by Chris Ryall, Tom Walts, Jose Holder, Jeremy Colwell
The trend of making youthful versions of characters for comedic purposes continues with IDW's new series Kiss Kids. Skottie Youngs' covers of Marvel Comics characters may not have been the first time that adult characters were presented in such a format, but there have been more of those types of stories since. Here the well known rock act Kiss has been transformed into a group of every day kids navigating life. The title encompasses a series of shorts that are split between writers Chris Ryall and Tom Walts. Fans of the band are sure to get more out of the issue, but there is plenty here to enjoy either way.
The book opens, after a brief introduction to each character, with a story about three of the band members in need of new shoes after theirs were eaten by some creature. The kids are a lot of fun to follow around and each really do have their own voice and personality. It is fun to see them interact as the book covers a plethora of tales. Just within this first issue, there are half a dozen stories. Each story ranges from only a page up to five pages. The stories include several nods to Kiss songs and lyrics, but the interactions make it friendly enough to audiences that kids or unfamiliar adults won't be left frustrated by all the elbow rubbing.
Spacey feels very much like Smiley Bone from Jeff Smith's Bone series and has several low brow humor moments that play well. The boys deal with a babysitter that may be cooler than they, are forced to go back-to-school shopping and even fight robot versions of themselves. Walts and Ryall make the read feel incredibly packed because of how much story they are able to include in the issue. The art team of Jose Holder and Jeremy Colwell bring a visual consistency to the issue that help balance the alternating writers and regular story shifts.
Kiss Kids #1 is a very entertaining issue. There is not a big story to find here, and the constant starting and stopping may be a bit too distraction or disruptive to some readers. For children and those familiar with such a collection, however, there is a real sense of value to this issue. The series is only a mini, with three issues remaining. Kiss Kids is definitely an all ages title and has enough to offer that all-encompassing audience that makes it a pretty decent purchase, especially for curious readers with a light week.