Rockbrat Wonders: What Was the Best Kiss Fanzine ?

forget the internet kids - Kiss zines ruled !
forget the internet kids – Kiss zines ruled !

In the mid-late 80’s, die-hard Kiss fans produced fanzines on the band and it was indeed – a magical time. A lot of these people were massive Kiss fans whose names you may know, but they are now lost in the bloated Kiss juggernaut which seems to roll on forever. Sure they are back in the news with a new album/tour. but whatever way you look at it, there was a time when Kiss were out of the public spotlight. Consequently,  the need for underground zines was enormous. It was an exciting time to be a Kiss fan back then. The make-up days were gone and they were written about in zines in wonder, a time in the band’s history to cherish. News on the band here in Australia was scarce and was often months old via well read copies of Circus or Hit Parader in the local newsagent. As a former foot soldier, I amassed quite a collection of print zines over the years and thought I would offer my opinion on some of my favourites. There were many publications produced (usually A5 format) and I know I have missed many (like the cool Strange Ways zine) but I am only focusing on what Captain Rockbrat found in my Kiss treasure chest. Oh I am not meaning ‘fan club’ kits here either, I am talking print fanzines ! By the way, a big ‘thumbs up’ to all the the Kiss editors of the 80’s who are – in my opinion – largely responsible for keeping Stanley and Simmons in the minds of fans everywhere – and played some small part (indirectly) in getting the re-union happening in 1996.

Kiss This (Australia)
Ran out of Melbourne in the late 80’s it was always an enjoyable read. I think they did 7 issues. Close to my heart as there was a large focus on the 1980 tour. They were never afraid to stray from the safe Kiss zine formula, and once did an ‘Elder Exposed’ article which claimed there were intentional backward messages on the 1981 album. Great zine with a lot of charisma (ahem).

Oh Yeah (Australia)
Another Kiss zine from outta Melbourne and one which was well produced. It was around from the early – mid 90’s from memory.

Kiss Crazy (UK)
One of the standouts in the world of Kiss fanzines. Superbly produced, neat lay-out and well researched. Around from the late 80’s to the mid-90’s, this was once to read cover to cover and then once more. They once devoted a whole issue (Dec 90) featuring the comic-art of the very talented Kiss artists Larry Blake. Cool. I even visited Carol at the London HQ back in 1991 and we talked solid Kiss. Set new standards for Kiss zines. Quite possibly my all time favourite Kiss zine which I still love looking back on.

Kiss Journal (France)
A regular A4 sized magazine from France which was always packed with amazing photos, a fold-out poster and great artwork. Made me wish I’d not slept through my high school french classes. Not sure if they survived into the 90’s.

Firehouse Magazine (Canada)
I did not own many issues of this zine, but cherish the ones I do have. Interviews, photos, info etc. Clean and neat lay-out. I dug this.

Strike (Italy)
Superfan Nicola was indeed just that. A super fan. If you are a Kiss collector, you would no doubt be aware of this legendary fanzine. He had direct access to the band and the issues were packed with so much info, news, photo’s etc, it was a highlight when a new issue arrived. Like London’s Kiss Crazy, Strike took the world of Kiss fanzines to a new dimension.

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