Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bookmonkey vs Hack/Slash: Day Three

Before we begin digging into the main storyline of Hack/Slash it's probably best to ensure we have a basic understanding of the key characters and concepts used in the series.

First the Characters:

Cassandra "Cassie" Hack: A 24-year-old survivor of her first Slasher; The Lunch Lady (who also happened to be Cassie's mother), Cassie travels with her partner Vlad in her continuing hunt for Slashers, and her goal to kill them before they kill others.

Vlad: Cassie's parter, Vlad is a slightly deformed giant, who, in addition to being a formidable killer of Slashers, is almost an innocent in Cassie's world, he enjoys children's comics and cartoons, protecting his friends and making jokes.

The Nature of Slashers Described in Issue 2
Slashers: In the World of Hack/Slash Slashers are "...a type of undead I guess...sort've like a vampire or a zombie.  They're so full of anger that they don't wanna die.  They hate love, youth, sex...things they miss, from life.  All I know for sure is that they're mean and hard to kill" (Seeley, 2004)  Slashers are also clearly differentiated from Killers (who may come back from death as Slashers, but are considered different while they are human).

and Key Concepts used in or addressed by Hack/Slash

The Final Girl: described as "...intelligent, watchful, levelheaded; the first character to sense something amiss and the only one to deduce from the accumulating evidence the pattern and extent of the threat" (Clover, 1992, p. 44), the final girl is a popular horror movie trope which represents the final surviving character in Slasher films.  Traditional examples include Laurie Strode in Halloween (1978) and Nancy Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Cassie (often compared to the character of Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)) is a subversive form of the Final girl, following many of the basic traits as outlined by Clover, but also moving beyond genre conventions as well.

Modality: The level of reality represented in any given text (comic book, film, television show, etc.), or 'truth claim' (Burn, 1994) where the higher the modality, the closer to reality the text is assumed to be - Hack/Slash plays with the concept modality almost from the first issue.  The main character shares a world with a number of characters known to be fictional to the reader (Chucky from the 1988 horror film Child's Play) and yet refers to the name of prominent Horror movie actress Linnea Quigley in the second issue, forcing the reader to ask the question, do Cassie and Vlad inhabit our world, or a shared world made up of all our popular horror films?  While Cassie is clearly a fictional character, she has a real-world profile on the website Suicide Girls.  The fact that the series includes a number of crossovers with film and comic book characters only add to the complexity of this question throughout the series.

Burn, A. (1994) "Potterliteracy: Cross-Media Narratives, Cultures and Grammars" in Explorations into Children's Literatures. 14(2) retrieved online from

Clover, C.J. (1992) Men, Women, And Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Seeley, T. (2004) Hack/Slash: Euthanized (Issue 1), Berkeley, CA: Image Comics. Image retrieved from

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