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First Look: Archie Comic's New Gay Character, Kevin Keller

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Yesterday I posted a video of Fausto Fernos speaking with Dan Parent, who has been writing and drawing the Archie comic series for two decades, speaking about the comic's introduction of its first gay character.

You can watch it again, AFTER THE JUMP...

Now, via Newsarama, are some strips from the comic, which is debuting on September 1, 2010.

Parent tells Newsarama that they've been introducing a lot of diversity into the comic recently, and finally came up with a storyline for a gay character:

Archie4  "In his introductory story, titled 'Isn't it Bromantic?,' Kevin's good looks get the attention of Veronica, who doesn't know he's gay because he's the new kid in town. Her thwarted attempts at winning his attraction amuse the other characters – particularly Jughead. 'They just like watching Veronica making a fool of herself, trying to get this guy to like her,' Parent said. 'At the beginning of the book, Kevin tells Jughead first that he's gay. And Kevin feels kind of bad and wants to tell Veronica why he's not interested. But Jughead keeps saying, 'No, you should wait to tell her,' because he's enjoying watching Veronica's antics.' Parent said the story works because it's wasn't something radical concocted just to introduce a gay character. 'The story is very much in the true context of our Archie stories,' he said. 'It's Veronica being Veronica. The fact that there's a gay character in the story isn't a big deal to the characters. We didn't do something with turmoil. The guy just happens to be gay, and the characters accept it, and that's it.' The longtime Archie cartoonist said Archie Comics wants to reflect what high schools are like in America, where being gay 'isn't a big deal anymore.'"

Much more interview at Newsarama.

Watch the video interview with Dan Parent by Fausto Fernos of FeastofFun.com and one more comic strip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. "The longtime Archie cartoonist said Archie Comics wants to reflect what high schools are like in America, where being gay 'isn't a big deal anymore.'"

    Well...except maybe, in Itawamba County, Mississippi.

    Posted by: Taylor | Apr 22, 2010 9:50:39 AM


  2. Mean mocking Reggie will probably be the homophobe.

    Posted by: JT | Apr 22, 2010 10:02:26 AM


  3. If the folks at Archie think that being gay in high school is "no big deal," there's an Oprah show about two kids who killed themselves after severe and pervasive anti-gay bullying that they ought to check out.

    AND ... "Archie" has never been about portraying reality as we know it. If the kids who read the comic (I don't know any kids that do, but there must be some if it's still in print) vicariously experience a world wherein being gay is completely non-controversial, that's a step in the right direction. So ... bravo - I guess.

    Posted by: Red Seven | Apr 22, 2010 10:03:38 AM


  4. Yes, kids still dress like it's 1955.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 22, 2010 10:03:41 AM


  5. Wow, this thing is still going? I used to read them when I was a kid, almost forgot they even existed.

    Posted by: Wes | Apr 22, 2010 10:16:56 AM


  6. Hey, progress comes from the oddest places. Now all they need is a character that's not white!

    Posted by: Gregoire | Apr 22, 2010 10:18:53 AM


  7. I always thought Jughead was the first gay character in "Archie," myself... ;-)

    Posted by: JSH | Apr 22, 2010 10:25:19 AM


  8. HAHA @ Anon...and drink malt milkshakes!

    Posted by: Allan | Apr 22, 2010 10:25:53 AM


  9. Gregorie, Chuck Clayton is black...and he was introduced in 1974.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 22, 2010 10:28:40 AM


  10. Sometimes a self-fulfilling prophecy is best. Normalize being gay in society in all forms of media and exposure (including comics) and eventually society itself will start to normalize being gay.

    I applaud old school comics to treat this as a non-controversial addition.

    Posted by: unruly | Apr 22, 2010 10:35:19 AM


  11. Haha, Kevin's gay? Imagine!

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Apr 22, 2010 10:37:32 AM


  12. Any time there is a positive portrayal of a gay character, it's a good thing. And the fact that the creators are making it, "not a big deal," is even better. The character, Kevin, seems like the Neil Patrick Harris of the cartoon world.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Apr 22, 2010 10:46:59 AM


  13. That is fucking amazing.

    Posted by: HKGuy | Apr 22, 2010 10:52:15 AM


  14. I haven't read Archie in YEARS but it's wild that Jughead is setting Veronica up for a fall. When did she ever come under his radar? Riverdale has plenty of bitch goddesses (Reggie, Cheryl Blossom, or even Betty, if you catch her on wrong day) who would take pleasure in Ronnie mooning over the new gay guy but Jughead. Jeez, I will never sleep on the overeater in the corner ever again - bitch may be plotting something while downing her third burger!

    Posted by: Twood76 | Apr 22, 2010 11:17:40 AM


  15. @ twood76. Jughead comes of as an evil bitchy queen in this story. loves it!

    Posted by: Aaron | Apr 22, 2010 11:21:40 AM


  16. @ Aaron. I love it too! The asexual overeater is throwing more shade in Riverdale than Reggie and Veronica combined.

    Posted by: Twood76 | Apr 22, 2010 12:02:07 PM


  17. Hey, you wanna know what else is no big deal anymore?

    Archie comics. People still read that?

    Posted by: AidenRaccoon | Apr 22, 2010 12:25:29 PM


  18. Will wonders never cease? CONGRATULATIONS to Archie Comics for acknowledging the reality of LGBT young people. I'm sure the usual right-wing groups will be going absolutely APESHIT over this, but it's definitely a step in the right direction!

    Posted by: Chuck Anziulewicz | Apr 22, 2010 12:50:13 PM


  19. Yes, people still read Archies a lot... in India and other places outside the US. Each issue sells at least 10000 copies in India and its not too wrong to say that Archies helps set a certain image of the US for many people here in India. So something like this - if its for real - is truly quite a big thing. I would never have thought it possible because Archies is still a family help company, and has always made much of family values. There was even a time when they had allowed a hard core evangelical group to use their characters, though that's mostly an embarassing memory now. Still, a few years back when I'd interviwed Michael Silberkleit, then the Archies chairman, it was quite clear that a gay character was not on the cards. But another family member, Jon Goldwater, has taken over and has been shaking things up. This is the most radical move so far.

    Posted by: Vikram | Apr 22, 2010 12:57:44 PM


  20. Jughead as bitchy queen. Love it.

    Posted by: Matt in Atlanta | Apr 22, 2010 12:57:59 PM


  21. When did Jughead start throwing shade on Veronica?

    Posted by: Alberto | Apr 22, 2010 2:28:16 PM


  22. Very cool for Archie Comics to be doing this, though it's somewhat disappointing that the gay character looks like a cross between Troy Donahue and a Ken doll.

    Posted by: FML | Apr 22, 2010 2:28:32 PM


  23. Archie Comics has been around of so long, why not give them a movie or another TV show.

    Posted by: Dawnell_do | Apr 22, 2010 2:46:39 PM


  24. An awesome addition to Riverdale! Can’t wait to pick up the issue in September. Thanks to Mr. Parent and all the folks at Archie Comics!

    Posted by: ichabod | Apr 22, 2010 2:50:51 PM


  25. I read Archie comics all the time as a kid. I even remember watching "The New Archies" television show, and buying those comics. And yup, I STILL read them - whenever I'm sick, I always buy a couple double-digests along with my 7-Up and medicine. They've been an inclusive bunch (I remember Veronica adding a wheelchair ramp to her house so a friend could attend a slumber party) for years, and I'm glad to see that they're adding a gay character.

    Posted by: finkles2000 | Apr 22, 2010 2:59:20 PM


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