After a rocky few years under the Devil’s Due banner, 2010 proved to be a new day for popular independent horror comic series Hack/Slash.Last week saw the conclusion of the title’s first four-issue miniseries Hack/Slash: My First Maniac at new publisher Image, with creator & writer Tim Seeley profiling series star Cassie Hack’s first run-in with a mass murderer. With that series in the can and a collected edition on the way, Seeley has a bright future planned for Cassie and Vlad.
In October, Image will release Hack/Slash Annual 2010: Murder Messiah. While My First Maniac was a “Year One” style flashback for Cassie, this annual will connect the dots from the final issue of the Hack/Slash issues at Devil’s Due with the upcoming ongoing series scheduled for launch in January. In this October one-shot, Cassie’s biggest fan takes his fandom one step too far by going on a killing spree to clean up Cassie’s loose ends. Following that in November is a second installment of Hack/Slash: Trailers, an anthology with friends of the book such as Gail Simone, B. Clay Moore, Scott Allie and others unite to tell stories of Cassie, Vlad and the other notable murderers—both good and evil—from the series.
With all that’s going on in this series and Seeley’s own career spinning up with work at Marvel and DC, Newsarama caught up with the prolific writer and artist to talk about his creator-owned sensation and what’s next for the book.Newsarama: Tim, you recently concluded the first Hack/Slash series at Image, Hack/Slash: My First Maniac, with a collected edition coming at the tail end of this year and two one-shots on the way as well. First of all, what’s it like now that you’ve settled into publishing with Image?
Tim Seeley: It’s been as I expected I think: exciting, exhilarating, terrifying, etc. Image has been great to us, and I think we make a good fit.
Nrama: The next big project on the horizon for Hack/Slash is the 2010 Annual, “Murder Messiah”. What can you tell us about that?
Seeley: When we were at DDP, I had written issues 33 and 34 to be these big game changing issues, where we learned one of the big secrets of the Hack/Slash universe. And then, DDP decided they couldn’t publish those issues, so I had to figure out how to get that story to readers. It wasn’t a good start for an ongoing, but it makes a pretty solid one-shot annual now.
Nrama: Can you tell us about the story in the Hack/Slash 2010 Annual?
Seeley: The story follows two different timelines, one on the present, and one in the future, and both relate to each other, AND this concept of "Murder Messiah." It has a lot to do with the "good" slasher Samhain, and a new character that's one my favorite bad guys I’ve ever written.
Nrama: Another interesting project you have is Hack/Slash: Trailers, an anthology of shorts with your friends doing stories in the Hack/Slash universe. What can you tell us about the stories in this upcoming volume?
Seeley: Well, the best thing about it is, that I don’t know much about the stories! The book was set up by friends of mine to help me pay for the debt left over from DDP. So, the creators involved were pretty much allowed to do any kind of Hack/Slash story they wanted, and it’ll be a treat for me and the readers.
Nrama: What’s it like to have this camaraderie with other creators who’ll chip in with you on this for this unique project?
Seeley: Well, it's one of those thing you can do in independent, creator owned books. Most of us who work in these kind of books, know each other, and have beers together, and they're the kind of great people who want to help others.
Nrama: Are there any limits to what they can – or can’t – do with your characters?
Seeley: I KNOW my rules...but the readers don't know my rules. Hopefully that'll keep it interesting.
Nrama: In that first Image series, Hack/Slash: My First Maniac you go into the first murderer Cassie went after – something people have been wondering about for awhile; a real “year one” kind of story. But there’s still some other open questions, like mine about Vlad’s past. Any chance we’ll be looking into that at some point?
Seeley: I think there’s a damn good chance we’ll see Vlad’s “My First Maniac” story. In fact, we’ll see it in January, and it’s called Hack/Slash: Me Without You by the same creative team as My First Maniac.
Nrama: I found a news snippet that you’re working with a company called HALO 8 on an illustrated film based on Hack/Slash: My First Maniac. Can you tell us about that, and what exactly an “illustrated film” Is? Is it a cartoon?
Seeley: It’s similar to a “motion comic” I guess. A good sample of it is HALO8’s Godkiller film which is an amazing looking movie. The Hack/Slash: My First Maniac illustrated film will be a double feature with another story of mine, Loaded Bible.
Nrama: With everything going on in Hack/Slash, I’d guess you’re a big fan of Halloween. Can you tell us if you are, and if so, what you have planned this year?
Seeley: I’m actually gonna spend it in Detroit for Detroit Fanfare. But, I’ll be in Detroit for Devil’s Night, so I’ll be able to relive my teenage Crow movie fantasies.
Nrama: Cassie Hack vs. The Crow? Hmmm…
Moving on… there’s also been a petition started to get Allison Scagliotti, actress from SyFy’s Warehouse 13 to play Cassie Beck in a live-action movie. What do you say about this?
Seeley: I say the people signing that petition likely have pretty good taste. I love Allison on Warehouse 13, and I’ve gotten to talk to her a bit via this whole Cassie-casting petition. She’s even writing the intro to the collected edition of Hack/Slash: My First Maniac. And, though I try not to give my opinion on casting, I do think she’s pretty awesome in general.
Nrama: Since your mind is thin king about casting, who would you want to see play Vlad?
Seeley: That’s always a tough one… Now that we’re at Image, I think Erik Larsen is tall enough and bald enough to do it. Yeah..wow..slap a gas mask on Erik Larsen!
Nrama: Sold!Excited for more Hack/Slash?