HACK/SLASH SON OF SAMHAIN #1 comes out this Wednesday from Image Comics! Here’s an interview with some of the creators of the book, Michael Moreci, Steve Seeley and K Michael Russell.
What is your history with HACK/SLASH and how did you all end up on Son of Samhain?
Michael Moreci (MM): I’m a longtime fan, I’ve loved the book since before Tim and I were friends. It’s smart and funny and sexy and has been done so well for so long.
Being friends with Tim and a fan of the series, I figured I’d give it a shot and send him a cold pitch. Just to see if there was any interest. I don’t think that swayed Tim’s decision to bring H/S back, but it did put Steve and I in his mind as serious contenders for taking over writing duties. When he decided it was time to start Cassie’s story new, we were given a shot.
K Michael Rusell (KMR): I colored a four-page short written and drawn by Tim for a Liberator trade paperback for Black Mask Studios in December of 2013. I had done some work with another artist in the book, and he had recommended me for it. Then in January of this year, I tried out for another short for Rachel Deering’s In the Dark anthology and found out after I was selected that, coincidentally, Tim had written it too.
About five weeks later, I got an email from editor Jim Lowder offering five issues of Hack/Slash. There might have been a happy dance involved at that point, but I can neither confirm or deny that. SOS is my first monthly and my first Image title, so I’m excited about it.
What has Emilio Laiso been up to since we last saw him on H/S?
MM: I’m not entirely sure. I know he’s done some work with Boom–3 Guns and a RoboCop issue. I’m sure he’s done more, in comics and beyond.
What was the pitch for the new book?
Steve Seeley (SS): Tim wanted something new. So our pitch was essentially SOS right off the bat. A story that focused on Cassie’s life after Vlad and after slashers.
How have Cassie’s experiences changed her since we last saw her?
SS: She’s had to grow up and has to accept a relatively normal life, at least for Cassie.
Until meeting Delroy her world had sort of been infiltrated by the mundane. This series throws her back into a world she’s comfortable in, albeit inhabitated by a whole new enemy.
Tell us what you can about Delroy.
MM: Delroy is the grizzled monster hunter who, in a way, is a look into Cassie’s own potential future. He’s completely alone, singularly devoted to his life of fighting evil. But, he’s also a fun character to write–a big Texan who hunts down monsters with a shotgun is never boring.
Are slashers off the table for this series? If you could bring back one slasher, who would it be?
SS: Yeah, no slashers. And I’d definitely bring back Bobby Brunswick. I loved that character.
KMR: The Lunch Lady. It would make for some interesting drama.
Any other old friends showing up to help Cassie?
SS: A few. In issue 2.
MM: Right, we’ve tried to keep the break from Tim’s cast of characters as clean as possible. We wanted to establish this new world without dragging the past into the present.
Any chance for a return for Deputy Blake (Hack/slash 19)?
MM: Haha…well, you never know!
What is Tim’s role in the book?
SS: He’s the show runner.
He gave us complete freedom and creative control however he has overseen, and form the get go had a few guidelines for us that he asked us to adhere to, like keeping Vlad dead, etc.
Stefano Caselli is back, what is he doing for the series?
MM: Ste is so great. He’s art directing the book, guiding Emilio, and doing covers. His presence and enthusiasm have been a fantastic boost
Is the series set for five issues, or will there be more?
SS: The first arc is 5 issues. Our intent is to have a series on miniseries. Much like Hack/Slash was before the regular ongoing.
You are the new guy to Hack/Slash, tell us a little about yourself!
KMR: Well, I never know how to answer this question! I was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and I live on the coast in Long Beach now–Mississippi, not California, with my wife of almost twelve years. I’ve been drawing since before I can remember, and I started reading comics in junior high.
I learned how to color to finish my own line-work and fell in love with coloring. To me it’s the most dramatic step in the comic-making process–going from inks to color.
How do you see the color scheme for Cassie’s new life and mission?
KMR: Color schemes will change throughout Cassie’s adventures, but I’m pretty confident that there will always be plenty of red.
How did you break into and get your start coloring comics?
KMR: Initially, I scoured all the message boards, forums, and sites I could find. I didn’t really know anyone personally in comics at the time, so I looked for gigs that way. The first year or two I worked mostly for free, super cheap, or “backend.”
Along the way, I met some other writers and artists who were also looking to break in, and we just made comics–shorts, submissions, pitches, whatever. I was able to build a decent portfolio, and I used that to start finding paying gigs. It slowly snowballed from there I guess.
What have you done previous to this project? Anything else coming up?
KMR: I mentioned some of them earlier, but I’ve got work in Liberator Volume 1 from Black Mask, the Imaginary Drugs anthology which should be out this fall from IDW, and In the Dark: A Horror Anthology from IDW. (ed. note – Keep up with KMR on his website or deviantArt!)
I also recently completed some covers for Black Mask’s Critical Hit, Alterna’s The Boy Who Wanted War, and OUTRÉ (a free digital anthology from my friends at OUTRÉ Press).
I created an online coloring course recently as well, and the feedback has been great so far. I’m far from knowing it all, but I know what I wish I knew when I started, and I’ve tried to include all of that in the course.
Thanks to everyone for their time, and make sure you check out HACK/SLASH SON OF SAMHAIN, available at comic stores and digitally on Wednesday!
Check back tomorrow for the HACK/SLASH SON OF SAMHAIN contest!