Mamaroneck-based Archie Comic Publications is soon to introduce a new character unlike any they had when you were a kid…’cos he’s gay.
Loop reporter Maura Carlin spotted this story in the Toronto Star:
Veronica is finally about to meet the one hunky guy she can’t get in the pages of Archie — the comic series’ first gay character.
“We want to make Archie Comics move forward and make it fun and inclusive,” Jon Goldwater, chief executive officer of Archie Comics Publications in Mamaroneck, N.Y., told the Star Thursday.
Blond, blue-eyed hunk Kevin Keller will make his entry in the teen comic series in September. He immediately turns rich girl Veronica’s head when he moves to the fictional town of Riverdale, but she gets nowhere with him. Kevin comes out to Jughead when he explains why he has no interest in the teen femme fatale.
“It’s nothing against her. I’m gay,” he tells Jughead over a burger at Pop’s.
Archie writer/artist Dan Parent came up with the idea for a gay character.
“Veronica is always chasing guys and I thought what would be the one guy Veronica can’t get? A gay guy,” Parent said. “The story just progressed from there. What we’re trying to do is show how accepting Riverdale is.”
Kevin will be a recurring character, Goldwater said. “We’re very proud Kevin has moved to Riverdale. This is just the beginning for him and he’ll definitely be part of the gang,” he said. At some point, he added, Kevin will “probably” have a romance.
Launched in 1939, Archie Comics have tried to reflect the lives of American teens, said Goldwater, tackling subjects from race to drugs. “Through the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, we pride ourselves on being a mirror to society, especially youth. The kids in our book are in high school and we want to reflect everything that’s going on in their world from social interaction, to fashion, to friends.”
Goldwater says he doesn’t expect everybody to embrace the new kid on Archie’s block, but the teens of Riverdale will when Kevin makes his first appearance in the spinoff Veronica comic 202 on Sept. 1. After all, it means while Veronica is chasing the unattainable Kevin, Betty has Archie all to herself.