Gay Archie Comics character’s solo series to return in spring 2015
Dan Parent, creator of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first gay character, said Keller will return with a new series next year.
Parent was at Virginia Comic Con this past weekend and he spoke some about the history of Kevin Keller, the gay character who stirred up controversy back in 2010 when he was first introduced.
As a comic publisher known for appealing to children, when Archie Comics introduced a gay character was seen as a huge step.
“If Marvel and DC do it their characters are for older people. A lot of adults collect those characters as well,” Parent said. “It’s the parents of the kids that are the tricky part… the kids are very accepting.”
Parent at Virginia Comicon 2014
Parent’s creation was supported by the new owners of Archie Comics who wanted to make Riverdale, Archie’s home town, more reflective of the modern world . “There’s not a lot of diversity at Archie,” said Parent jokingly. “It’s very white and 1950’s.”
Keller’s first issue, Veronica #202, turned out to be so popular that the issue sold out. Not to be defined by his sexuality, the character spent the issue interacting with the residents of Riverdale, with his sexuality taking a backseat. Sensing the power of the character, Archie Comics announced a four issue mini-series within the month. Not long after, Keller received his own ongoing title which ran from February 2012 until this past summer.
Keller has been seen in the pages of Life With Archie which showed him not only dating a black character, named Clay Walker, but also getting married. The issue caused a controversy, prompting the unsuccessful boycott of the issue by the protest group One Million Moms.
The controversy even prompted Parent to feature the publication’s first gay kiss just a few months later.
This past summer Archie Comics entered the event-comic scene with The Death of Archie which saw the beloved character die protecting Keller.
In this series, Keller is a senator in favor of gun control, and when an attempt is made on his life, Archie takes the bullet instead.
Although the series is set in an alternate timeline, The Death of Archie marked a huge step for all the characters involved.
Looking back on the year Kevin Keller was introduced compared to the comic-scene today it’s hard to believe the character ever caused the controversy it did.
Lauded by LGBT advocacy groups and critics alike, the Kevin Keller series even recieved a GLAAD award for Outstanding Comic Book in 2011. Parent said he’s happy with the great reception the character has had and is also happy that the introduction of similarly diverse characters wouldn’t be as big of a deal anymore.
“You want people to take notice of it, but it shouldn’t have to be a news event,” said Parent.
Although currently not headlining his own ongoing title, Parent said that there is a reboot in the works slated for spring 2015. “We’re going to be releasing art for it next week.” said Parent.
Alex Segura, marketing contact for Archie Comics, couldn’t confirm any details about the upcoming Keller series, but asked via email for fans to “stay tuned as we roll out more news on the new Kevin series.”
Tyler Hammel is a college student who has an unhealthy obsession with comic books. He’s a proud cinephile, owning a sizable film collection that lets you know he doesn't have any friends. An aspiring filmmaker, Tyler currently works with the VCU student organization The Horn RVA, a group of like-minded video journalists with a passion for Richmond based music. When not crafting his own bio Tyler can be found misusing commas,
Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in Archie Comics, is starring in his own mini-series in 2011. The four-issue series will be written and drawn by Kevin’s creator, Dan Parent. A specific release date has not yet been announced. Archie Comics gained mainstream media after the initial announcement in April and Kevin’s debut in [...]November 4, 2010
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