EXCLUSIVE: Seeley Takes a "Hatchet" to "Hack/Slash"

The world of horror is no stranger to crossovers. Freddy and Jason have met on screen as have the Aliens and Predators, but these meet-ups have not been confined to the world of movies. In fact, plenty of horror icons have met up with writer/artist Tim Seeley's creations, Cassie Hack and Vlad, in the pages of his various "Hack/Slash" series and one-shots. Characters such as Chucky from the "Child's Play" movies have been put to the test against the slasher killers, but so has Herbert West, the evil scientist behind the "Re-Animator" films. Soon readers will see them take on the greatest horror star of the past decade: Victor Crowley.

If the name doesn't register, you need to do yourself a favor and check out Adam Green's "Hatchet," an instant slasher classic released in 2006. It received a sequel in 2010 and a third film set for release next year. The "Hatchet" series follow the murderous exploits of the seemingly unkillable, deformed powerhouse known as Victor Crowley.

Seeley and Green worked together to come up with a story that fit seamlessly within the continuities of each franchise without getting mired in the details of either. To accomplish that, the story is set in the "Hack/Slash" universe, but also takes place between the second and third "Hatchet" movies. Seeley, who moved "Hack/Slash" to Image Comics earlier this year, then passed the outline to "Guarding the Globe" writer Benito Cereno and newcomer artist Ariel Zucker-Brull who ran with it. The resulting collaboration is "Hack/Slash Annual 2011: Hatchet/Slash," on sale December 7 from Image. CBR News spoke with Seeley about getting the project off the ground, sharing his babies and his initial exposure to "Hatchet."

"I'd seen rumblings about the film on various horror websites, but I think it was the tagline 'Old School American' horror that sold me on needing to see the movie," Seeley told CBR News. "At the time 'Hatchet' came out, we'd had nothing but remakes, and, even worse, Japanese remakes for years. It was refreshing to see someone make, and proudly advertise, something as an authentic slasher film."

After seeing the film, Seeley was excited to meet Green. The pair of horror buffs eventually met up where many creators come face-to-face. "I met Adam at San Diego Comic-Con a couple of years ago, when he hosted a roast of Troma's Lloyd Kaufman that I was on," Seeley said.

"He was a funny, snarky asshole so I liked him right away. We kept in touch a bit through mutual friends and when I had the inspiration to do the crossover, I just emailed Adam directly. He and I hammered out the details, and passed it on to the real talents. Our big proposal involved two emails, and our business meeting involved beers in a little bar in Studio City. I love stuff made and owned by individuals instead of faceless media conglomerates!"

For his own creator-owned endeavors, Seeley took the plans he and Green came up with and passed them to a pair of creators he had been watching for some time.

"I've kept an eye on Benito since the old backups he and Nate Bellegarde did in the back of 'Invincible,'" Seeley said. "I was a big fan of his 'Hector Plasm' book, and I'd hired Nate to do 'Loaded Bible' at one point, which meant, sooner or later, I had to hire Benito too. They're a matched pair. Benito writes one of my favorite comics, 'The Tick,' and does an awesome job. Ariel was an artist who was showing his portfolio to Erik Larsen at NYCC 2010. I was sitting next to Erik and saw his stuff. I kept in touch with him for a few months, always knowing I wanted to use him on something. When it became clear I wouldn't have time to write or draw the annual, I picked Benito and Ariel."

Considering Seeley started off writing and drawing Hack/Slash and eventually moved on to writing it with other artists, he's familiar with the idea of sharing his babies, but that doesn't necessarily make it easy.

"Yeah, for sure [it is]," Seeley said about the difficulty of having other people writing and drawing his characters. "But, I felt like the readers had been asking for an 'old school' Hack/Slash story, and that I had become kind of mired in my own over-aching stories and subplots. I felt like a nice fresh voice coming in without the weight of keeping the ongoing chock full of craziness might be the order of the day. I think it worked well. Readers will get a very easy to access 'Hack/Slash' story as well as a new 'Hatchet' story that work in each property's universe without anything to weight them down."

"Hack/Slash Annual 2011: Hatchet/Slash" is on sale December 7, 2011.

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