Riverdale’s resident gay Kevin Keller is growing up and kissing dudes. The comic queen gets to kiss his first boy and we can all thank those cantankerous, conservative caregivers of America, One Million Moms.
When Kevin locks lips with his boyfriend Devon in Pop Tate’s Diner, a watchful mother “gets very offended and kind of pitches a bit of a fit,” said Dan Parent, who writes and draws the issue.
“Kevin is kind of used to that,” Parent told the AP, “but Veronica records the whole thing and of course uploads it to the Riverdale equivalent of YouTube and that starts a bit of a debate.”
Parent was inspired by the protest launched by One Million Moms over Life with Archie No. 16. The cover featuring Kevin getting married was too much for the Moms, who brought down their disapproving tones and guilt-inducing stares upon Toys R Us. The chain cowed to their demands by not selling the comic near front checkout counters and as a result the issue sold out.
Since Archie himself is often only seen post-smooch, his pixelated face bearing perfectly lined lipstick traces, Keller’s probably getting more action than all of Riverdale. For Archie Comics’ publisher and CEO John Goldwater, Keller’s first kiss isn’t a way of seeming hip or current, but simply a boy’s coming of gay age.
“Just like when Kevin first told Jughead he was gay, it was in the natural course of conversation,” said Goldwater. “We are creating this in the same way. It’s just part of the story.”
Kevin Keller No. 10 hits stands August 7, followed no doubt by a protest from One Million Moms. You might want to pre-order yours since with that stamp of disapproval, copies will be scarce.