"Die Kitty, Die!" #1 from Chapter House Comics -
Kitty is a buxom, beautiful, red-headed bombshell of a woman with a heart as big as Texas. How could you get any better than that? Easy - at last in Kitty's case. She's an honest to goodness, magic-slinging, shape-shifting witch whose real-life hijinks and adventures have been documented for many years in the pages of wildly popular comic books which also spawned equally popular live-action TV shows, cartoons and toy lines. Unfortunately, those days are gone. The comic book industry isn't what it used to be, and people have moved on from the days of feel-good fun, and so have publishers. Events, cross-overs, zombies, and gimmicks are what move comics now, and Kitty's publishers have tried all these things to put Kitty back on the map once more. Kitty is sad and worried; she has no clue about what to do. But her publishers do. They hatch a plot so exciting, so wicked, so utterly evil and ingenious, it's sure to put Kitty's comics back on top...While making sure Kitty ends up six feet under. Some publishers would kill for a hit comic. Literally.
Fernando Ruiz, and comics legend, Dan Parent, pull double duty writing and illustrating this not-so-subtle critique of the state of the comic book industry, "Die Kitty, Die!" #1. In this book, Parent unleashes his disappointment with, and displeasure towards, how the comic book industry has changed. Parent laments a bygone age and disappearing characters that once created fun little worlds for comics fans to inhabit for just a small escape from the heaviness of the workaday world. As one of Archie Comics' premier artists for many years, it is no surprise that Parent used clones of our favorite Archie characters to get his points across - Kitty is similar to Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (but way hotter) - but he also pulls some Harvey Comics faves out of mothballs too -Dippy The Dead Kid is similar to Casper The Friendly Ghost, and Li'L Satan (seen in a photo) recalls one of my most beloved Harvey characters, Hot Stuff. Parent and Ruiz take deadly aim at Archie Comics and offer up a scathing criticism on their use of gimmicks in recent years; even artists aren't safe as Parent roasts superstar artists who cannot seem to do work which is both fast and good, which leads to delays in comic production. WOW! They really let it all hang out here, all while crafting a fun, entertaining story, even if it does get a bit preachy at times. Love it or hate it, you have to give Parent credit for using his art form to bravely express himself (which is what art is for) - I mean, he is just saying what many of us older fans have thought for years anyway (in some cases). All in all, "Die Kitty, Die" #1 is a very interesting, quite entertaining book with classic Dan Parent artwork and humor with a little added raunch that places this book in the T+ category. I will stick around for this one. Dan definitely has more to say.
RATING: 8 out of 10 for fun, and the "Oh, no he didn't!" factor in Parent's biting analysis of some parts of the comics industry. If you are an over-forty comics fan, you probably don't want to miss this one. If you're much younger, you might enjoy this comic too - it can give you a bit of insight into what us, erhm.."mature" dudes are often complaining about when it comes to the modern state comics.
FUN FACT: Dan Parent is the creator of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly homosexual character.
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