KISS Kids #1
Written by Chris Ryall and Tom Waltz
Art by Jose Holder
Colors by Jeremy Colwell
Letters by Gilberto Lazcano
Review by Joey Braccino
“YOU WANTED THE YOUNGEST, YOU GO THE YOUNGEST!”
IDW Publishing brings you the KISS-tastic adventures of Starchild, Spacey, Catkid, and Li’l Demon. KISS is a little before my time (#BackstreetBoys4Life), but I don’t know if “adorable” or “All-Ages” were ever labels applied to the blood-spitting, tongue-flicking, leather-wearing heavy metal quartet. I know KISS comics have been a mainstay in the industry since the band’s heyday, including team-ups with a potpourri of properties like Archie Comics, Howard the Duck, and Mars Attacks! Under the IDW label, writer/editor-in-chief Chris Ryall currently writs a KISS: Solo series featuring more adult content, but this week, Ryall is joined by Tom Waltz to give readers a series of shorts featuring tyke-sized rockers complete with face-paint, space boots, and spunk.
KISS Kids #1 contains nine short stories ranging from one-page strips to three- to four-page back-to-school features. There are bits of continuity throughout the stories—faceless parents, cannibalistic high-tops, and Christine Sixteen the babysitter—but the emphasis is clearly on telling a fun, All-Ages comic. And yes, each of the chapters has a title that doubles as a pun on some of KISS’ most popular tunes (a personal favorite is “Carnival of Soles”).
Jose Holder and Jeremy Colwell pull art and color duties respectively for the entire issue, lending each of the individual stories a visual continuity. The artwork is in the same fun, animated aesthetic of other All-Ages books like Franklin Richards and My Little Pony, and the color palette matches the vibrant linework.
Definitely worth a look. While clearly marketed to younger readers, there’s plenty of material inside appropriate to adults reading along with their tiny KISS cadets. And when Catkid starts talking to his drumsticks, you can’t help but smile.