Review: KISS Kids #1
Presenting the adventures of Li’l Demon, Starchild, Catkid, and Spacey… the KISS Kids gang! This rockin’ new comic offers adventures for all ages (and many in-jokes and familiar characters for the KISS faithful, too). No blood or fire here, just laughs and fun tales of the little costumed maniacs and the crazy town in which they live.
IDW’s four issue spotlight series looking at the fearsome foursome of KISS…when they were kids. KISS Kids #1 hits comic book stores today. It’s a new all-ages title to get fans new and old into the world of KISS. Be careful when talking about this one though, the title could potentially get you some weird looks if folks aren’t aware of the series. The inventive new corner of the KISS market is written by Chris Ryall and Tom Waltz. Jose Holder provides art, Jeremy Colwell handles colors, and Gilberto Lazcano handles lettering. So is this one all-ages book the whole family can rock out and enjoy together?
The comic opens with a one page introduction touting “You wanted the youngest, you got the youngest!” followed by an introduction to our cute little characters. You have the Starchild (the popular one), Spacey (the dopey one), Catkid (the animal lover), and Li’l Demon (the troublemaker). From there on out, you have 8 little features with the gang with titles that play off of KISS albums and songs. You’ve got Carnival of Soles, Christine Sixteen, and …(Birthday) Party Every Day just to name a few. The tiny terrors go on adventures like back to school shopping with their parents, a trip to the shoe store that goes awry after Li’l Demon’s secret is revealed, an attempt to speed up a paper route, and a trip to a birthday party that gets interrupted by some old enemies.
Ryall and Waltz alternate shorts. The adventures vary from a page all the way up to five pages. They’re quick, they’re cute, and their funny. Imagine Muppet Babies mixed with Tiny Toons, The Little Rascals, and the metal of KISS (obviously). Ryall and Waltz give you a “G” rated KISS with some witty and puntastic titles. This is one for the younger kiddies, but there is enough to keep grown KISS fans interested. It lacks a little bit of a bite for the older readers, but it’s cute and fun adventures featuring a band your mother was scared to death of back in the day. It’s awesome for that reason alone. The art is absolutely fantastic. Holder gives you cartoony pint-sized version of the band set squarely in a world you would see in a Saturday morning cartoon. Colwell’s colors are stunning. He keeps things bright, cheery, and pretty well grounded. It’s bright and vibrant, but nothing gets out of control even when things get a little zany.
Bottom Line: KISS Kids #1 is an all-ages book that rocks. It’s fun, it’s cheery, it’s fast-paced, and it’s exactly what you expect and deserve in an all-ages book. The jokes are good, but you kind of hope for a few more risqué ones that go over the youngsters’ heads but land with the adults since it is KISS. It doesn’t have a big satirical edge other than the titles, but that’s ok. Great art and a fun story makes for an enjoyable read even if you’ve got a few years on you. 4/5