Die Kitty Die! Makes Fun of Publisher
Fernando Ruiz and Dan Parent, former Archie Comics artists, teamed up for a Kickstarter at the end of last year to put out Die Kitty Die!, a parody series about a large-breasted witch whose comic publisher is trying to kill her. (Dan Parent was the driving force behind the Kevin Keller introduction, giving Archie its first out gay character, but with the publisher’s revamp, the two haven’t been doing as much work for Archie. And after this series, I expect that separation to be reinforced.) As the two described the project:
When her greedy, publicity-starved publisher wants to increase interest in her comic book, he does what many comic book publishers do nowadays… he sets out to kill his main character, Kitty! Even worse, he decides to REALLY spike sales by killing the REAL Kitty in REAL life! The question is though… how do you kill a witch? “DIE, KITTY! DIE!” is a funny, exciting, and often sexy story about a girl caught in both the supernatural world of witches, and the super-crazy world of comics!
The two are digitally serializing the comic, with three of the four issues out so far, and a collected hardcover available in October via Chapterhouse Comics. (Update: The publisher (see comments below) says that the October release will be issue #1, with the collection due out through them in 2017. I thought I saw somewhere that the self-published hardcover was planned for summer release for convention season, so maybe that will still happen for those who preorder. But the interesting news is that now, Die Kitty Die! will go beyond the Kickstarted four issues, with more to come.)
This is not particularly subtle or fresh satire. Pot shots are taken at comic crossover stunts. The publisher (drawn with a bird in his hair, cause he’s bird-brained, get it?) wants movie deals and chases social media mentions. The references aren’t just to Archie. With a guest appearances by Dippy the Dead Kid and Li’l Satan, Harvey comes in, too.
It’s kind of weird seeing what I think of as classic teen-comic style populated with more adult content. There’s the occasional profanity, and the first story in the first issue, set up as though it was an older reprint, is about how large Kitty’s breasts are. The rest of the issue has her naked or in her underwear. There’s a certain scent of “old guys try to get hip with modern sales methods” about this creator-owned project.
After a bunch of ghosts trying to kill Kitty in issue #2, we get back to comic industry drive-bys in issue #3, such as these panels from the publisher’s convention appearance.
I have to admit, though, the line “some might even happen!” made me laugh.