Hack/Slash, Back On Kickstarter With Big Hack Energy-Sized HC Omnibus
Begun in 2004, first at Devil's Due Press and since 2010 at Image Comics, Hack/Slash follows Cassie Hack, daughter of a "slasher" killer who decides that she is never going to be a victim and instead becomes a hunter of serial murderers, supernatural horrors, and any killer guest stars who show up. Along with her friend, gentle giant Vlad, the two have spent over 15 years protecting people from "slasher" killers under the watchful eye of creator Tim Seeley (Creator also of Revival and Co-Creator/Writer for Moneyshot).
Announced last week and started today, Tim Seeley has brought Hack/Slash to Kickstarter for the Hack/Slash "Big Hack Energy-Sized" Omnibus Hardcover, an extra-large hardcover printing of the original Hack/Slash Omnibus #1 with an additional new story written and drawn by Tim Seeley.
On opening day, Bleeding Cool got a minute of Hackin Tim's time to talk about the Kickstarter and Hack/Slash in general.
Bleeding Cool: Thank you for taking the time to talk, Tim. Can you give a brief explanation of how you started Hack/Slash, and what was the inspiration behind it?
Tim Seeley: Hack/Slash is essentially a 16-year love letter to B-movies and horror comics. I started working on it in 2003 with co-creator Stefano Caselli, first published in 2004, and two publishers, and about a hundred comics later, here we are!
BC: Now, you just launched the Kickstarter to publish a Hardcover collection of the first Omnibus with a new eight-page story. Kickstarter really seems like it is becoming a place where independent (and one big publisher) come to start and prove a project is financially viable to publish. In your opinion, is this why you go to Kickstarter first instead of just straight to comic book shops, or are there other reasons?
TS: It's a NINE-page story! Even better! But, yeah, essentially, I wanted to try this model out. We're publishing a "high end" collection, which costs a lot of money upfront, and I feel like a Kickstarter works best as a pre-order system for existing material. Image Comics is, and will hopefully always be, our home for new H/S material, but testing this out lets us go directly to our most dedicated readers with something special and pay for it MUCH faster than the current distribution model. Josh Blaylock, who originally published Hack/Slash at Devil's Due, is a big proponent of crowdfunding and do it yourself comics, so he talked me into this and has been helping out a lot.
BC: This edition will be available in comic book shops too? Any idea of how it will be different?
TS: It'll be a different cover variation. Also, no extra bells and whistles.
BC: Are you planning to do all six omnibuses in a Big Hack Energy-Sized Edition fashion if the first omnibus hits its goal? (Though already on its second day, the project has already met its goal and is onto stretch goals.)
TS: Yeah, the goal is definitely to do all of them with new stories by me in each edition.
BC: Hopefully, each with a NINE page story!
Details and Extras
Now, why did you decide to do the pages and print size 15% larger for the "Big Hack Energy-Sized Edition"? It can't be cheaper to print it in that size.
TS: It's not cheaper, no. But it'll be special. The regular omnibus format has been immensely successful for us, no doubt, but we want our most dedicated fan and people who like high-end editions to have something classy. It'll also look nice on the shelf next to books of that same size, like the Absolute Editions from DC.
BC: When produced, what size graphic novel will it be most comparable to? A DC Absolute Edition? Marvel Omnibus size? Image Hardcover size? Nothing we've ever seen before?
TS: Yeah, I think it lines up with the Absolutes. That was my hope anyway.
BC: Will the prints you are offering as a bonus come signed by you?
TS: There's a signed bookplate! I don't think the prints are signed. That'd be signing my name just too many times. ;)
BC: How did the pin set come about in terms of design and execution?
TS: Josh Blaylock is a big pin guy. Devil's Due does them for all of their Kickstarter projects. These were mostly his idea. I don't buy pins anymore. I just lose 'em.
BC: The Vlad mask? (Does seem a brilliant idea in our current Covid atmosphere.)
TS: Also, a Blaylock idea. I've been meaning to do one since the beginning of the pandemic, but this was the excuse to roll it out.
BC: Every Kickstarter has unique "bonuses," so how did you decide on yours?
TS: Again, I listened to Josh on this a lot. I have two full-time jobs and two part-time jobs, so I barely have time for anything but pooping. So, Devil's Due has been supplying their expertise, as well as my friend and neighbor Ryan Browne of God Hates Astronauts/Curse Words fame.
BC: How hard was it to get Stefano Caselli to do a new cover for the "Big Hack Energy-Sized Edition"?
TS: He volunteered it! It just showed up in my inbox one day. That dude is amazing. That piece was a DOODLE for him.
Just Talking Hack/Slash
BC: Over 15 years with Hack/Slash, who is your favorite character to write and explore? Which character is your favorite just to draw?
TS: Cassie is still my favorite to draw. I know her pretty well, yet she's still a challenge. But Pooch… Pooch is my favorite to write.
BC: You've been at this with Cassie and Vlad since 2004; what do you enjoy most about coming back and doing more with them?
TS: There's really nothing else like Hack/Slash in comics at the moment. What we set up all those years ago has gown unto this big, crazy, sprawling world that contains so much goddamn fun, weird shit. I mean, we really don't get enough credit for how successful this series has been and how impactful. Plus, it's full of boobs, butts, gore, and monsters—the best stuff.
BC: It is a funny term/explanation, but who came up with: "Big Hack Energy-Sized Edition"?
TS: I'm sure it was me. That's something I would think is funny. I'm probably alone.
BC: Plans for new Hack/Slack beyond the new exclusive story for "Big Hack Energy-Sized Edition"?
TS: Yeah, we're working on new stuff as we speak!
BC: As I type this, the Kickstarter started 3 hours ago, and you are already over 50% with 29 days to go, so can you give us a preview of any stretch goals you are planning on?
TS: Josh has some thoughts. Probably will be some more books and signed editions. We don't want to go overboard, but we'll have cool shit.
(Stretch Goals that have been announced so far:
BC: Finally, for anyone checking out this article and who has never heard of Hack/Slash, what should they know to motivate them to go pledge?
TS: If you've never heard of this series, that's okay. We make these collections for everyone. You can always try Hack/Slash out, and it's super easy to follow! We have 6 big fat omnibus collections, and they go in order! Plus, we put up an easy to follow the timeline. If you like horror, you'll like this book. If you come from manga, this book is a great transition into Western comics. If you like superhero books, we've got all the character moments and continuity but with half nekkid people and gore.
BC: Let's end on that high-point. Thank you again, Tim.