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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Keller’

Catching up with… LGBT in Comics

Posts will still be spotty for awhile, but I’m back. The number of mainstream comics titles featuring LGBT characters has skyrocketed since I began this blog in April of 2008 with the intent of spotlighting LGBT heroes, villains and supporting characters. Between new characters surfacing and old favorites being retconned, it was inevitable I’d miss a few important stories while I was busy stealing the life of a more successful me from an alternate dimension, so I’m going to try and catch up now… BEWARE SPOILERS ABOUND and PLEASE COMMENT IF I LEFT ANYTHING OUT – or if you just want to discuss how cool it is to have heroic LGBT representation in 10 titles on the racks at every comic store! (well 9 after the end of Avengers Academy). If you want Marvel and DC to keep it up… START BUYING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING TITLES IF YOU AREN’T ALREADY!!! If we buy them, they may keep making them.

Astonishing X-Men #51

I mentioned Northstar‘s Astonishing X-Men nuptials before they occurred but I was too occupied with “moving details” by the actual wedding date to blog about it. The event went off like clockwork despite the telepathic machinations of Susan Hatchi (Karma’s half-sister) and Jean-Paul’s Sh’iar teammate Warbird’s protests. The reception afterward was a total blast until Wolverine exploded.

Life With Archie #24 Life With Archie #24 Life With Archie #24 Life With Archie #24

Kevin Keller‘s solo series is wholesome, sweet and funny. It simultaneously manages the difficult task of empowering LGBT youth and remaining completely appropriate for its intended age group. We’ve seen Kevin’s first date and moment in the spotlight as an Olympic torchbearer. We’ve also seen “Future Kevin” (the one who was married in the pages of Life With Archie) announce a run for Senate with a platform centered on gun laws in LWA #24.

Bunker, (Miguel Jose Barragan) the flamboyantly out-n-proud new member of the Teen Titans is discovering new aspects of his powers (levitation) but his personal story hasn’t really unfolded yet. Interviews with creators mentioned a past love that has yet to surface on panel.
  Rictor and Shatterstar by DAlexisStPierre

Rictor and Shatterstar by DAlexisStPierre  
Rictor and Shatterstar are still together as a romantic couple (despite Rob Liefeld’s objections) and both are active members of X-Factor – but with the current arc who knows… relationships are evolving and unraveling at the speed of light as the team gets closer to their milestone 250th issue.

Apollo and Midnighter‘s rebooted relationship continues to grow in the pages of Stormwatch. We’ve seen a number of empowering small moments (connecting with Jenny Quantum), but not that much time spotlighting the personal side of their romance. I ALREADY know they can decimate anything when working in concert… I’d like to see a “date night.”
  Rictor and Shatterstar by DAlexisStPierre

Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer  
Gotham socialite Kate Kane, A.K.A. Batwoman stalks the city’s dark streets (to critical acclaim) when she’s not busy canoodling with Detective Maggie Sawyer of the GCPD (not to mention winning her SECOND GLAAD award for “Outstanding Comic” – the first was in 2010).

X-Men Legacy #274 X-Men Legacy #274 X-Men Legacy #274 X-Men Legacy #274

X-Men Legacy #274 told a touching tale in which Rogue was unable to save a mortally injured closeted gay man and used her ability to “reap” him and deliver a message of love and regret to the man’s former lover. Oh yeah, she also rejected Magneto’s marriage proposal.

Avengers Academy #39

In the final issue of Avengers Academy, Julie Power and Karolina Dean are making rainbows in the sky as fame-hungry Striker (Brandon Sharpe) makes his first post scars public appearance at the Prom of a gay teen inspired by Brandon’s “It Gets Better” video – making it a recond-breaking TWO LGBT kisses in one issue! Including Marvels SECOND on-panel gay male kiss, and not that long after the first (Wiccan and Hulkling in the last issue of Avengers: The Children’s Crusade). Someone else will have to write up a scorecard on girl on girl snogging in the Marvel U. Anyone up to it?

Demon Knights #14 Demon Knights #14 Demon Knights #14 Demon Knights #14

DC Comics New 52 has become even more inclusive with an intersex re-invention of “The Shining Knight” who appears in their medieval title, Demon Knights.

In a recent issue (#14), Shining Knight a.k.a. Ystin informs a female comrade who’s seemingly taken a “shine” to the mystical hero. “I think you like one… aspect of who I am,” the Knight explains. “But I’m the other too. I was born this way. I’ve kept saying, whenever anyone asks. I’m not just a man or a woman. I’m both.”

Alan Scott in temptation by The Grey (pretending to be Sam)

We met Earth-2‘s Alan Scott and his loving boyfriend Sam who was unfortunately doomed to be the emotional loss that drives Green Lantern as a hero and Avatar of “The Green.” During his first heroic battle (vs a reimagined Grundy as an avatar of “The Grey”) he is given a chance to be with an illusion of Sam, but overcomes temptation. After the fight he blows off Flash and Hawkgirl, saying he doesn’t need them. Bullshit. Without them Grundy would have smashed him into paste while his psyche was busy mentally snuggling with a mushroom shaped like Sam.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9 introduces a multitude of BtVS fans th "Billy the Vampire Slayer" who is not only the first male character to take on the name of "Slayer," but also the first GAY male "Slayer." Not before you tell me a "Slayer" has to be female – according to the Legend – you are right. Billy has NO "Slayer" powers. He is a bullied teen who started training to defend himself but stepped up to defend his home town from a scourge of "Zompires" – I’ve not been following Season 8 before Billy – but they seem like slow stupid Vampires? More details soon.

Marvel NOW! Young Avengers #1 Marvel NOW! Young Avengers #1 Marvel NOW! Young Avengers #1

Wiccan and Hulkling will appear in the Marvel NOW! January 2013 title Young Avengers alongside original teammate Kate Bishop. Rounding out the roster are teen Loki, Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr A.K.A. “Protector”), and Miss America Chavez. I’m really glad to see Noh-Varr taking off his Protector cowl and joining YA. but I still miss Stature and young Vision and also wish Wiccan’s twin “Speed” was going to be along for the ride.

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Kevin Keller gets his 1st Issue AND his 1st DATE!

I was never a HUGE Archie fan growing up, but I read some. As a kid I remember reading the digest collections of Archie and Richie Rich before i graduated to the X-Men and “New” Teen Titans. So GLAAD nominee Kevin Keller’s debut was the first time I’d touched an Archie comic in decades. I’ve picked up all the Kevin Keller issues in solidarity and will continue to do so. Although it is very much a comic for kids, it really touches me to think of a whole generation of LGBT kids can pick this off the comic rack. THANK YOU DAN PARENT for creating Kevin Keller! And thanks Archie Comics and readers fro embracing him.

In the first issue of his NEW ongoing series Kevin Keller adjusts to the daily rigors of his recently elected posts as Class President and staves off flop-sweat, hives, fashion faux pas and the advice of family and friends as he prepares for his FIRST DATE!!!

Kevin Keller #1 - the new ongoing series from Archie Comics Kevin Keller #1 - the new ongoing series from Archie Comics

It is hard to believe that gays in comics have come so far that not only can we have an out and proud young gay man attending fictional Riverdale High, but also he is popular enough to warrant his own series… and the first issue is all about him worried about his first date. I know the world of Archie is an innocuous one. It’s safe, and it should be. Its for kids. So I’m not expecting Kev to get much real action despite being quite a catch (handsome, smart & brave).

Kevin Keller #1 - the new ongoing series from Archie Comics Kevin Keller #1 - the new ongoing series from Archie Comics Kevin Keller #1 - the new ongoing series from Archie Comics Kevin Keller #1 - the new ongoing series from Archie Comics Kevin Keller #1 - the new ongoing series from Archie Comics

Even without the hope of a “very special” issue where Kevin Keller loses it (which would of course herald Riverdale going to Hell in a handbasket anyway – so it is a story arc better avoided), the chronicling of his ordinary daily life, his friendships and flirtations (g-rated tho they may be) is such a major step forward for LGBT inclusion AND goes beyond that to true representation… something I couldn’t even imagine as a teen. So Kevin Keller is staying on my unfortunately short list of regular purchases. At least til gets his first kiss, than I’ll see what other stories Mr. Parent has to tell.

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Kevin Keller mini is selling so well he goes MONTHLY!

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10 SUPER Significant LGBT Milestones in 2011′s Comics

The DCnU & Marvel really ARE committed to LGBT inclusion! 2011 saw LGBT characters created from scratch, outed, rebooted into a whole new continuity or even resurrected by apologetic writers as 4color LGBT relationships become far more commonplace, even reaching distant places like the 30th century and THE Archie Universe’s perpetually squeeky clean Riverdale.

The top LGBT Stories in Comics 2011

Avengers Academy’s former child star and current famemonger, Striker came out both as gay and as a victim of childhood sexual abuse whose emerging electrical powers killed his pervy bad-touching manager.

The solicited cover for 2012′s Life With Archie revealed that the issue will bring comics first interracial gay military wedding to Riverdale.

The Teen Titans added Bunker, an out and proud new flamboyant young Mexican gay character to the team roster and the DCnU.

After much hype and stalling, Gotham’s resident lipstick lesbian vigilante – Batwoman finally began her own title with the 2011 launch of the DCnU.

The return of Rictor’s mutant seismic powers in the pages of Avengers The Children’s Crusade has resolved the feelings of powerlessness he felt and may impact his romantic relationship with his X-Factor teammate Shatterstar.

Along with a number of former Wildstorm Universe residents, Apollo and Midnighter have been mainstreamed into the DCnU and their relationship will unfold anew in the pages of Stormwatch.

the 2011 4 issue miniseries that followed up Riverdale’s new gay teen, Kevin Keller‘s 2010 Archie Universe debut was so well received that he’ll be getting his own ongoing miniseries in 2012.

James Robinson resurrected gay hero Tasmanian Devil after he realized he’d killed one of the few LGBT heroes in the DCU for a rug joke. The character has yet to surface in the post-Flashpoint DCnU.

A gay relationship between Legion Academy students Powerboy and Gravity Kid was subtly revealed at in the pre-DCnU pages of Adventure Comics – the relationship has yet to be confirmed post Flashpoint.

Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass were confirmed as girlfriends – but that was pre-Flashpoint. We’re still awaiting confirmation that the relationship has made it into the DCnU.

I composited the above image myself – so please link back if you repost it.

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Kevin Keller’s Big Gay Interracial Military Wedding

The upcoming hypothetical future nuptials of Kevin Keller may be enough to give some conservatives a triple aneurism. The Kevin Keller miniseries has shown us the the gay Riverdale teen hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father… Colonel Thomas Keller of the U.S. Army. Life With Archie is the Archieverse title that USUALLY shows WHAT IF Archie had married Betty or Veronica. Instead, Life With Archie #16 will chronicle the future marriage of military hero Kevin Keller to Clay Walker, the bespectacled doctor who once helped him recover from war wounds. Consider yourself invited!

  Kevin Keller gets gay married in the hypothetical future of Life With Archie #16

Kevin Keller’s choice of garb and groom certainly make his the very first gay military interracial wedding in the history of comics (Apollo and Midnighter beat them to comics first gay wedding in 2002′s The Authority, Vol. 1 #29). I would think the conservative bulldogs would have pounced on this like Dan Quayle jumped on the fictional Murphy Brown by now. I haven’t heard an uproar yet, but I’ll keep an ear to the ground.

Kevin Keller and Clay Walker tell Archie and the gang how they met Kevin Keller and Clay Walker at the altar

via BleedingCool, CBR and Queerty

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Kevin Keller mini is selling so well he goes MONTHLY!

The first issue of gay Riverdale teen Kevin Keller’s miniseries from Archie Comics has sold so well that comic shops who need to restock are being told that Diamond is OUT of copies and have had to contact the publisher directly. The first issue selling like hot cakes must have been the green light that they needed. The New York Times revealed on July 19th that as of February 2012, Kevin Keller will join the Archie Comics monthly titles featuring the Riverdale characters.

Kevin Keller #3 of 4

The series, titled Kevin Keller, will follow a four-issue mini-series starring Kevin that began in July and has started filling out his background, including his relationship with his father, who serves in the military and is supportive of his son’s desire to follow in his footsteps. Like those for the other Archie characters, Kevin’s series will deal with his life in high school. “He’s going to be the class president,” said Dan Parent, the writer-artist who created Kevin. But it won’t all be a good time. “Even the most popular kids are not popular with everybody,” Mr. Parent said. “There’s some adversity he’ll have to deal with.”

Kevin Keller will also figure into a continuing married life story line in Life With Archie, which chronicles two possible futures for Archie: one in which he married Betty, the other in which he married Veronica. In 2012, that story line will deal with Kevin’s life as an adult gay man, his relationships and even his marriage! Current CEO, Jonathan Goldwater states that reception has been overwhelmingly positive and that “out of all the people who subscribe to the Archie books, we only had seven total cancellations.”

Congratulations to Kevin Keller on being the VERY FIRST gay character to STAR in his own comic book aimed at the youth market. Finally LGBT kids everywhere will be able to see themselves monthly on drugstore comic racks and the shelves of their local comic book store.

via NYT

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Riverdale’s new gay teen shines in Kevin Keller #1

The Kevin Keller miniseries may not mark the first time that we are seeing a comic STARRING a gay character (Northstar, Midnighter), but it IS the first time we are seeing this in a “for kids” universe like Riverdale. It is a thoughtful, well written and sweet portrayal of the life if gay teen Kevin Keller. Please rush right out and buy a copy (maybe a few for friends too). SHOW THE POWER OF THE GAY DOLLAR!!!

Kevin Keller #1 is a wonderful introduction to the life of gay army brat Kevin Keller. The book does a great job of covering heavy material but with such a light treatment that it isn’t incongruous with the “Riverdale” environment. We find out Kevin wants to father in his Dad’s military footsteps and meet Kevin’s family and best friends from childhood, Wendy and William.

varient cover to Kevin Keller #1 from Archie Comics Kevin Keller #1 from Archie Comics

Kevin Keller returns to Riverdale in the pages of his own mini-series, from superstar writer/artist Dan Parent. Learn more about Kevin’s background and story before he arrived in Riverdale and met the Archie gang, and pick up the comic that people are already buzzing about. Featuring one of the most popular new characters in Archie history, this series will be a must-have for fans of Archie Comics, Kevin and great comics.

Kevin Keller #1 from Archie Comics Kevin Keller #1 from Archie Comics Kevin Keller #1 from Archie Comics Kevin Keller #1 from Archie Comics Kevin Keller #1 from Archie Comics

I wonder what the demographic of the usual Archie Comics reader is. With a Veronica up in the #200+ range, I’m betting more girls than most comics?

SPOILERS READ THE ISSUE FIRST!!! We see what kind of person is through flashbacks of him protecting his friend Wendy from heartbreak back in Jr. high and sticking with his best buds instead of ditching them for the “popular kids” when ugly duckling Kevin turned into a hot swan. Kevin comes out to Wendy in such a cute offhand way that it makes the whole gay thing seem very matter of fact and not a big deal at all. Young Kevin’s coming out to his mother is handled deftly with narration, but we get to experience the dialog when his father, Colonel Thomas Keller of the U.S. army tells him that he loves his gay son and that he shouldn’t let being gay stand in the way of serving his country. I get verklempt thinking about gay kids picking the issue up off a newsstand and reading this.

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Gay Archie teen Kevin Keller for… PRESIDENT?

Now I’m as excited as the next gay geek that the Archie Universe has brought Riverdale up to date by adding openly gay teen Kevin Keller to Archie’s pals and that he was a big enough hit to warrant a miniseries. But even I am impressed with the fan reaction AND the mainstream media coverage of the new character created by Archie writer/artist Dan Parent. An Associated Press article about the upcoming 4 issue miniseries was picked up by news sources such as The Huffington Post, NYPost and ABCNews as well as gay blogs such as PinkIsTheNewBlog, Instinct and AfterElton. The coverage is not that surprising when you consider the historical significance of a gay character in the kid-friendly world of Riverdale High. 5 or ten years ago, I’m not sure the reaction would have been this receptive. The times they are a changin. And it’s about time. Dan Parent has already received a recent nomination for a GLAAD Media Award as well as the thanks of random readers who have expressed their gratitude and told him that a character like Kevin Keller would have meant to world to them while growing up.

Kevin Keller miniseries #1 Kevin Keller miniseries #2 (varient cover) Kevin Keller miniseries #4

The upcoming Kevin Keller miniseries will introduce readers to the character’s backstory. Flashbacks will show his childhood as an army brat and strong bond with his Dad, as well as his move to Riverdale, but will also deal with heavier issues like bullying and his coming out to his parents while balancing the story to keep it light and appropriate for Archie. But no word yet on the significance of the cover to issue #4 which clearly shows Kevin Keller at the podium of the President of the United States… empowering LGBT youth to feel they can reach for the stars!

The overwhelming sales boost of Kevin’s first appearance (which necessitated the first EVER reprint of an Archie comic) was all the proof that Archie Comics’ needed to see to green-light the 4 issue miniseries. It’s great to see corporate having our back. Archie Comics co-CEO Jon Goldwater has referred to the first appearance of Kevin Keller (Veronica #202) as “the most important book this company has released in 70 years.” Here is a brief preview from that issue.

Veronica #202 Veronica #202 Veronica #202 Veronica #202

He’s not wrong. Fan reactions have been 98% positive (according to Dan Parent) and it has already been said that good sales on the miniseries will likely earn Kevin Keller his own ongoing title in the Archie Universe.

Kevin is part of a definite campaign to keep the town of Riverdale and it’s iconic group of teenagers hip and relevant and to show “the world of Riverdale has to reflect contemporary culture and to show it is an accepting, diverse place.” He is far from the only noteworthy new sign of the modern times in the 70 year old. Besides introducing Kevin Keller, writers have Archie Andrews involved romantically in an interracial relationship with fictional African American musician Valerie Brown (of Josie and the Pussycats). They’ve also published hypothetical future stories about Archie seeing future wedded bliss with Betty or Veronica, and even told the story of death of teacher Geraldine Grundy, who succumbed to cancer. These are not your Dad’s Archie Comics.

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Veronica’s Gay Best Friend Kevin Keller gets miniseries

UPDATE: Additional preview images added! Last September Archie Comics “marked a significant moment in the publisher’s 70-plus year history” by introducing Riverdale High’s first openly gay student… Kevin Keller in issue #202 of “Veronica”. The 1st appearance was noteworthy (it was top news on “USA Today,” “The Washington Post” and NPR’s “Talk of the Nation”) not only as great progress for LGBT characters in comics, but also because it was devoid of the usual over-the-top judgy messages often included in such a story. Instead, Kevin moves to town, makes friends with the familiar Archie gang without the gay thing being a big deal.

Gay Archie teen Kevin Keller is back in Veronica #205 Gay Archie teen Kevin Keller is back in Veronica #205

That September issue of Veronica became the first Archie Comic to EVER receive a second printing, and is now available digitally. With that kind of a successful debut, it is no small wonder that Kevin Keller’s creator, Archie cartoonist Dan Parent, is including a spotlight on Kevin in Veronica #205 (due March 2nd). In addition, this June Archie Comics will be releasing a 4 issue miniseries STARRING Kevin Keller!

“The reaction has been overwhelming,” Parent told CBR News. “I think Kevin’s appeal lies in the fact that he’s your all-American kid, the boy next door if you will. And the fact that he’s gay is important, but doesn’t make him much different from most American teen-agers.”

Gay Archie teen Kevin Keller is back in Veronica #205 Gay Archie teen Kevin Keller is back in Veronica #205 Gay Archie teen Kevin Keller is back in Veronica #205 Gay Archie teen Kevin Keller is back in Veronica #205 Gay Archie teen Kevin Keller is back in Veronica #205

In Veronica #205, Kevin settles into Riverdale and the role of Veronica’s “gay best friend” – which makes Betty a wee bit jealous, though she tries to hide it. We’ll also get to know the character a bit better. We learn he is a passionate writer and get to “see a lot of Kevin growing up.” Parent is tight-lipped about the June miniseries, but DID say “I think the first issue is even better than Kevin’s debut in ‘Veronica’ #202. I think it’s probably the best story I’ve ever written in all my years at Archie.”

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Meet Kevin Keller – Out and Proud in Archie

Riverdale High has a new student matriculating this September. Kevin Keller will be joining Archie Andrews, Forsythe Pendleton “Jughead” Jones III, Elizabeth “Betty” Cooper, Veronica “Ronnie/Ron” Lodge and Reginald “Reggie” Mantle III and the Archie Universe as of Veronica #202 due in September. In the full-issue story that introduces Kevin (entitled “Isn’t it Bromantic?), Archie Comics’ first openly gay character, Kevin Keller is the new hunk in town and of course Veronica just has to have him.

Veronica #202 Riverdale's first out and proud homosexual... Kevin Keller Jughead decides to let Veronica embaress herself over Kevin Keller

After Kevin defeats Jughead in a burger eating contest at Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe, she desperately latches onto him. Mayhem and hilarity ensue as Kevin desperately attempts to let Veronica down easy and her flirtations only become increasingly persistent.

Well you know where there’s one of us, there’s more. Lets hope Kevin get a boyfriend eventually. Maybe by 2020 if he’s lucky. Will he have a crush on Archie too? Do Betty and Veronica have competition? If you think about it, they’ve both been after him for so long and neither has gotten him to put a ring on it. Maybe he’s just been waiting for the right guy.

All joking aside… this REALLY is huge. Archie Comics have been one of the biggest kids comics for decades. And unlike superhero comics which tend to create a dedicated following, Archie (at least for me) is a gateway comic. Gay inclusion in the Archie universe is MUCH bigger than a gay mutant or bisexual alien JLAer.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Archie Comics for a step in the right direction. I hope they will stand up to whatever so-called “family” group that will crawl out of the woodwork to denounce the company. You guys can thank them too…

Archie Comic Publications, Inc
325 Fayette Ave.
Mamaroneck, New York 10543-2318
Phone – 914-381-5155
Order Fax – 914-381-4015
Email: talkback@archiecomics.com

via CBR and Robot6

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