Ever since Archie Comics took a bold step forward and introduced Kevin Keller (in Veronica # 202 – Sept. 2010), a new character who is gay, the world stood up and had an opinion. While the gay community lauded the effort by cartoonist Dan Parent (the man who created the character), ironically parents around the world had issues with alternate sexuality cropping up in children’s comics that were known for the “squeaky-clean image.”
Interestingly, that issue sold-out and for the first time in their Seventy-year history, Archie comics had to go in for a re-print. (In fact, the super success of the character had Dan Parent reintroduce Kevin in Veronica #205.)
Said Archie CEO John Goldwater in a press statement, “Archie’s hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books.”
Regardless of the flack, the guys at Archie obviously got more bouquets than brickbats for daring to throw open the ‘closet doors’ and hence, they decided to publish a stand-alone Kevin Keller comic that would initially span four issues. Yesterday (June 8th), the very first issue of Kevin Keller hit stores in the USA. Check out the cover above, by cartoonist Dan Parent.
In fact, these comics also tackle the issue of gays in the military (a huge moral and political issue in the States) since Kevin’s father is a Colonel in the Army and is very supportive of his son’s lifestyle choices.
Dan Parent says in a release, “It shows that Riverdale is in the 21st century.”