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MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2007

WIZARD WORLD LOS ANGELES: KISS PANEL

LOS ANGELES -- With a record for the world's largest comic book secured by the Guinness World Book of Records earlier in the week for the Destroyer Edition, those involved with KISS 4K comic -- band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, Platinum Studios' Scott Rosenberg and writer Ricky Sprague -- staged a panel on Saturday at Wizard World Los Angeles.

Highights include:

* Simmons reiterated his commitment to both the KISS Comics Group and IDW's Simmons Comics Group. "We're deadly serious about this," he said.

* Stanley praised the work of Sprague in constructing the story. "He's had amazing input into the characters," Stanley said. "He's a KISS freak, a KISS Army member who's never gone AWOL. It took somebody like him to breathe life and depth in to the chraacters."

Sprague confirmed his allegiance to KISS.

"Because I as am a really big KISS fan, this means a lot to me," he said. "I wanted to make it as interesting and compelling as I could. It sounds kind of like a cheeky thing, but I wanted to make each issue like listening to a KISS album."

* Stanley said the band has always transcended what a rock group can be and is perfect for the super-hero treatment. "We are the little super-heroes at six years old who strapped on instruments and became KISS."

* Simmons said he's very hands-on with the comic, but also likened the collaboration to a relay race. "We're the guardians to the gateway to the house of KISS, but it's a pretty big house," he said. "There's plenty of room to play in that house as long as you play by the rules."

"We're very hands on, but we know when to let people go and do their thing," Stanley added.

* Rosenberg related a story that when he showed Simmons the first Destroyer edition, he got a hug.

"I took home the prototype," Simmons said. "It's one things reading comic books as a kid and being blown away. It's another thing becoming comic-book heroes of your own."

* Stanley said he likes the fact that relatively new talent is workong on the comic. "It's much more exciting to find pepople who will be huge stars of tomorrow," he said. "There's a hunger and purity of what they do. It feels new. it's not jaded. It's people who love what they're doing. It really gets translated and put into the comic books."

Sprague explained that the first issue is kind of a prologue, setting up the concept that members of KISS are attached to warrior spirits who occassionally come to Earth in times of trouble.

"The series runs 12 issues," he said. "It's sort of a novel, a longish story. There's a lot of fall-out from the first issue."

* Will there be blood in the comic's ink, like the first KISS Marvel comic? "There won't be any blood," Stanley said, "but I suggested to Scott we put something in the yellow ink. But he was against it."

* Simmons said there have been talks for a KISS CGI movie. "Until, if and when it gets released, it's just development," he said. "That's why they call it development hell. But so far, so good."

* Simmons said he is proud of the legacy of KISS action figures and that there will be more.

* Stanley said there's no plans for any new music from the band.

"KISS songs have a tendency to be snapshots of a certain period of your life that was very important," he said. "No matter what I write today, someone will go, 'That's OK, do Love Gun.' Truth is, if we do a new album, you probably won't buy it."

* Sprague said the Talismen will show up during the course of the series and it will touch upon the Marvel, Image and Dark Horse comics versions of KISS. "I'm looking at this as the culmination of KISS in comics," he said.

* Rosenberg said that a long search of printers for the Destroyer edition resulted in findong out that no printer was capable of producing that large of a comic.

He said ultimately, sheets were taken off the press, hand-folded and hand-stiched and then put in a bag with a board that wouldn't bend while shipping. "It was an amazing amound of work," he said.

"Forgive us if the corners are a little dog-eared," Stanley added. "The real pristine one does not exist."

There will be no second edition of the Destroyer edition.

* Simmons said there will be other titles from the KISS Comics Group, including KISS Girls. "It's about four teenage girls having something to say about life on Planet Earth -- and looking good doing it, too," Simmons said.

* The regular size version of the first issue will be available in May.

* Rosenberg said there will be a daily KISS webcomic, with art by Adam Black.




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