Ah summer time, when millions of people head to the cinema to gorge themselves on popcorn and take in the thrills of the latest big budget action blockbuster or the chills of the latest horror movie. This summer, Tim Seeley is helping people beat the lines and stay home by offering up the four color equivalent of a Summer thrill ride in the latest installment of his horror/humor series "Hack/Slash: Slice Hard" from Devil's Due Publishing. CBR News spoke with Seeley about "Slice Hard," in which he provides the usual helpings of blood and belly laughs but amps up the action by pitting slasher hunters Cassie Hack and Vlad against a number of undead serial killers. Seeley also provided us with the latest scoop on the currently in development feature film version of "Hack/Slash."
"Slice Hard" is a story that Seeley has wanted to tell for some time. "'Slice Hard' is actually older than 'Hack/Slash' itself!" Seeley told CBR News. "Back in college I wrote a comic that I never drew called 'Die, Supervillain, Die' which was basically the film 'Die Hard' with super bad guys. As soon as I started doing H/S I knew I was going to work that story into 'Hack/Slash.' It took me a bit to get to it, but I done it! I loved
'Diehard' as a kid, and I've always wanted to do the 'underdog hero trapped with the baddies' riff."
The fun begins in July, when readers get to learn how Cassie and Vlad get trapped with the bad guys in the pages of the
"Hack/Slash: Slice Hard 25-Cent Special." For just a quarter, readers get an introduction to Cassie and Vlad and their previous adventures, a brand new five page story which sets the stage for August's "Slice Hard" and a sneak peak at some of the art for 48 page one-shot. "With the movie looking to be a reality, we really wanted to capitalize on it and introduce the comic to new readers," Seeley explained. "For whatever reason, people get more excited about a comic if it's going to have a film. So, this story is a short, breezy intro to the characters that sets readers up for the insanity that is 'Slice Hard.'"
The short story in the "25-Cent Special" begins not too long after Cassie and Vlad's last adventure in the "Land of Lost Toys" three issue mini-series. "Very little time has passed...maybe a week or so," Seeley stated. "In fact, a character from 'LoLT' is a major player in 'Slice Hard.' At this point, Cass and Vlad are heading west, through Minnesota and tracking Acid Angel. After 'LoLT' we see them sort of reinvigorated, ready to whup some ass. They're in the mood to tackle a very 'solid' threat after battling the dream-killer, Ashley in 'LoLT.'"
Acid Angel, the solid threat that Cass and Vlad are pursuing is a little different than the previous slashers they've clashed with. "I really wanted to do a 'sexy slasher,' since up to this point, they've all been freaky monsters," Seeley explained. "Angel is this Goth-y club girl that likes to bathe her dates in hydrochloric acid -- a real romantic gal."
In a rare move, Seeley who is often not comfortable drawing the exploits of his two characters, will not only write but also illustrate the short tale of Cassie and Vlad's pursuit of the chemically creative slasher, Acid Angel. "This one was a breeze, actually," Seeley said. "I knew what I wanted, and felt pretty good drawing those two bastards. It helped knowing Katie [colorist Katie de Sousa] was going to color over my pencils and really make it shine."
The story in the "Slice Hard 25-Cent Special" will end with a cliff hanger that leads into the "Slice Hard" 48-page one shot that hits stores in August. "What kinda 25 cent special would it be if it didn't leave ya wanting more?" Seeley asked. "'Slice Hard' takes place in a giant medical facility, where some foolhardy scientists are trying to use slashers to create new kinds of pharmaceuticals. I mean, these guys can get knocked down, and get up again...and, in a culture obsessed with youth and virility, that could be worth some serious cash. Of course, things go awry, and it's Cassie and Vlad versus six of the most twisted killers I could think of."
The six twisted killers that Cassie and Vlad tangle with are a combination of new and familiar faces. "There's six slashers in this one, two of which readers have seen before, and 4 brand new ones," Seeley said. "Cass and Vlad are trapped without weapons, so they're going to have to use their wits to take down these crazy killers."
Some past installments of Hack/Slash like "The Final Revenge of Evil Ernie" were a little more serious in tone, but Cassie and Vlad's duel with the crazy killers of "Slice Hard" will include an equal amount of guffaws and gore. "The interaction between the slashers is pretty comical (well, to me anyway), and there'll be a cubic shitload of one-liners in this thing. It's combining the best of the slasher genre with big action films -- I gotta have lotsa one-liners."
The art team in charge of bringing to life the four-color genre Recees Cup that is "Slice Hard" will be the art team behind another Seeley penned comic, "Loaded Bible." "I was so happy with 'Loaded Bible' that I grabbed Nate Bellegarde and Mark Englert to do 'Slice Hard' as well," Seeley stated.
Seeley is kicking around a few possible ideas for where Cassie Hack and Vlad are headed after "Slice Hard." "At this point, I have three directions I can go in, depending on response to this, and a few other factors like 'will these people let me use their big famous movie slasher or no?' But, I've got ideas, damn it...so it'll be something!"
One idea that is slowly turning into something, quite possibly a big something is the "Hack/Slash" feature film. "It's going pretty well," Seeley said. "I don't have a lot of points of reference since I've never had a movie made of one of my comics before, but I talk to Todd (the director) on a regular basis, and I love the treatment that he and Martin have written. Rogue liked it, too, so I think we're rollin' right along. They're at the point where they're tossing names around for actresses, which is weird for me. I dunno. I'm just trying to maintain my 'realistically excited' attitude and not squeal like a six year old girl much."