Three years ago, the Archie Comics folks startled the world by introducing the first openly gay character in Riverdale, Kevin Keller. Kevin made his debut in Veronica #202 and soon got his own mini-series.
This week, Kevin’s creator, Dan Parent, accepted the Outstanding Comic Book award at the GLAAD Media Awards, saying, “Many people thought it would be a challenge to introduce a gay character into a comic book primarily produced for children, but that was really our saving grace. Because as most of you know, the people who have the most progressive minds are really our kids […] Kids like to read stories about characters they care about, characters they want to be friends, characters with a strong moral compass like Kevin Keller. Many LGBT people of my generation have told me about the lack of any gay characters they had to look to in pop culture, especially in the world of comic books. It’s a very lonely place to be. These fans had to live vicariously through the straight romantic adventures of Archie, Betty and Veronica. Well, LGBT kids of this generation won’t have to worry about that. You have a place in Riverdale now and the fun is just starting.”
To celebrate, the Archie folks are slashing prices on Kevin Keller comics in their digital store, offering Kevin Keller #1 for free and the other issues for 99 cents. Actually, my favorite Kevin Keller comic is the very first one, Veronica #202, because it’s so true to the Archie characters—Veronica, who doesn’t realize Kevin is gay, keeps trying to snare him, and Jughead encourages him to keep it a secret just to annoy her. The sale lasts through May 31.
If Archie is a bit too young for your tastes, check out this weekend’s other big sale: IDW is slashing prices on its Star Trek digital comics at comiXology and its Star Trek app. Graphic novels and single-issue comics alike are all half price, so the comics are 99 cents each and graphic novels are $2.99 to $5.99. Stock up now and spend all summer aboard the Enterprise, but do it fast, as this sale only lasts through Sunday, May 19.
A former book editor and newspaper reporter, Brigid Alverson started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters¹ reading habits and now covers comics and graphic novels for Comic Book Resources , School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Robot 6, and MTV Geek. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Brigid was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards. Send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org