In August's "Hack/Slash" #15, writer Tim Seeley and artist Emily Stone kicked of a three-part storyline which sent their protagonists Cassie Hack and her partner Vlad on a collision course with Dr. Herbert West, the star of the cult favorite "Re-Animator" horror films. Now, this week, "Hack/Slash fans are finally reading issue #16, the next installment in the planned "Re-Animator" crossover with the hit Devil's Due Publishing series.
CBR News spoke with Seeley about the reason behind the delays for issues $16-17 as well the latest developments with the "Hack/Slash" feature film, having his series nominated for a Spike TV Scream Award, and Cassie and Vlad's guest appearances in two other independent comics.
The delays for "Hack/Slash" #16-17 weren't caused by anything on the creative end. Seeley had already completed the scripts, and most of the art was finished as well. "To make a really long story short, having Re-Animator in the book opened me up to a cease and desist from a company who claims they own the right to the name," Seeley told CBR News. "This is the same company who says they licensed their 'Re-Animator' to Dynamite for their 'Army of Darkness' crossover comic. Diamond, who distributes most every comic in the US, won't distribute a comic involved in any legal dispute, and the only way for us to get this other company to drop the case was to sign some documents that we didn't like or trust. so, we decide to self-distribute, and take all the orders ourselves. With any luck we should have issue #16 in stores October 29 with #17 following not too long afterwards."
"Hack/Slash" #16 is in stores now.
The best way for "Hack/Slash" fans to make sure they receive copies of issues #16-17 is to talk to their local comics retailer. "Ask him/her to order it for you, just like usual," Seeley explained. "Your retailer should have the info from DDP about how to order the books from the DDP website,
In "Hack/Slash" #15, Cassie and Vlad continued their quest to find Cassie's long lost father, who unbeknownst to them had entered into a macabre and sinister business deal with Dr. Herbert West. On the final page of the issue, Cassie and her father finally met face to face. Issue #16 picks up immediately where #15 left off. "They flow right into each other, with Cass's dad explaining a lot of the things that readers have been asking about since the beginning!" Seely confirmed.
With issue #18, "Hack/Slash" returns to a normal shipping schedule and will once again be distributed by Diamond. "A whole bunch of threads that probably didn't seem related get woven together in this issue," Seeley said. "Milk and Cheese's guest appearance [in "Hack/Slash" #12], Cassie and Georgia's [Cassie's close friend and potential love interest] 'thing,' and some new characters..."
Milk and Cheese aren't the only indie comics characters Cassie and Vlad are running afoul of these days. The duo go to-toe-toe with Drew Edwards's Halloween Man in a free webcomic called "Hackoween," available for download at halloweenman.com. "Several years ago, Drew Edwards had asked about doing a web-print comic crossover. And since 'Halloween Man' is a pretty fun, horror humor comic, I thought it meshed perfectly," Seeley explained. "It took awhile to come together, but Drew is running it now. It's just a fun, over-the-top story with a nod to Marvel Zombies and lots of inventive amputations, gore and explosions. The art is by a guy named David Baldeon, who's gone on to do some Batman comics and such, so it looks pretty fantastic. Give it a read! It's free!"
Seeley also loaned his protagonists to the creative team of Zenescope Entertainment's "The Living Corpse." Cassie and Vlad will meet the title character in December's "The Living Corpse Annual" #1, which features a cover by Seeley. "I'm just enjoying finally being in a place where people are actually interested in taking a crack at my characters," Seeley remarked.
"Hack/Slash" has also been receiving acclaim and attention from those outside of the comics industry. Recently, Seeley was surprised to find his series among the nominations for Best Comic Book at the Spike TV Scream Awards. "It was funny, because I read all the competing books before the nominations came out, and as a fan of all of them, it would been hard as hell for me to choose a best comic out of that group if it weren't my own book in there," Seeley said. "I probably would have voted for 'Umbrella Academy,' but the anxiety might have ruptured some vessels."
"Hack/Slash" lost to Vertigo's "Y: The Last Man," but the writer still found being nominated to be a fun experience, especially since it meant going to Los Angeles to attend the awards ceremony. "I flew out with artist Emily Stone and DDP president Josh Blaylock. It was fascinating to watch the filming of an awards show, since you probably assume things go really smoothly," Seeley explained. "But they don't, because an awards show is like anything else. So, people would have to do their award acceptance speech a second time or they'd accidentally say something they shouldn't have. Fun to see. The after-party was the best part--I accidentally dressed exactly like Frank Miller, right down to the hat, so I probably looked like a stalker. I got to see all kinds of amazing looking people close up too-- Rosario Dawson, Neve Campbell--those people are unusually good looking."
All the attention "Hack/Slash" is getting isn't going unnoticed, especially by Rogue Pictures, where the "Hack/Slash" feature film is currently in pre-production. "All is well on the film front," Seeley stated. "I'm getting phone calls from director Todd Lincoln full of high pitched, excited squeals. So, I'd imagine we'll have cool stuff showing up in the COMIC REEL soon."
Recently, Seeley got a look at writer Justin Mark's latest script for the "Hack/Slash" film, and liked what he saw. "It's really solid--and strangely it has scenes right out the comic. So, this'll be faithful," Seeley said. "Faithful enough to make me feel kind of weird and self-conscious about the goofy dialog I wrote!"
"Hack/Slash" #16, guest-starring the Re-Animator, is on sale now from Devil's Due Publishing. Ask your retailer about issue #17.