Back in April, Andy wrote about the impending introduction of Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in the Archie comic book series. Keller pops up in the pages of “Veronica” next month in an issue titled “Isn’t It Bromantic?”
The cover for the landmark issue is now available. There's also a lengthier explanation of Keller's character from writer and illustrator Dan Parent. Apparently, his sexuality will be no big deal to the other characters in the Archie world – as it shouldn't be. He tells the Colorado Springs Gazette:
"The introduction of the character also comes as Archie Comics has been working to bring more diversity to Riverdale."
"'We’re trying to show that Riverdale is contemporary, and that it is a diverse and accepting place,' Parent said. 'At some point, you have to address these subjects.'"
"To the kids at Riverdale High, Kevin’s sexual orientation is a nonissue, Parent said. 'Their reaction is very nonchalant.' It’s a reaction reflective of the real world, he believes. 'My daughter is that age, she’s 16. I see in her high school that there are a lot of openly gay kids. It’s not even like a big deal.'”
"One character who quickly becomes Kevin’s friend is Jughead, but that doesn’t say anything about Jughead’s sexual leanings, Parent said. Kevin and Jughead are fellow foodies."
"'The reason they’re friends is because Jughead is the character you would befriend first, because he’s so accepting of everyone.'"
But don't expect Keller to get involved in any hot action. Says Parent: “We don’t get into sexual situations with the straight characters, let alone the gay characters. It’s still a safe place for kids.”