planning stages. This story will catapult Cassie and Vlad into the big leagues and pit them against a well know adversary. "The next one-shot will star an actual famous film slasher," Seeley said. "I can't say who yet, but the guy has a bunch of movies under his belt, and a huge body count. I'm psyched for that one...I'm using that to get Nate to draw 'Slice Hard' faster, since he'll be perfect for drawing this one."

Cassie's next exploit is against a fiend with a film franchise and someday soon the slasher hunter may have a film franchise of her own because the "Hack/Slash" film is currently in development. Seeley had good news about the film for fans. "The movie is chugging along, and everything I've seen looks awesome," He said. "'More blood, more boobs' is the edict. And, I want to thank all the Hack/Slash readers, who recommend it to their friends or review it online. Our numbers are growing, and it's all because of readers like that!"

SOURCE: CBR

TIM SEELEY ON HACK/SLASH: SLICE HARD

Appropriately enough, this month sees the return of Cassie Hack and Vlad, more fondly known to their fans as Hack/Slash, the hunters of slashers.

Created by Tim Seeley, this month's 48 page one shot, Hack/Slash: Slice Hard will be the seventh outing for the property which debuted in 2004; written by Seeley with art by Nate Bellegarde and Mark Englert.

As always, the premise remains confounding simple - Cassie Hack was a mousy girl who came a hair's breath away from being a victim of a maniacal slasher, only to come out of her shell, team with the hulking Vlad, and hunt slashers and other crazed killers. Yeah - it's a kind of low-hanging fruit in regards to a plot, and Seeley was the one who saw it on the tree, and grabbed it.

Did we mention there's a movie in the works? Such is the ease with which the concept can be translated across mediums.

We caught up with the ever goofy Seeley to talk about Slice Hard, the property in general, and what else he has on his plate.

Newsarama Note: The images contain in the article are a smidge not worksafe, and not all ages-friendly.

Newsarama: So - for this particular episode, what brought you back? Are you still working off a grand plan for H/S that you set up early on, are you taking them as they come to you now?

Tim Seeley: This one is still part of the "grand plan" or "season one". Basically, I worked out an entire arc of the series when I first pitched it. This is actually one of the last in that arc, so I better start coming up with some frickin' ideas for "Season 2" really damn soon!

NRAMA: In that vein, what does inspire you when it comes to writing more Hack/Slash?

TS: Every time I watch a good-bad horror movie I get inspired to make more Hack/Slash. Or even a bad-bad horror movie. Sometimes even a good one will do it. Also, when I crack out a Hack/Slash script I get a big fat check that allows me to buy at least one season of Sledge Hammer on DVD.

Heh, actually, I really do love the characters, so it's really my own selfish desire to read more about them that gets me to the computer and typing away.

NRAMA: That said, do you have boundaries? That is, a place that you operate within that you're not going it step out of with Hack/Slash? Is there a certain level of "reality" for lack of a better word, that you want to keep in the stories to keep them "grounded?"

TS: Actually, I try pretty hard to keep reality out of Hack/Slash. Real serial killers are just not terribly fun. They don't have stupid costumes or gimmicky weapons. So, my boundary for Hack/Slash is that it exists within the world of "slasher movies" where serial killers are a combination of zombies, super villains and Mexican wrestlers.

NRAMA: But within that realm that you've established for yourself - are there avenues you won't go down, even within the horror genre?

TS: Yeah, I do have certain limits as to what I'll put in the book…I think involving any other supernatural creatures like vampires or werewolves would make the book too "Buffy", and I have to fight myself every month not to put a giant transforming robot in here.

NRAMA: That's probably a good thing. Larger-concept wise, do you find that people hate you because you took such a simple concept that was sitting there in front of all of us, and ran with it?

TS: [laughs] Yeah, every once in while I get "Man, I should travel back and time and kill you, so I can thin of this idea first!". But, I'm still dealing with my own rage at Steve Niles for coming up with 30 Days of Night, so I'm sympathetic.

NRAMA: Back to where we were going earlier, what elements have to be in a Hack/Slash story to make it feel like a Hack/Slash story? What elements, if we ever see them in a story will make us think, "Wow - Seeley's lost it. He's really lost it."?

TS: Well, if you ever see an issue where I have a half tyrannosaurus, half Ann Coulter beast eating people, I've proba-Wait, Is it just me or is that actually an awesome idea? But, I think the key things I have to throw in there are boobs and boobs. Okay, boobs, a hearty dose of odd humor, creative death scenes and good Cassie and Vlad character moments. Did I mention boobs?

NRAMA: Once or twice. So - Slice Hard - set it up for us. As people who caught the 25-cent special already know (and those who didn't can read it here), this gets rolling when Cassie and Vlad are lured into a trap and caught. Aaaaand?

TS: And, they wake up in a top secret facility, where the goons involved have decided to capture 6 slashers as research. This of course leads to an all out slasher escape and mucho deatho. And then there's so much carnage, blood, joke and lab rabbits…oh be still my heart!!!

NRAMA: So who's the bad guy here?

TS: A certain evil teddy bear that readers of Land of Lost Toys will recognize…hell hath no furry like a pissed off Teddy Ruxpin. Throw in 6 other slashers and you've got a par-tay which any horror fan worth his/her salt will wanna attend.

NRAMA: From what we've seen in the Slice Hard preview - there are people who know about Cassie and Vlad. What radars do they pop up on? Who knows they're out there, doing what they're doing?

TS: In this case, they're known to a cosmetics corporation that's been doing it's homework. But, Cass and Vlad are known in certain circles in their world, and within our own world, my parents and my girlfriend have heard of them.

NRAMA: Congratulations.

TS: Thank you.

NRAMA: What's the endgame for Cassie and Vlad? I guess that's twofold - is their story a closed one to you? Do you know their ending, and moreover, do they have an ending, as characters, that is, once they accomplish "x", they're done?

TS: I do have an "ending" in mind, but my plan is to never get to it, and milk readers for money over the next thirty years. MWAHAHAHAAH!! Heh, okay, sincerely, I have an "x" in mind, but my hope is to tell stories about the characters as long as I can. The comic industry needs books like this damn it! And, I'm just really lucky to have a great readership that make their concerns and affections for the characters known. They tell their friends, and every issue of Hack/Slash sells a little better than the last. So, I'm going to ride this wave as long as I can do a book that keeps those people and myself pleased.

NRAMA: In terms of other Hack/Slash news - how're the movie plans coming along?

TS: The movie chugs right along! Hollywood stuff movies a little slower than comic stuff, so I have to just contain my excitement and not blow my load within two minutes. You can only blame it on tight briefs for so long, y'know?

NRAMA: How connected with it are you these days?

TS: I talk to director Todd Lincoln pretty often...more than my own mother. I have read a script, and it did rock my world. Todd is nice enough to still ask for my advice, and he lets me pretend I'm Frank Miller every once in awhile. I send him cds with songs I think should be on the soundtrack. So, you can see that premature is really part of my overall character.

NRAMA: Skipping that last bit, and looking to the rest of your workload - what else have you got in the works?

TS: So much. Loaded Bible 2: Blood of Christ is out in January with art by Mike Norton and Mark Englert. I'm also working on a new G.I.Joe vs. Transformers series which will allow me to use some of my favoritest aspects of those two franchises. I'm drawing some G.I.Joe, and getting ready to draw Demonwars with R.A. Salvatore, and I'm prepping the next Hack/Slash book, which is a crossover I assure you will be better than Civil War and Infinite Crisis combined.

SOURCE: Newsarama

Hack/Slash Slice Hard REVIEW

Tim Seely returns to his cult hit with Hack/Slash Slice Hard, a one shot that has Cassie Hack and her compatriot Vlad falling into the hands of a covert agency that are collecting the slashers that Cassie herself has been axing. It's a somewhat entertaining concept but it feels a tad cookie cutter in appearance. And while the staple sarcasm, wit and sadistic charm that come with the book are all still there, the fact that the story is so predictable is disappointing. What's worse though, is the amateurish art that it's paired with. All in all, Hack/Slash: Slice Hard is something that people who are already fans of the series might enjoy. If you've never happened upon the story, check out the Hack/Slash: First Cut trade and see the fun you've missed out on.

Comicpants

 

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