Poor Veronica will be initially infatuated with Kevin Keller, but he’ll eventually become her walker.
John L. Goldwater (1916-1999), an orphan and distant relative of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, was a strong admirer of small town America and an arch champion of family values, who played a key role in establishing the Comics Code Authority in 1954.
Goldwater invented Archie, his teenage associates, and their paradigmatically American hometown Riverdale in 1941, modeling the new series on the popular “Andy Hardy” films. He deliberately created Archie as a rival to Superman.
Goldwater “thought of Superman as an abnormal individual and concluded that the antithesis, a normal person, could be just as popular.”
Superman performed extraordinary feats, averting cataclysmic perils to humanity and thwarting the plans of evil geniuses, while Archie just blundered along happily through high school, facing no problem larger than choosing between the romantic possibilities presented by the blond and wholesome Betty and the wealthy brunette Veronica. Goldwater believed that Archie was successful precisely because he was “basically a square, but in my opinion the squares are the backbone of America… [and] strong families.”
I expect a loud spinning sound can be heard in the vicinity of the late John L. Goldwater’s grave. His grandson made a announcement this week that the old man would probably not very much have liked.
Archie Comics announced Wednesday that it’s introducing the strip’s first openly gay character. His name is Kevin Keller, and rumor has it that he’s a strapping, blond hottie who draws the immediate attention of Veronica and who wrestles with how to gently rebuff her flirtations.
Co-CEO Jon Goldwater says the move is “just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive,” adding that the new character makes sense because “Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone.”
Kevin is slated to make his first appearance in September.
Fan reaction has been mixed.
At Animation Magazine, Ralph comments:
The majority of the Archie comic audience are kids and sexual orientation has no place in this comic. Archie has been a pillar of honest, genuine content for many successful years so why change that?
The San Francisco Examiner brings up the often-voiced suspicion that the Archie series already had a gay character, the rebellious and misogynistic Jughead.
Archie comics is debuting its first gay character, although that should be ‘out’ gay character, since obviously Jughead, that woman hating anti-social with the dry sass, has always been the main gay of Riverdale High.
The late John L. Goldwater ruled that Stan Lee Spiderman strips written in response Federal Department of HEW requests featuring anti-drug use advocacy were a comics code violation.