Every Wednesday, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: Cassie Hack, the main character in Tim Seeley’s recently completed series Hack/Slash. Cassie is the classic “victim” from slasher film lore… only she decided to rise up, conquer her fears, and kick some ass. With her disfigured partner Vlad, Cassie travels the country dealing with supernatural murders, both new and old. Along the way, she’s fought Evil Ernie, Chucky (from the Child’s Play series) and Herbert West the Re-Animator.
Cassie took up arms after the revelation that her own mother was ‘The Lunch Lady,” a slasher who killed teens who had bullied Cassie, turning them into school lunches. She later met up with Vlad, who had a similarly tragic past, and the two of them discovered they were kindred spirits.
Along the way, Cassie met up with a wonderful gang of supporting characters – Chris Krank & Dr. Lisa Elsten, a demonic dog named Pooch, Cat Curio, teen detective and Georgia Peaches being my favorites. The series constantly took slasher movie conventions and turned them on their ear but it never descended into outright parody. These characters were fully drawn and by the time several of them met their ultimate ends, readers really, truly cared for them.
The final volume in the series (the 13th trade) was recently released and I have to say that I teared up a couple of times while reading it. Some beloved characters don’t emerge intact but Tim Seeley did a tremendous job with the writing on the entire storyline. The art varied wildly over the course of the series, with many different people working on it. Sometimes it was very cartoony but overall, it usually fit the tone of whatever story Tim was telling.
If you like strong female heroines and comics that feature adult material (not porn, mind you — but adult themes, language and violence), then you’ll love this series.
I think that Cassie and Fiona Chapman (star of my own horror-tinged novel Rabbit Heart) would really get along.