Hack/Slash Omnibus, volume 1: A collection of dark and dirty fun

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.

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10 Responses to Hack/Slash Omnibus, volume 1: A collection of dark and dirty fun

  1. Ryan Lee says:

    The first volume of Hack/Slash is good, but it gets significantly better when Seeley gets rolling with the ongoing series and starts telling a more long form narrative.

    In the beginning, the book had to worry about bare bones survival, and I guess the strategy was guest stars like Chucky, short bursts and short skirts. All good things.

    Once you start getting into the layers of the ongoing, Seeley makes the book more about Cassie and Vlad’s touching yet co-dependent relationship, and more about world building than pop culture jokes.

    The pop culture jokes are still in there, and you’re correct in that they tend to work because they come from a place of love and not a condescending dismissal. If you liked the first Omnibus I’d say you’re in for a very pleasant surprise with the rest, because it’s just better.

  2. dreamscaper says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Ryan ; I finished the first omnibus and have to admit that I liked it enough to move onto the next one. Good to hear that it gets even better!

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