HACK/SLASH TPB VOL I FIRST CUT
Writer: Tim Seeley
Art: Stefano Casellia and Federica Manfredi
Cover:
Intended Audience: Fans of horror films, Army of Darkness, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Format: 160 pages color comic. Cover Price $14.95
Synopsis: In every slasher movie, there's one girl who makes it all the way to the end. She's the survivor...the last girl. Meet Cassie Hack, the lone survivor of an attack by a vicious slasher called The Lunch Lady. Now Cassie, along with her monstrous partner, Vlad, travel the country, hunting down other slashers before they can leave a trail of blood and terror.

This collection includes the critically acclaimed one-shots Euthanized, Girls Gone Dead, and Comic Book Carnage. It also includes never-before-seen production art, sketches, and pin ups, as well as a new short story, Slashing Through the Snow. Also included is an introduction by award winning author, Craig Thompson (Blankets).

Slashers are "Bad" because they're icky grotesques who hate people, especially horny teenagers, and like to butcher them. On the other hand, cute goth Cassie Hack and her huge, deformed partner, Vlad, must be "Good" because they go around the country killing slashers in various messy ways. Cassie, last survivor of the Lunch Lady killings, is aware enough of genre conventions to make sarcastic comments as she does her thing, but action is pretty standard. Seeley's scripts are efficient enough, and Caselli and Manfredi's dark, dark art gets the job done. In "Comic Book Carnage," set at a commercial comics convention, Cassie and Vlad really do get involved with their surroundings; for the first time, the supporting characters become slightly more than slasher-movie stereotypes, so that it matters somewhat whether they live or die.


The sales of the first "Hack/Slash" trade paperback, "Hack/Slash: First Cut" will also help determine whether the next "Hack/Slash" story is a one-shot or a mini-series. "First Cut" collects the first three "Hack/Slash" one shots: "Euthanized", "Girls Gone Dead" and "Comic Book Carnage". It also includes a new "Hack/Slash short story, "Slashing Through the Snow," written by Seeley. "It's not necessarily a comic book. It's like a children's book story," Seeley explained. "It's about 6 pages long. It's got little spot illustrations by my brother and our editor Mike O'Sullivan. The illustrations are done in the style of a children's book. They're watercolor and everything. It's just kind of a fun experimental thing.

"Seasonal slashers are kind of sub-genre of slashers. You got your 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' and all that stuff. This is kind of on that except it's done in the style of a kid's Christmas book. It will be sort of a nice in between story. Something I couldn't have done in the regular book but I can do in a special volume like this."

"Hack/Slash: First Cut" also includes an intro by the writer of the highly acclaimed comic series "Blankets", Craig Thompson. "He and I actually grew up in the same town," Seeley explained. "So I've known him since we were in high school. So that was just a weird coincidence. He ended up being this really well known and critically acclaimed cartoonist and I do slasher books with boobies. It's a nice little parallel. Yeah we came from the same town and I'm a hack and he's a genius but hey I got him to write the intro for me. It's a pretty funny intro. I think people will enjoy it."

SOURCE


REVIEW by Curledup

She’s dark and enigmatic, but that doesn’t mean Cassie Hack is a goth chick or some artist lost in the depths of her own madness. The young Hack has a very successful (albeit non-paying) career as a slasher-hunter. You know, all those dang pesky slashers who die some strange death and come back to kill everyone for the fun of it? Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and that whole lot? Hack hunts them down and puts them to their final death. Granted, she didn’t aspire to this career as a girl, it just kind of fell into her lap when she had to take out her mother, the dreaded Lunch Lady, who was serving up students in the sloppy joe.

With no family to speak of, Hack took to the road to do away with other vicious killers. Along the way, she befriended the benevolent and disfigured Vlad, and together they continue to hunt the numerous slashers wreaking havoc upon the world, particularly morally-declined teens.

In this first volume, Hack and Vlad take down three slashers in total. Each story delivers a good evolution of plot while at the same time filling in the history of our heroes. As a series based off a sub-genre of horror movies, often plots will have identifiable sources to compare and contrast. In the first story arc, when dead animals start attacking humans, readers prolific in the slasher and/or horror genre might cite Pet Sematary as a potential source of inspiration. The next story arc, “Girls Gone Dead,” pokes fun at the “Girls Gone Wild” series by releasing a slasher at a promotional party in Panama City Beach. Of course, the third story arc, “Comic Book Carnage,” becomes supremely surreal by bringing Hack and Vlad to a Whizzer World Comic Book Convention in Pennsylvania. While attending and doing “research”, Hack meets comic book genius Steven Niles (an actual comic book writer). Niles, with three friends, is starting a new company, and apparently a slasher seems very upset with the idea. As each one is killed, Hack must figure out how to find a freak at a place where freaks are commonplace.

Hack Slash has some great substance and entertainment to it. The concept (hunting the hunters) seems to be a common theme of late in pop culture. Suspect Zero and Darkly Dreaming Dexter are two recent takes on this theme. But Hack Slash manages to both use and mock the style and coding of the slasher film, including an excess of scantily clad women and a predilection to killing the morally-challenged. The chemistry between Hack and Vlad works as they slowly get to know and depend on each other.

Of course, the extras to this graphic novel make it that much more appealing. From an introduction from award-winning graphic novelist Craig Thompson to the morbidly funny “Slashing Through the Snow” (a bloody take on ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas), the extras provide great entertainment and additional understanding to the series as well as a look into the deranged minds of the authors. Villain biographies that include a body count and weapon of choice bring laughs and appreciation to the graphic novel, while a gallery, sketchbook, interview, and author bios also add depth.

Moderately retailing just under fifteen dollars, this graphic novel proves worth the investment. With an enjoyable storyline, great action, and snappy dialogue, the authors manage to provide everything one could ask for in a graphic novel—or a slasher film.

SOURCE


AMAZON reviews

With a genuine appreciation of slasher films of the 1980's comes Hack Slash: The First Cut from Devil's Due Publishing. Filled with all of the great clichs of those camp classics, Hack Slash is a fitting tribute to this favorite horror genre. Collected here are the stories of "slasher hunter" Cassie Hack, herself the daughter of a slasher known as "The Lunch Lady", who spends her days hunting down these serial killers accompanied by her hulking, misshapen partner Vlad. The book is filled with equal parts horror and humor as the pair hunt down a trio of gruesome killers. While the book may appear from the cover to just be another "scantily clad hot chick kicking butt" it's not...well it is, but it's not.

Writer Tim Seeley's irreverent tone keeps the stories moving at breakneck speed. In the first tale, Cassie and Vlad journey to a town where a mysterious figure is using undead animals to attack the locals. We soon find out that the figure is, or was, Bobby Brunswick, a mentally retarded employee at a vet's office that was the source of bullying by other locals until a prank went horribly wrong. Now Bobby is back from the grave with a legion of euthanized pets all ready to do his bidding and help him get revenge.

In the second tale, a goody-two shoes college girl whose boyfriend had an affair with another girl over spring break has used a dark book of magic to gain control over a true fire and brimstone, not to mention dead, man of the cloth to carry out her vendetta against the tramps and trollops of spring break. The third tale takes Cassie and Vlad to the "Whizzer World Philadelphia" convention where a serial killer is stalking comic creators Steve Niles, Skottie Young and model/artist Messy Stench. With a few well placed barbs at Wizard Magazine...and their show employees, this story dredges up the most loathsome serial killer yet. And yes...Steve Niles dies!!! Violent, but amusingly so.

Hack Slash was a truly a treat to read. It's not too often you find a graphic novel that is just plain fun to read these days. Any fan of slasher films will certainly enjoy the book. The art by Stefano Caselli and Federica Manfredi is very good without trying to go over the top. The book features an excellent pin-up gallery as well.

Reviewed by Tim Janson

Alright, the book description and tagline on the cover "The slasher victim slashes back!" sums it up pretty well, so I'll offer some helpful details if you're still on the fence as to wether this is for you.

First off, the artwork is very high quality. One team illustrated the first story, while another team illustrated the remaining two stories. The style in the first story is dark and sketchy, with a painted look to it. The other two stories share a crisp, animated television show look to them. So both styles are different, but very good. The artists and colorists have really captured the expressiveness of the characters, the proper mood for various scenes, and the right amount of bloody gore.

Not only are the visuals fun, but the writing is good, too. Yes, it's B-movie horror stuff, but it's really good B-movie horror stuff. The origins of the monsters are creative, the dialogue is funny and inventive, and the characters themselves are actually interesting, especially the main character Cassie Hack. She could have easily been a one-note character, but instead has a surprising amount of depth to her. Yes, she can be a kick-ass, sarcastic killing machine, but she also has her moments of doubt, fear, and even embarrassment. She even opens up a couple of times to her friend Vlad about why she does what she does. So these two characters, who I thought would be simple and generic, end up being surprisingly likeable and easy to relate to.

So the artwork and writing are fun, so what about everything else not mentioned? Like what ages could this be for? There is violence and cursing, but no graphic nudity or sex, so it's somewhere between the PG-13 and R-rated areas of entertainment. In other words, it'd be fine for teenagers, but not kids, in my opinion. Then there are the bonus materials. The art gallery and sketches are a nice bonus, plus pictures & info of the play that was performed by the Millennium Theatre Company are pretty cool! On a personal note, I love the fact that on the back are pictures of the main creators of the graphic novel. It's nice to see what these talented people look like. Tim Seeley (creator/writer), Stefano Caselli (co-creator/artist), Sunder Raj (colorist), Federica Manfredi (penciler/colorist), and the rest of the team did a really great job, because I really enjoyed reading this.

Reviewed by Edward Vertigo

Source: Amazon


Curled Up reviews

She's dark and enigmatic, but that doesn't mean Cassie Hack is a goth chick or some artist lost in the depths of her own madness. The young Hack has a very successful (albeit non-paying) career as a slasher-hunter. You know, all those dang pesky slashers who die some strange death and come back to kill everyone for the fun of it? Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and that whole lot? Hack hunts them down and puts them to their final death. Granted, she didn't aspire to this career as a girl, it just kind of fell into her lap when she had to take out her mother, the dreaded Lunch Lady, who was serving up students in the sloppy joe.

With no family to speak of, Hack took to the road to do away with other vicious killers. Along the way, she befriended the benevolent and disfigured Vlad, and together they continue to hunt the numerous slashers wreaking havoc upon the world, particularly morally-declined teens.

In this first volume, Hack and Vlad take down three slashers in total. Each story delivers a good evolution of plot while at the same time filling in the history of our heroes. As a series based off a sub-genre of horror movies, often plots will have identifiable sources to compare and contrast. In the first story arc, when dead animals start attacking humans, readers prolific in the slasher and/or horror genre might cite Pet Sematary as a potential source of inspiration. The next story arc, "Girls Gone Dead," pokes fun at the "Girls Gone Wild" series by releasing a slasher at a promotional party in Panama City Beach. Of course, the third story arc, "Comic Book Carnage," becomes supremely surreal by bringing Hack and Vlad to a Whizzer World Comic Book Convention in Pennsylvania. While attending and doing "research", Hack meets comic book genius Steven Niles (an actual comic book writer). Niles, with three friends, is starting a new company, and apparently a slasher seems very upset with the idea. As each one is killed, Hack must figure out how to find a freak at a place where freaks are commonplace.

Hack Slash has some great substance and entertainment to it. The concept (hunting the hunters) seems to be a common theme of late in pop culture. Suspect Zero and Darkly Dreaming Dexter are two recent takes on this theme. But Hack Slash manages to both use and mock the style and coding of the slasher film, including an excess of scantily clad women and a predilection to killing the morally-challenged. The chemistry between Hack and Vlad works as they slowly get to know and depend on each other.

Of course, the extras to this graphic novel make it that much more appealing. From an introduction from award-winning graphic novelist Craig Thompson to the morbidly funny "Slashing Through the Snow" (a bloody take on 'Twas the Night Before Christmas), the extras provide great entertainment and additional understanding to the series as well as a look into the deranged minds of the authors. Villain biographies that include a body count and weapon of choice bring laughs and appreciation to the graphic novel, while a gallery, sketchbook, interview, and author bios also add depth. Moderately retailing just under fifteen dollars, this graphic novel proves worth the investment. With an enjoyable storyline, great action, and snappy dialogue, the authors manage to provide everything one could ask for in a graphic novel—or a slasher film.

CurledUp

 

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