For almost a decade comic fans have been treated to the continuing adventures of Cassie Hack and her slasher friend Vlad as they ran rampant through every horror trope and b-movie cliché you could find. Well now Hack/Slash, created by Tim Seeley and Stefano Caselli, has come to an end and I had a chance to chat with Seeley about the ending, the ten year run and the current crossover with Army of Darkness.
BLEEDING COOL: In March of this year we saw the final issue of Hack/Slash hit the stands and most reviews put it as a fitting conclusion to a very popular series. Now that you are a few months past it, how does it feel to end a series that has been part of your life for just about a decade?
TIM SEELEY: It felt like a relief, but not so much in the way that I was happy to be done with it, but in the way that I pretty much did what I set out to do with the series. The ending I had in mind from the beginning totally worked out, and I feel like we pretty thoroughly explored every slasher movie and b-horror trope ever. Of course, there’s also a little fear, because for a good part of my career I’ve always been able to says ‘Well, I’ve always got Hack/Slash.” Now I HAVE to make up new shit!
BC: Stories tend to be fluid and at time take on a life of their own. What were some of the surprises that took place in the story that you hadn’t originally intended? Looking back do you feel you’ve told the story you wanted to tell in the beginning? Is there anything you wanted to get to but never did?
SEELEY: Nah, I think we pretty well did all the things I set out with a goal to do. I think the biggest surprises were usually how well the crossover characters ended up fitting into our “universe,” especially Herbert West for out REANIMATOR crossover. There are a few ideas I wanted to get to, but most of them were outside the “slasher” framework, and I usually noticed that the stories the readers liked the least were the ones were I jumped into another genre for a bit. Me, I love bending some genres. My readers? Not as much!
BC: Not many creators get to finish what they started. As you look over the five Hack/Slash Omnibus editions with another one coming I’d assume… and see 1500 pages of your characters… do you feel a sense of accomplishment or does it fire a desire to create more?
SEELEY: Heh, I tend to look at it and think “Well, no matter what happens, I’ll always have this.” Like, I could suddenly be struck by a rock in the head tomorrow and be totally unable to make up shit, and I’d still be able to look at that pile of paper and I say “Well, there’s that.” I can’t rest on my laurels, but if I end up getting hired to write like Spider-Man or Batman and everyone HATES it, I can still say “Hey. 5 fat books of Hack/Slash, baby.”
BC: You are writing a six part Army of Darkness vs Hack/Slash series for Dynamite. It seems a little soon after the finale. Was this always in the plans or is this a case of going back to the girlfriend one last time after the initial break-up?
SEELEY: It was actually part of the plan for a long time. I had talked to Nick and the Dynamite crew about this crossover for a year or so, and Ash/Cassie is definitely the most requested mash up I get from readers. But I wanted to wait, because my idea followed the ending of the regular series. That’s how we were able to set up some little things in the series that act as a little prologue to the AoD x-over.
BC: There are some similarities between Ash and Cassie and how they both became stronger following the horrific events they survived. Do you see them as kindred spirits or will their rather aggressive personalities make them clash?
SEELEY: It’s both! Vlad always acted as a BALANCE to Cassie, but Cassie and Ash just FUEL each other. So, when they’re together, they can fight like a well-oiled machine, but their egos and cynicism makes them argue constantly. Plus, Ash tends to think of himself as a ladies’ man, which Cassie isn’t the least bit interested…well, at least not initially.
BC: Ash Williams is a character, but he may be one of the hardest characters in horror to separate from the person that plays him. To most folks Ash IS Bruce Campbell and all the idiosyncrasies he brings. As a writer, how exactly do you sit down to write Bruce Campbell?
SEELEY: I decided that the only reference I’d use would be the actual AoD film and the comics. I’ve obviously seen every Evil Dead movie a billion times, and I’ve watched every Campbell movie including friggin’ CRIME WAVE. But, all the speech patterns and character stuff I got out of Ash come just from AoD related stuff. That helped to keep me from making it about the actor rather than the character.
SEELEY: Nothing immediately in the pipeline, but I have some ideas. I gotta do some other stuff, but if there’s enough demand, and I’m psyched about my new ideas, I can always come back!
Hack/Slash has been collected in a series of omnibus from Image Comics with five volumes available now. The Army of Darkness Vs Hack/Slash series is going now from Dynamite Entertainment.