Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. Sometimes, ‘inclusion’ could be the catalyst. Times are a changin’ so much that Archie Comics is becoming a flagbearer for inclusion of ethnic and cultural phenomena. First it introduced Raj Patel, an Indian, in its comics! Now it plans to introduce Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in the 69-year history of Archie Comics.
And get this – the new hunk in Riverdale town is not vying with Archie and Reggie for Veronica’s affections. He is not even chasing homely Betty. But Jughead, could be quite another matter. Readers are bound to opine that this serves Jughead right. Too many stories show Jughead running away from Ethel’s proclamations of love and affection. It was enough to make one wonder. No longer, perhaps.
‘It was high time they added a gay character to Riverdale,” says Jon Goldwater, Co-CEO, Archie Comics. He says, “the addition is also a way of making the comic more inclusive. Archie’s hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character there.”
Kevin will be introduced in Veronica No. 202, in a story titled, “Isn’t it Bromantic?” The inclusion of the character meets twin goals, one real world and one in-story. “Riverdale has to reflect the diversity of the world today,” said Goldwater.
Mr. Goldwater also said he’s not afraid of any repercussions. “We think everyone is going to enjoy the story,” he said. “It’s completely in the tradition of your typical Archie comic.”
Hmmmm. We, of course, prefer to wait & watch. Quite a bit, though as the issue is slated for a Sept 1 release.