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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 30, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 18
Meet Kevin Keller - Archie Comics introduces Gay character
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Meet Kevin Keller - Archie Comics introduces Gay character

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

Archie Comics announced April 22 that Riverdale High will be accepting enrollment of its first openly Gay student this September.

Kevin Keller will debut in No. 202 of Veronica Comics in a full-issue story, 'Isn't it Bromantic?'

So, why do we care? Gay comics or Gay characters in comic books are not new; that trail was blazed years ago (to say nothing of the homoerotic appeal of most mainstream comics, anyway). The simple truth: numbers and exposure. The Archie Comics line of comic books is one the most successful, longest-running brands in the history of the comic book industry. Archie Comics has sold 1.5 billion comics, and the books are published in a dozen different languages before being distributed all over the world. In short, the comic has spawned characters whose popularity has spilled over into other media and who have become part of popular culture - and now Kevin joins that group.

In the initial storyline of Kevin's September debut, Veronica is foiled when her womanly charm has no effect on Kevin, who has more in common with Jughead.

"Everyone seems to know where Kevin is coming from except Veronica," says Victor Gorelick, editor in chief of Archie Comics. "They don't tell Veronica - they let her stew in it for a while."

Kevin's debut is part of Archie Comics' larger efforts to update the characters' world.

"The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. 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," Archie Comics co-CEO Jon Goldwater said in announcing the news.

According to Archie Comics officials, none of the creative talent working on the Kevin storyline is Gay.

As for whether any other Riverdale students will be Gay, Archie Comics officials say traditional Riverdale characters "won't be coming out."

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