The first Hack/Slash Omnibus is an interesting collection reflecting the earlier evolution of a comics storyteller.
Recently, I have been working my way through the first volume of the Hack Slash Omnibus. I say “working through”, but I don’t mean that in any negative way: the book is not a hard read, I have been reading it a bit at a time because I have been carrying it around with me in my backpack on my daily travels and that actually seems to be a good way to digest the collected stories within. The stories are not too long or involved and make for a nice diversion, with each one only taking a couple of sessions to finish.
The stories contained within are quite enjoyable. The series creator/writer, Tim Seeley, knows his horror movie lore from decades past and knows the right elements to throw in for effective parody and homage of a genre that he clearly loves. The art in the first omnibus is a bit inconsistent, reflecting the variety of artists that worked on the stories collected in the first book. Personally, I enjoyed the stories that relied on a more cartoony style to tell the story. I think that might be because such an approach better reflects the overthe top nature of the stories that Seeley is telling here. Cassie Hack, the hero of the series, is a self titled ‘slasher of slashers’ and accompanied by her stalwart companion Vlad, a mishapen troll of a man with a child-like sense of curiosity of the world around him, has made it her mission to hunt down psycho-killers. This dedication is born from her own personal tragedy of dealing with her own Mother’s return from the grave as a serial killer. Wow, talk about a messed up childhood, eh? These killers almost always seem to have a supernatural bent to them and this is where Seeley finds much of his opportunit for parody of past horror films. For example, one killer has a penchant for killing his victims in their sleep while they dream, a very clear shout out to Freddy Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
Seeley Seems to have some well-known friends in the comics industry, if the appearance of Steve Niles, Robert Kirkman and Scottie Young in a story is the writer using his friends to add a touch of ‘reality’ to a story set in a large comic convention.
I only own the first Hack/Slash Omnibus at present but could see myself picking up the next one. There are three volumes of the omnibus so far and the mini-series, My First Maniac – a story set at the outset of Cassie’s ‘career’, has just recently been collected. I dont know if this will be collected in any future omnibus or not. I recommend the first omnibus to any fans of the horror movie genre. Even if you are just a minor fan of horror movies (and I consider myself to fall into this category) I still recommend this collection to you as a nice collection of dark and humorous escapist entertainment.