While everyone knows the band Kiss defined loud music and showmanship for all times, via bassist Gene Simmons they were also pioneers of the whole “comics nerdlebrity” movement – Simmons went to high school with Marv Wolfman and must have picked up a thing or two about comics.
Anyway, Kiss is back in a regular series from Dynamite, written by Amy Chu, but Chu, Erik Burnham and artist Eman Casallos are spinning of the Kiss-iverse with KISS: THE DEMON, a spin-off featuring Simmons’ character and three kids in a band. Read on as Chu explains everything you need to know about putting Kiss back in the comics.
THE BEAT: Three kids who start a band and have an adventure that will change the world. How can starting a band do that? Do they take it to “12” or something similar?
AMY CHU: So the Demon miniseries is actually the present day back story to the current KISS series set in the future. The choices these kids make in the story actually does change the future with technology.
THE BEAT: Do you have any rock and roll in your extensive resume? Did you draw on any personal experience?
AMY CHU: Not at all. I am possibly the worst musician ever, sorry to say. I do listen to a very large range of music to compensate…
THE BEAT: You’ve said this story is spinning out of the KISS concept album Music from the Elder. I seem to recall it was…controversial when it came out. What makes it good fodder for a comic book?
AMY CHU: I feel like it’s redemption for a much maligned album. I’m hoping some fans revisit it with fresh eyes because of the comic. Plus the concepts seemed like a good start to spin an interesting tale, a world without heroes and a world without sun. That totally speaks to the sci-fi writer in me.
THE BEAT: There have been a shocking number of KISS comics in the past. What did you learn from these pioneers, either for good or bad?
AMY CHU: Indeed! It’s amazing – I’ve learned that people love KISS through hell or high water. I don’t think there is any band that has such an extensive comics legacy. Gene Simmons is responsible for that – he has always been a huge comics fan, and vets all the stories.
THE BEAT: KISS Comics are like wrestling comics – finding a way to adapt something that’s already larger than life into a readable story is hard to do. What was your initial thinking about the assignment?
AMY CHU: Exactly that – they are larger than life rock gods so let’s build the story around a KISS mythology.
THE BEAT: How does this story lead into the regular KISS series?
AMY CHU: This is the origin story of the founding patriarch of the regular series. We get his motivations and why KISS become such a huge theme in the future.
KISS: THE DEMON #1
Rating: Teen +
Cover A: Kyle Strahm
Cover B: Tom Mandrake
Cover C: Michael Adams 8-bit cover
Cover D: Photo Cover
Writer: Amy Chu, Erik Burnham
Art: Eman Casallos
Publication Date: January 2017
ON SALE DATE: 1/25
Before Blackwell, before Morpheus, there was the MUSIC. In a small town in Iowa, three young KISS fans meet at a concert and form their own band, unaware they are about to embark on a journey that will not only change their lives, but also the fate of the world. Prequel to the ongoing series.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.