Claim: Blood from KISS band members was mixed with the red ink used to print the first KISS comic book.
Origins: Given that the concept for the band KISS drew upon comic book superheroes almost as much as upon music itself, they were a natural to feature someday in their very own comic. Sure enough, that came to pass in 1977 when Marvel Comics issued the first Super Special KISS comic book.
Never one to pass up a good marketing opportunity, KISS willingly went along with a promotional gimmick invented to spur sales of the first edition. As Gene Simmons recalled:
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 [Aucoin] or Sean [Delaney]. 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.
Sure enough, KISS members allowed their blood to be drawn during a concert stop, and they later flew up to New York to be photographed adding their vials of donated blood to a barrel of red ink. A notary public duly certified the authenticity of the process, and the notarized document was made available as the "KISS comic book contract":
This is to certify that KISS members, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss, have each donated blood which is being collectively mixed with the red ink to be used for the first issue of the Marvel/KISS comics. The blood was extracted on February 21st, 1977 at Nassau Coliseum and has been under guarded refrigeration until this day when it was delivered to the Borden Ink plant in Depew, New York.
A subsequent rumor maintained that, due to a mix-up at the printers', the batch of red ink containing the blood of KISS members was actually used for a print run of Sports Illustrated magazine and did not end up in the Marvel Comic as intended.
Last updated: 16 June 2011
Simmons, Gene. KISS and Make-Up.
New York: Crown Publishers, 2001. ISBN 0-609-60855-X (pp. 136-137).
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.