Truly unique comic books are hard to come by. Often a “new” story or superhero has been created many times before. But occasionally a comic book is created that speaks to a generation. Perhaps that generation is yearning for something new, something like a heavy-metal comic book. Gene Simmons and the marketing team at KISS were way ahead of the curve on this novelty idea. How would you like to own a comic book that actually has a piece of the artist on each and every page? KISS gave it’s fans something truly unique in the first comic book published by Marvel Comics in their name.
KISS was part disco, part heavy metal, but mostly a pure carnie act and ultimately all-American original. They toured around the world, had surgically altered parts, gave good tongue, and looked like demons straight out of Hell. In short, they took the 70s by storm. Their amalgam was always original and first, their fire breathing tongue lashing antics was something new on the American scene. It encapsulated the spark of that time the “Me-Generation” a time of unparalleled individualism in art and science. This was never more true than with the first KISS comic book Marvel Comics Super Special #1. It was created by Steve Gerber (script) and the team of Alan Weiss, John Buscema, Rich Buckler, and Sal Buscema (art). With both the Buscema’s covering the art, then you know it has to be good. In addition, Al Milgrom also did the ink and colors, did you notice that deep red folks? We will get to that in a second. Can these “Knights In Satan’s Service” possibly be profitable in the modern era?
The band was formed in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley (Source: Wiki). They weren’t just singers and musicians, these guys were a carnival freak show on speed. Their performances were more important than their music. They performed acts of, “fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits and pyrotechnics (Wiki)!” Each band member took on a different embodiment with Stanley (Starchild), Simmons (Demon), Frehley (Spaceman), and Criss the Catman. With 75 million records sold worldwide KISS “holds the title as America’s #1 gold record award-winning group of all time, earned 30 Gold albums, 14 Platinum and KISS has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
At the height of the band’s popularity, they pulled a publicity stunt like no other. They had blood drawn and went to Marvel to have their blood mixed with Marvel ink. The ink and blood mix created Marvel Comics Super Special #1 in-store date December 1, 1976 (GoCollect). Per Gene Simmons arguably the biggest of the band members:
“As the KISS comic book project moved along, someone came up with the idea of putting real blood in the ink. It wasn’t me-maybe it was Bill or Sean. We got into a DC3, one of those big prop planes and flew up to Buffalo to Marvel’s printing plant, where they pour the ink and make comic books. A notary public actually witnessed the blood being drawn (Wiki).”
The results are a book that lives in infamy and is sought after by so many that loved KISS growing up. Even as a non-fan, the book is intriguing, it has some kind of irresistible pull to comic collectors. The marketing skill of KISS is nothing short of extraordinary. Can this comic book that is literally written in the blood and the DNA of KISS still make speculators some moolah?
- Grade 9.8 $1,025 last sale returns positive +27%
- Grade 9.2 $167 last sale returns negative -8%
- Grade 8.5 $315 last sale returns positive +38%
- Grade 5.0 $69 last sale returns positive +25%
The long-term returns are sporadic but are inching forward, not a huge seller probably because of its nuance. However, grade 9.8 does command a solid $1,000 price tag. In addition, some lucky fire-breather owns a 9.9 copy! That is nothing to shake your tongue at. Don’t be left out, this comic could continue to increase in value. Besides who doesn’t want to take every member of the KISS band home with them?
“It is all in the blood…” -Dracula (Netflix)
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