Kiss me, Kiss me, Kiss Me Comix: An Interview with Rod Jenkins and Robert Boyd

Kiss Me Comix

Kiss Me Comix

The first time I heard of Kiss Me Comix was on the now shuttered BlackSuperHero.com (but still archived), when a cat named Rod Jenkins would enthusiastically post about his media company and all of their properties. So when his name popped up on my list of potential interviewees, I was excited to get into contact and learn more about this universe. In a nice surprise, another member of the Kiss Me Comix team, Robert Boyd, joined in our discussion.

First, who are you guys, where are you from and where do you live now?

ROBERT BOYD
Well my self and Rod have been friends for a very long time, we went to the same grade school. We are both from the southside of Chicago Il and still live there currently.

ROD JENKINS
Robert, my wife Barbara, and me, form Kiss Me Comix. Rob is like another brother to me, it’s been that long.

What was the first comic that you read?

ROBERT
I remember reading Batman and Spider-Man and still do.

ROD
For Barbara it was Archie, for me it was DC’s Weird War tales. Currently, I don’t read too much mainstream. I used to read Thor, and the Avengers.

Was there a specific comic that inspired you to create your own comics?

ROBERT
The titles that I just mentioned were my biggest influence, for me they were very relatable. Spider-man because he was a shy guy until he put on that mask and then his true personality came out. Batman because he is just a regular guy doing all of these amazing things.

ROD
Good one, Barbara it wasn’t a comic but a creative writing assignment. Me-it was the game called Powers where you had to create a superhero. But there are elements of Batman, Spiderman, and Ironman that go into the comic I produce.

Are you guys self taught or did you have a formal education?

ROBERT
I just have an active imagination and I try to put it to good use for the good of KMC. My strong suit is wrIting, can’t draw to save my life. LOL.

ROD
Barbara is a natural, but she went to American Academy. I’m still learning on the fly.

Who would you say are your major influences on your writing and art?

ROBERT
For myself I guess you could say Stan Lee ( old school) His heroes are very relatable and have real problems like anyone else would have at any time.

ROD
Barbara, liked Neil Gaiman and Chris Carter from the X-files. I like George Perez and Jack Kirby. Writing,  there’s no particular one person, I have an era I liked the write stories were written it 80-90’s.

Okay, tell me about the formation of Kiss Me Comix. How did it begin? Who was the driving force?

ROBERT
You wanna take that one Rod?? I will chime in when you are done.

ROD
Ok Rob. Barbara and I were making greeting cards, and as comics fans we saw that there wasn’t any representation for African-Americans, much less any African-American women, so we saw the opportunity to change that with our skills.

ROBERT
At the time R&B were just starting out with their titles and would ask me for ideas which they liked. One day they decided that I should join up and the rest is history.

ROD
Rob was always there helping us get things together to help make our books, it was only natural after all the he’d done he’d become part of us.

The name is certainly unique and memorable, where did Kiss Me Comix come from?

ROD
OHHH good one. Kiss Me Comix comes from the main Title, Serenade, and the unique way she can kill.

ROBERT
Well Serenade is our heavy hitter, the other main titles we publish are Bountyhunter and Excessive Force.

That leads into my next question, how did you create Serenade, and why did you decide to release that book first?

ROD
Serenade, created by Barbara, was a creative writing assignment back when she was going to American Academy. The teacher loved the storyline so much that he told her to take it as far as she can. When Serenade was launched we tried to get both Serenade and Bountyhunter together but Serenade was the one one ready to go. Bountyhunter came the following year, and Excessive Force was voted by our readers after that.

How does your creative process work, is each book completely created by each of you or is it totally collaborative?

ROD
Rob you want to answer that?

ROBERT
Yes thanks. Well I have written stories for all 3 titles that we have not even used yet because of the pacing of where we might have things going in each book there just might not be time for a particular storyline at the time. Yes sometime we put forth a team effort on a story or a new title we have a title we are working on called Out of the Asylum we hope to have ready this year or next for sure.

ROD
We take unique approach, we all work separately and collaborate at the same time. We pool our skills when needed.

You guys have been on the indie scene for a good time now. How have things changed, particularly in the African-American independent scene?

ROBERT
You want to take this one Rod?

ROD
Sure. There had been a strong African-American presence before KMC got on the scene the problem is then as in now, for the African-American creators and characters aren’t viewed to the mainstream reading audience. Until there’s a vehicle where the talent and books are equally represented the disparity will always be there.
anything to add ROB?

ROBERT
Another thing is the AA creators just want to cater to the AA market and not just the market as a whole.

Where do you see Kiss Me Comix going in the future? Plans to expand the line? Move into animation or films?

ROBERT
Yes we have other titles in the works. I am currently working on a title that I hope to have ready for C2E2, a big comic convention here in chicago, in April. Also, we are dabbling in animation as well.

ROD
True Rob, and it’s that expansion that will help KMC get there. Yes Andre, once we fully get KMC incorporated (which will happen shortly) we are expanding. Like Rob stated, we have several titles in the works, and to boost our exposure we are looking to animation and film to be broadcasted on official YOUTUBE channel, Itunes, and web.

Do you have any advice for new indie comic creators that are looking to make an impact like Kiss Me Comix?

ROBERT
Well to any Indie comic creators out there I say this… never let anyone tell you that you can’t or that what you are doing is a waste of time!! If you love what you are doing then worry about that do not listen to the haters out there!!

ROD
Stick with things, and develop a thick hide, because critics from all around will say a lot of things, some warranted, some not. If you let naysayer disrupt your path you’ll never get there. Patience is another key part to that as well, good things don’t happen overnight.

Great. Lastly, where can fans find your books or contact you?

ROBERT
Where fan can contact us here on facebook at Friends of Kiss Me comix or our website kissmecomix.com or they can meet us next at C2E2 in April here in chicago if they are headed this way.

ROD
They can find us on our Facebook page: Kissmecomix1275, twitter: #kissmecomix, they can find on the web kissmecomix.com and email us contactkmc@kissmecomix.com or the old fashioned way 773-982-8334 is our phone.

Thanks gentlemen for an informative interview, it was a pleasure chatting with you.

ROBERT
Thank you Mr. Owens hope to chat with you again soon!!

ROD
Thanks Andre, it was a pleasure.

Andre Owens has been hiding in Los Angeles for over 15 years, a former Director of Photography, he now writes and publishes the cosmic comic, Force Galaxia. He is currently writing and plans to produce a webseries, The Psychedelic Detective. In his free time he enjoys long form television, sushi and a celebration of all things 420. His name’s not Supergreen!

Cosmic Mutiny
By Andre Owens

“Kiss me, Kiss me, Kiss Me Comix: An Interview with Rod Jenkins and Robert Boyd”

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2 Comments

  1. Posted January 31, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks again Andre! We had a blast, hope to do that again in the future.

    • Posted February 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      Rod – definitely reach out to us with updates and we can set up another interview for your next major announcement.

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