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Remember Stan Lee’s Kiss comics from the 90s’? Chris Ryall, IDW Publishing’s Chief Creative Officer and Editor-in-Chief, certainly does. His passion is about to turn into a new line of Kiss comics published by IDW with Ryall writing parts of the project.
Ryall talks about his fandom to Comic Book Resources:
“Kiss was one of the first bands I ever listened to,” Ryall told CBR News. “I had an older brother and we had to share a room, so as the younger brother I had no say over the music we listened to or what comics I was allowed to read. In fact, in that regard, I was only allowed to collect things he didn’t buy. He called dibs on ‘Spider-Man,’ so I was given things he didn’t care about like ‘Fantastic Four.’ It was a total monarchy in that bedroom, and every night we’d listen to Kiss, all [through] growing up, all throughout my childhood. So I got into it early on — the stuff you listen to every day, the stuff your brother likes you somehow want to like, too.
“I was all into it, too, the Kiss magazines he had and the ‘Kiss Meets Phantom of the Park’ movie that aired on TV, and from there all the action figures, and it all just went on from there.”
Ryall has tried to acquire the license to Kiss comics before, and his company did partner with Kiss rocker Gene Simmons, but only to do the Simmons comic line and not the Kiss comics Ryall had his eyes on. When Platinum, the company Simmons made the deal with, left, Ryall finally brought up the Kiss comics with positive results.
Ryall talks to Comic Book Resources again about his pitch to Kiss comics that led to the new comic series production:
“My whole pitch to him was, I wanted to do Kiss comics the way I remembered them as a kid. I wanted to do them like the old Marvel comics that Stan Lee worked on with John Buscema and then John Romita, Jr. They were just these teenage, young guys who got these talismans that powered them up,” Ryall said. “It was like a superhero comic concept, which I always dug. That’s my background as a reader. When Kiss did comics in the ’90s, hell, it was like everything in the ’90s. It was so overblown and big and cosmic, and there was such a strong Todd McFarlane influence on the art. And I could never quite relate to them. Kiss became these cosmic deities that were overseeing… I don’t know. They weren’t necessarily to my taste. So when we got involved wanting to do them now, we wanted to take it back to a more human level and get more of a superhero-ish feel, but also keeping some of the stuff fans liked in the ’90s, too. We’re telling stories set in different decades and different centuries, but with the focus being more on human characters who are empowered by Kiss talismans.”
Thanks to Ryall’s passions, June will see another Kiss series. The series will have superheroes in costume. These superheroes will be the original Kiss lineup of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
Chris Ryall and Tom Waltz will take turns writing alternate arc while Jamal Igle and Casey Maloney take turns on the artwork. The writers and artists will rotate every two issues. Jamal Igle will be doing the artwork for Ryall’s opening arc and Casey Maloney will be working with Waltz on the follow-up story arc.
Kiss #1 will come to stores in June.