Hack/Slash Volume 1: First Cut Paperback – 11 Oct 2012
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About the Author
Stefano Caselli is Full Professor of Banking and Finance at Bocconi University.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hack/Slash is one of the smartest independent comics to hit the shelves recently, with its neat twist on Scream-esque slasher flick irony, best exemplified in the beginning of the very first issue. There are your Freddy/Jason/Michael Myers types walking around, dubbed "Slashers", and it's up to heroine Cassie Hack to stop them, along with her sidekick Vlad.
Of course, it's got more to it than that - Cassie's mother was a Slasher herself, and Vlad was assumed to be one due to his hulking, deformed appearance, but those are basically there to get things going in the first issue, so you get an idea for what's going on. And, as with a lot of initial one-shots, the Euthanized issue is an OK set-up, but doesn't offer much depth.
However, the next two issues are where Hack/Slash really got into gear, and it shows. Firstly, there's the Girls Gone Dead issue set in Florida, with sorority girls being offed during the annual Girls Gone Naughty spring break week. This issue drops the po-facedness of the first and offers some smart (and occasionally odd) flashes of humour and shades in Cassie's character a lot better. The third issue, Comic Book Carnage, is a non-too-subtle jab at comic fanboys as comic writers (including Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead fame) are targeted by somebody with a grudge as one of their favourite characters is re-imagined in a more "mature" manner at a comics convention.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First off, the artwork is very high quality. One team illustrated the first story, while another team illustrated the remaining two stories. The style in the first story is dark and sketchy, with a painted look to it. The other two stories share a crisp, animated television show look to them. So both styles are different, but very good. The artists and colorists have really captured the expressiveness of the characters, the proper mood for various scenes, and the right amount of bloody gore.
Not only are the visuals fun, but the writing is good, too. Yes, it's B-movie horror stuff, but it's really good B-movie horror stuff. The origins of the monsters are creative, the dialogue is funny and inventive, and the characters themselves are actually interesting, especially the main character Cassie Hack. She could have easily been a one-note character, but instead has a surprising amount of depth to her. Yes, she can be a kick-ass, sarcastic killing machine, but she also has her moments of doubt, fear, and even embarrassment. She even opens up a couple of times to her friend Vlad about why she does what she does. So these two characters, who I thought would be simple and generic, end up being surprisingly likeable and easy to relate to.
So the artwork and writing are fun, so what about everything else not mentioned? Like what ages could this be for? There is violence and cursing, but no graphic nudity or sex, so it's somewhere between the PG-13 and R-rated areas of entertainment. In other words, it'd be fine for teenagers, but not kids, in my opinion. Then there are the bonus materials. The art gallery and sketches are a nice bonus, plus pictures & info of the play that was performed by the Millennium Theatre Company are pretty cool! On a personal note, I love the fact that on the back are pictures of the main creators of the graphic novel. It's nice to see what these talented people look like. Tim Seeley (creator/writer), Stefano Caselli (co-creator/artist), Sunder Raj (colorist), Federica Manfredi (penciler/colorist), and the rest of the team did a really great job, because I really enjoyed reading this.
Writer Tim Seeley's irreverent tone keeps the stories moving at breakneck speed. In the first tale, Cassie and Vlad journey to a town where a mysterious figure is using undead animals to attack the locals. We soon find out that the figure is, or was, Bobby Brunswick, a mentally retarded employee at a vet's office that was the source of bullying by other locals until a prank went horribly wrong. Now Bobby is back from the grave with a legion of euthanized pets all ready to do his bidding and help him get revenge.
In the second tale, a goody-two shoes college girl whose boyfriend had an affair with another girl over spring break has used a dark book of magic to gain control over a true fire and brimstone, not to mention dead, man of the cloth to carry out her vendetta against the tramps and trollops of spring break. The third tale takes Cassie and Vlad to the "Whizzer World Philadelphia" convention where a serial killer is stalking comic creators Steve Niles, Skottie Young and model/artist Messy Stench. With a few well placed barbs at Wizard Magazine...and their show employees, this story dredges up the most loathsome serial killer yet. And yes...Steve Niles dies!!! Violent, but amusingly so.
Hack Slash was a truly a treat to read. It's not too often you find a graphic novel that is just plain fun to read these days. Any fan of slasher films will certainly enjoy the book. The art by Stefano Caselli and Federica Manfredi is very good without trying to go over the top. The book features an excellent pin-up gallery as well.
Reviewed by Tim Janson