Larger than Life Book for KISS –Cagle

The "KISS Monster Book" coffee-table book.

KISS performing in a picture from the new book on the band.

Measuring three feet in height and two-and-a-half feet in width, the “largest rock book ever published” covers the band’s complete history in photos, with the works of noted rock concert lensemen that include the likes of Fin Costello, Ross Halfin, Bob Gruen and Richard Aaron, among other prominent photographers.

Verona, Italy-based printer EBS Editoriale Bortolazzi Stei churned out the pages on two KBA Rapida 162 sheetfed offset presses. It took 14 days of 14-hour production to complete the printing phase alone. An unnamed Italian bindery, which is credited with serving the Vatican’s binding needs, provided hand sewing for the entire run of 1,000 copies. The sewing of each copy took two weeks and required roughly 66 feet of thread. The covers for each copy used 17.2 square feet of cloth.

The exhaustive production doesn’t include the 627 hours spent on the images, which collectively use more than one terrabyte of space. Proofs were generated by an Epson Stylus Pro 9900; at an average of four proofs per page, the proofing phase alone took 408 hours.

A total of 51 slides (35mm) were scanned to the maximum size possible, then enlarged 4,700 percent.

All 1,000 copies were signed by members of the current KISS lineup. And, if the run wasn’t short enough, 10 variable covers will bear the flag of a specific country—United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Brazil and Russia—along with the “KISS Monster” title.

In all, the job consumed a reported 52,250 pounds of paper. The sheer enormity of the project prompted founding member Paul Stanley to observe, “This book is way beyond my expectations. The photos are incredible at this size. It’s not a coffee-table book, it’s a coffee table!”

While the “KISS Monster Book” may be a dream bedside companion (or even a makeshift boxspring for a twin bed), its exclusivity is surpassed only by its price. The “Monster” will set you back US$4,250 a shot. If it’s any consolation, shipping is included in the price. PI