KISS Book FREE — This Weekend Only!

Posted on January 19, 2013 at 4:00 am

Happy birthday, Paul Stanley! The KISS Starchild superstar turns 60 tomorrow and the fans get the gift! Miniver Press is making Chris Epting’s ebook All I Need to Know I Learned from KISS: Life Lessons from the Hottest Band in the Land FREE all weekend.

Author and AOL Music journalist Epting was recently interviewing rock legends KISS when it suddenly flashed before his eyes that, bizarre as it might seem, the band he had loved since childhood actually played a huge part in shaping how he looks at the world. In that instant, he decided to write about his life long journey with the band, starting out in the early 1970s when he joined the KISS Army and continuing until today. Epting takes us through the history of KISS, weaving in historic tidbits and trivia with his personal observations, while laying out the rules for living that he absorbed from “the hottest band in the land.” The book’s title of course is an homage to the 1989 bestseller by Robert Fulghum, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” but this story speaks to the love that many people have with that one special band or artist they followed while growing up. As Epting learned as an adult though, when it comes to your favorite band, the roots run deep – perhaps deeper than you ever imagined.

Stone Temple Pilot founder/bassist Robert DeLeo adds a heartfelt foreword and some rare sketches he drew of KISS as a youngster – back when he was in the Army, too.

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Comic-Con: Big News from Riverdale and Archie Comics

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I had a blast at the Archie Comic panel.  Everyone there was a nice and friendly and enthusiastic as you would hope to find in the idyllic environs of Riverdale.  But there is very big news.  In its own nice and friendly and enthusiastic way, Archie Comics is one of the most innovative companies at Comic-Con or anywhere else, on every level from distribution to story.

I was delighted to hear that Kevin, Archie’s first gay character, is so successful he will have his own comic.  I love the way that in the first issue, they show that Kevin was not always the handsome, confident kid who becomes class president at Riverdale High.  We get to meet some of his close friends from middle school and see that he had his awkward stage, too.  Even more amazingly, Archie’s future stories will include visits from Sarah Palin and Barack Obama — who will share a soda at the malt shop — and NY Giant Michael Strahan and even KISS in a four-part miniseries!  With separate series for Archie as a tot, a child, a teen, and a married man, they say they have “a metaverse as rich and plentiful as anything at Marvel and DC,” with “a flowchart from that wall to that wall.”

The Archie folks are very proud that they were the first to have “day and date” availability of their comics online and they are dedicated to making them accessible on every platform from iPhone app to Android and Windows 7 to Nook and Kindle, with 3 million downloads of their app so far.  Their long-time partnership with Ronald MacDonald House will be supported with the 75th anniversary issue, with all proceeds going to help sick kids and their families.

 

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Detroit Rock City

Posted on December 13, 2002 at 5:16 am

This movie follows four high school boys who are die-hard KISS fans in spite of the overwhelming popularity of disco and the objections of the adults (“KISS stands for Knights In Satan’s Service!”) as they do everything they can think of to get seats to the concert in Detroit. There is little originality, wit, or credibility in the script, but in its own way it is genial and unpretentious and ultimately more winning than some recent overly focus-grouped big studio releases.

One of the mothers burns their tickets and carts her son Jam (Sam Huntington) off to a Catholic boarding school that looks like it was dreamed up by Charles Addams. The other three have to figure out a way to spring him and to find four new tickets so they can see the show. This involves taking another mother’s Volvo, feeding hallucinogenic mushroom pizza to a priest, entering a male stripper contest, foiling two separate robberies, stopping to have sex (one couple loses their virginity in a confessional), sneaking backstage, beating up some disco fans, getting beat up by various other people and by each other, and eventually making it into the sanctum sanctorum of the KISS live performance.

Much of the humor in the film will be lost on people who don’t know every KISS lyric and remember the KISS comic with the band’s blood mixed into the red ink. And it is something of a valentine to sex, drugs, and rock and roll, to say nothing of lying, cheating, stealing, destroying property, and cutting school. Furthermore, it is very much a male fantasy movie, with four teen-age boys triumphing over huge bad guys and winning over beautiful women. It also includes one of the key cliches of the teen movie — the character who has sex for the first time becomes suddenly more mature, braver, wiser, and more powerful. Parents of kids who see this movie may want to discuss these issues.

Most kids will not be interested, however. To the extent that the movie has appeal beyond hardcore KISS fans and those who appreciate the 1970’s references, it is due to its young stars (including Edward Furlong, Natasha Lyonne, and Melanie Lynskey) and the loyalty they show to each other, to their idols, and to their dreams. This lends the movie a welcome sweetness that leaves the audience almost as happy that they make it into the theater as they are.

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Comedy High School
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