cover image Hack/Slash: First Cut

Hack/Slash: First Cut

Tim Seeley, . . Devil's Due, $14.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-1-932796-42-1

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 question is whether writers and artists in a book like this can get past awareness that they're essentially doing a variation on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and go on to do fresh, original work. Based on the amount of development shown here, the answer is a firm, confident maybe. (Nov.)