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Kiss bassist Gene Simmons has announced that one of the comic books originally planned for local publisher IDW, Gene Simmons House of Horrors, will now instead be published by Arcana Comics. In addition, comics earlier announced (and cancelled) by Arcana will finally see publication.

However, the press release gives little indication that the upcoming Arcana titles are anything other than "all-new." Nor does any mention appear in the press release about the original cancelled IDW House of Horrors comics, though there IS a lot of hoopala about the Kiss bassist promoting his Simmons Comics Group at Comic-Con this week.

In Spring 2007, Simmons was working with IDW on a horror anthology comic titled Gene Simmons House Of Horrors. “Think Chiller meets the Twilight Zone,” publisher Chris Ryall told the Reader at the time. The comic was originally to be published by the Kiss bassist’s own Simmons Comic Group, in partnership with IDW.


The second Simmons Comic Group House of Horrors issue (cover art above) remains unpublished, and it's unclear if this material will now appear in the same-named comic from Arcana. “We originally planned to do a comic with Iron Maiden, until Gene’s comic came along,” IDW creator Tom Waltz told the Reader in 2007; his locally-created Children Of The Grave comic series is loosely based on a Black Sabbath song. “The band was totally up for it, but then all these middlemen got involved with licensing and permissions, and it became really difficult to get simple yes or no answers.”

The Simmons Comic Group was next announced as an Arcana publication, but the aborted launch was also affected by an apparent falling out with co-creator (and fellow musician) Jazan Wild, which led to two announced issues of another Simmons series being canceled, as well as a planned reboot of House of Horrors. The comics seen in below Arcana ad from several years ago were among the cancellations:


“We all agreed and listed the books to come out on Halloween and even had a collector's book that was going to be in Barnes and Noble and Borders,” according to Wild, who says he spent five months working with Simmons on the comic. “But, Gene Simmons has a ton of things going at any given time, and sadly this one seemed to not be the right time for him…since I own the story and all of the art, I decided to change the title to Jazan Wild's Funhouse Of Horrors and let everyone see this terrific story…I know thousands of people ordered this book.”

Simmons and Arcana Comics plan to relaunch the line by debuting the Simmons Comics Anthology at this week’s San Diego Comic-Con. The Anthology brings together comics originally co-created by Simmons, which includes the first issue of Zipper™, Dominatrix™ and Gene Simmons House of Horrors™ plus the first chapter of an all-new crossover event, “The Slave Trade”, where Zipper™ and Dominatrix™ will face off against each other.

“We intend on using the finest artists and writers in the comic book medium,” says Simmons in today's press release. “Zipper™, Dominatrix™, and Gene Simmons House of Horrors™ will be published throughout the year. For Comic-Con, we thought we would do something special and give the fans a jam-packed Simmons Comics Anthology featuring all of our comic book titles. This is just the beginning.”

In the case of House of Horrors, this would actually be the THIRD beginning, with the title having been cancelled twice before.

At Comic-Con, Simmons will be doing a book signing on Friday, July 13 at 2:00 pm, at Arcana Comics Booth #2415. Only 200 copies of the Anthology will be made available at Comic-Con. Fans will get the chance to meet Simmons and get their photo taken with real life versions of Dominatrix™ and Zipper™.

Says Simmons, “Sean Patrick O’Reilly has been completely supportive and a great partner in our re-launch of Simmons Comics Group. As a lifelong fanboy, I’ve been madly in love with the medium ever since I was in my early teens and have continued to ravenously devour comics through the decades...along the way, I created our three comics – Zipper™, Dominatrix™ and Gene Simmons House of Horrors™. Zipper™ is an alien among us. Dominatrix™ deals pleasure and pain, CIA meet T & A. Gene Simmons House of Horrors™ consists of stories by some of the best talents in comics today.”

Art in the Comic-Con Anthology is by rising star Yannis Roumboulias, with scripting by Arcana writer Erik Hendrix, who lives in Oceanside.

“I’m a corporate cube farmer by day, and a freelance writer by night and by train,” the 36 year-old Hendrix told the Reader. He says he spent over a decade wearing his not-so-secret corporate identity at Unisys Logistics and Order Management in Rancho Bernardo.

Hendrix has long aspired to be a writer, but hadn’t considered comics until around 2008. “I was working on my first novel, and I had a ton of ideas gnawing at my brain. Just jotting them down didn’t clear them from my thoughts, so I started dabbling in comic scripts, tying together my love of writing with my love of comics.”

In 2010, he took a job at Arcana Comics as VP of Promotions. "In 2008, I was a fan. In 2009, an aspiring creator walking around with flyers and pitches. In 2010, I was working at a booth and had contracts." Last year, he was running Arcana’s booth and debuting his first mass-distributed graphic novel.

The local publisher who put so much time and effort promoting Gene Simmons comic books that will now instead be published by Arcana isn't new to the growing cross-pollination between comics and mainstream showbiz media.

IDW Publishing has risen to become one of the top-five best selling U.S. comic companies, thanks in part to developing licensed properties based on CSI, 24, Angel, Transformers, Star Trek, Dick Tracy, G.I. Joe, Doctor Who, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which actually started as a small press comic book).

“I’m roughly the same age as Comic-Con,” IDW publisher and writer Chris Ryall told the Reader last year for a cover feature tied into Comic-Con, "Keys to the Comic Kingdom" ( http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20... ). “I think my first show was in 1997. I've been a comic fan since I was a kid, and have vague recollections of getting [Superman co-creator] Joe Shuster’s autograph at a show in Los Angeles when I was about four or five.”

Regarding Hollywood-VS-comics, Ryall counters that “Comic-Con is so large now that you can easily make it into whatever you want the show to be. If you want movie trailers and to see stars, sure, that’s an option. But there’s so much more, from talking to publishers and creators of current books, to seeing people from your childhood favorites, and everything in between.”

Having already reached the status and sales only dreamed by the majority of Comic-Con hopefuls, Ryall says “IDW doesn’t really do [conventions] to make money as much as getting directly in front of fans, offering an outlet for fans to meet IDW creators, and hopefully expose some new people to our books. It also serves as a nice place to meet and talk to creators face to face, which has led to some nice projects.”

The 2012 Comic-Con will be no exception. As he told the Reader last year, “The ideal scenario for me is just that people walk away even more excited about IDW’s books than they were before it started. And hopefully, along the way, I’ll have made a few new deals, brought on a few new creators, caught up with old friends, and maybe even gotten a little sleep somewhere during that week.”


IDW also published the relatively recent Archie/Kiss crossover (above). Previous Kiss comics have been published by Marvel, Revolutionary (also based in San Diego), Personality Comics, Celebrity Comics, Dark Horse, Rock Fantasy, and Image...



THE KOMPLETE KISS KOMIX KRONICLES - Comprehensive collection of stuff I’ve done about working with Kiss on a comic book series, along with a bunch of never-before-seen artifacts from the Kiss Komix archives AND an article by Kiss comic author Spike Steffenhagen, offering his own very-different take, ala Rashomon, on the same events I describe in my essay...



ROCK 'N' ROLL COMICS: THE INSIDE STORY - In 1989, local Revolutionary Comics ("Unauthorized And Proud Of It") launched Rock 'N' Roll Comics, featuring unlicensed biographies of rock stars, most of which I wrote. Some performers, like Frank Zappa and Kiss, were supportive, while others like New Kids On The Block considered our comics akin to bootlegs and sued. In June 1992, publisher Todd Loren was found dead in his San Diego condo, brutally murdered...



NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK VS REVOLUTIONARY COMICS - The inside story of how a hugely successful boy band tried to sue local-based Rock 'N' Roll Comics over an unauthorized biography of the group, sparking a court case that established, for the very first time, first amendment rights for comic books. Illustrated by comic superstar Stuart Immonen (Superman, etc.)...



OVER A MILLION CARNAL COMICS ARE IN PRINT - Here's how and why we made some of the top-selling erotic comics of all time, right here in San Diego, including what Gene Simmons has to do with it all, backstage tales of porn stars, and more confessions of a comic pornographer...



THE ROCKETEER AND OTHER FAMOUS '80S COMICS BEGAN RIGHT HERE IN SAN DIEGO - Here's a detailed history of local Pacific Comics, who recruited comic superstars like Jack Kirby to create one of the first successful indie comic book lines. Pioneers in the fight for comic creators' rights and royalties, former employees and operators reveal how they did it, and what went so terribly wrong...



COMICS AND CENSORSHIP - DON'T BE AFRAID, IT'S ONLY A COMIC BOOK - A local-centric history of comic book censorship, and the fight for the rights of comic creators...


deep38joblog50 joblog51

TWILIGHT ZONE AND STAR TREK WRITER GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON PRESENTS - The inside story of a local horror comic book series featuring Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, plus sci-fi king Larry Niven, Zap Comix co-founder Spain Rodriguez, Matthew Alice artist Rick Geary, Vampire Lestat painter Daerick Gross, yours truly JAS, and many more...



THE BIRTH OF IMAGE COMICS: INSIDE STORY OF A LOCAL PUBLISHING POWERHOUSE - Illustrated tale revealing how Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and local comic artist Jim Lee (the Punisher, etc.) conspired to create the ultimate creator-owned comic books...


 Down the Slippery Slope - Arrested For the Crime of Viewing Manga

On March 30, 2004, when Dwight Whorley found the Japanese website of Fractal Underground Studio via Yahoo and clicked on a couple of the thumbnail images... ( http://comipress.com/special/miscellaneous/down-the-slippery-slope-the-crime-of-viewing-manga )

More comic-related links:

OVERHEARD IN SAN DIEGO - Several years' worth of this comic strip, which debuted in the Reader in 1996: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/overheard-san-diego/

FAMOUS FORMER NEIGHBORS - Over 100 comic strips online, with mini-bios of famous San Diegans: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/famous-former-neighbors/

JAY ALLEN SANFORD MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/jayallensanford

Listen to the Overheard in San Diego theme song!

Press to play the Overheard song!

Cathryn Beeks: Vocals www.myspace.com/cathrynbeeksordeal
Sven-Erik Seaholm: Vocals, Guitars, Bass www.svensongs.com
Bill Ray: Drums www.billraydrums.com
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ponydeathride July 11, 2012 @ 3:17 p.m.

Would've been neat if Jeromy Cox did the coloring on this!


Jay Allen Sanford July 11, 2012 @ 9:43 p.m.

Related story: We Got The Con - comic-related music events happening around town and at the Con this week: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs...


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