Yes, it’s absolutely true…in 1977 when Marvel Comics issued the first Super Special KISS comic book the band did not want to pass up on a strange marketing opportunity to sell more issues.
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”.
The monumental first issue was called KISS Marvel Comics Super Special! #1 and it quickly became Marvels best-selling comic book ever! Realizing this was a major event in the comic book industry, Marvel opted not to print the KISS comic in standard comic book size and decided instead to release it in the much larger magazine size format. The forty page book featured the origin of KISS and an epic battle between KISS and Dr. Doom plus never before published KISS photos and features.
The promotional stunt paid off. The first KISS comic broke every comic book sales record imaginable and soon became the biggest selling comic book of all time. KISS Marvel Comics Super Special! #1 would hold that distinction for fifteen years until it was dethroned by Todd McFarlane’s, Spiderman #1 in 1990.