Though they may be known for their blood-spewing theatrics and hard rock riffs, the leaders of chart-topping band KISS also have a long legacy in comic books — one that continues today with “Archie Meets KISS,” the four-part story that launched this week in “Archie” #627. In celebration, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley showed up in the CBR TV Studios in LA earlier this week (sans makeup) to discuss the project and their long-standing connection to the comics medium.
“This whole comic book thing was invented in America. It’s really an art form,” Simmons said in a wide-ranging conversation where he name checks legendary creators from Bob Montana to Vince Colletta to Jim Steranko (much to his partner’s consternation).
“This KISS thing of ours has grown by leaps and bounds, and we like teaming up and co-branding with iconic brands that have existed throughout the ages,” he continued. “Archie has been around for over 50 years. And if you’re going to point at something iconic that goes at a slightly different audience, you’ve got to respect something that stands the test of time. And it’s a wacky idea — KISS and Archie?”
Stanley added, “Since we did the Marvel comics, there have been many permutations of KISS through the comics — starting with Marvel and starting with Howard The Duck. That’s where we made our initial introduction into comic book world.”
And the rockers don’t plan on letting their four color legacy end with the gang in Riverdale. The pair teased plans for a project with IDW Publishing involving superhero comic books and Simmons noted, “At the same time I was talking with Jim Lee and the DC folks about doing something with ‘KISS DC’ — Superman meets KISS and all that kind of stuff, which would be exciting.” When reached for comment, a DC Entertainment spokesperson confirmed there are no plans for a project with Gene Simmons or KISS.
For the full scoop, check out the video and find “Archie Meets KISS” part one in comic shops now!