177: KISS
   

This comic took a hell of a long time, but it was totally worth it.  I didn't want to rush it at all, because everyone knows if you're gonna do Kiss, you gotta go for the over-the-top visuals.  That's what they're all about!  Well, that, and making millions of dollars with every merchandising scheme on the planet.  In the true spirit of Kiss'ss visuals, I didn't do any image editing on tonight's comic.  Everything you see here is what I drew to the best of my ability.  Hooray!  Now before I get to bands, I'd like to take care of a few awesome shoutouts.  We're gonna have lots of things to click on today!  First is a very special drawing done for us by Alice from Sweden.  Alice's exact words to me were "I LOVE THIS COMIC!! So much that I had to draw a happy picture of myself!"  It's a beautifully done drawing, and the sentiment made me feel just as good as she does in the picture.  Thank you, Alice!  Next is a very kickass comic strip discovered by Brian from Illinois.  This is a strip that I think everyone will enjoy, so go ahead and enjoy.  And finally I'd like to thank Cristina from Illinois, Ryan from Maryland, and Ethan from Canada, for all of their suggestions, kindness, and... hm... maybe "sexiness?"  Yeah, let's go with that.  Thank you, you sexy trio, you!

Now it's time to continue yesterday's trend with a few more bands from Zack of Dorkylvania.  The first band is an 80's glam metal band called House of Lords, who garnered a little bit of fame, but have remained largely unknown for the majority of their career.  They're still around and still writing pretty damn good music, now sounding like a cool blend of power metal and 80's glam.  Here's one of their recent songs, entitled "The Bigger They Come."  The other band we have for you today is a British heavy metal band called Threshold.  They have a slightly progressive/melodic sound, which I honestly loved the second I heard it.  Here's one of their most popular songs, "Slipstream".  That does it for bands!  Thanks Zack!  And now, at long last, our next installment of Zack's story, with a little twist!

     I coudn't remember how many drinks I had that night, but I could tell you that it was too many.  After stumbling out of the local pub and through the central plaza I found myself at his statue.  I hated that statue.  How often I dreamed of uprooting it from the very earth in which it stood.  How frequently I would spit at it while walking past, hoping that the imperial guard wouldn't notice.  How I longed to punish the man whose very face was embodied in that horrid slab.  Yet now I found myself, drunken and tired, leaning against that very statue as my only support.
      "Some emperor," I thought.  "Finally helping someone for a change, and it's a drunk fucking low-life."  I retched at my own words, spilling what was probably three drinks' worth of alcohol over the statue's base.  "I could run this country better than that fucking bastard..."  My words were whispered but seemed to echo throughout the entire plaza.  Or perhaps it was just through my own head, because an idea had just begun to solidify therein.  I hoisted myself up and quickly staggered back to my home - I would be needing as much rest as possible for the next day.
     Before midday had even passed, I found myself being led through the palace gates by two imperial guards.  The punishment for spitting on the Emperor's statues was treason, a punishment that his Lordship Zack liked to dole out to people personally.  The guards led me, arms bound tightly to my sides, all the way into the palace's Grand Hall, where the Overdork himself was waiting, having heard that a traitor had been caught.  The guards dropped me to my knees, and Zack descended from his throne, walking slowly toward me, staring into my face.  He frowned, but his eyes seemed wildly happy with the thought of getting to banish another criminal.  He stopped in front of me, and after a good ten seconds, said:
      "Do you know what the punishment is for those who desecrate a sacred memorial?"  The question was rhetorical, so I didn't answer him.  "I would have thought my citizens had learned to respect me by now.  Tell me, what were you trying to accomplish by committing such a heinous crime?"
      "Why, I wanted to see you, of course."  Zack turned at my response, a sudden intrigue appearing on his face.  His expression sought for more, so I continued my explanation.  "I knew that a crime such as this would allow me an immediate audience with you, my Lord, so I purposely let the guards see me spit on the statue."
      The Emperor actually looked impressed, his cunning as a politician surely allowed him to recognize cunning in front of him.  "What is your name, citizen?"  He didn't need to ask anything else - I knew from the question that I had found my way closer to him.  I stood up, our eyes now level with eachother at our full heights.
      "Thayet, my Lord.  You may call me Thayet."

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