When I was a little girl, my father would buy me Archie comic books in Spanish from the newsstand on the corner of 1st and Soto in Boyle Heights. He would buy the cowboy mini novels and the TV y Novelas magazine for my mom. It was a weekly routine and I loved going home to read my Archie comics. I loved Veronica’s sassiness and long black hair. I felt like I was more like Veronica than Betty. Sure, Betty was nice and sweet, but Veronica was a princess, and in my childhood reality, I was a princess too.
Fast forward some twenty years later, and given my affinity to not recognize when a man is gay and falling head over heels for them, it comes at absolutely no surprise to me to see that Veronica will be falling in love with Kevin Keller – the new guy at Riverdale High – who off course is super sexy and super gay.
I have come to the realization that while this is super great for Archie Comics, it only reinforces my incredible inability to meet a good looking straight man. Not even my fictional comic book self can tell when a man is gay. How super sad is that?!
Aside all personal deprecation, I am beyond thrilled that Archie Comics is taking this bold step and introducing a gay character to the Riverdale gang. Just like Ugly Betty made it so easy for American households to see Justin as a kid discovering himself and his sexuality, I hope that Kevin makes that same connection with Archie’s readers.
Kevin will be introduced in Veronica #202 “Isn’t it Bromantic?” in September where she will flirt with the new hot guy to no avail (sadly a very familiar tale!). Kevin will eventually confide in Jughead – who by the way could also be gay, I mean, who wears a crown as a hat?
Of the new character, Archie Comics Co- CEO, Jon Goldwater says, “”The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. Archie’s hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books.”
That is just 100% awesome, and yet so unfortunate that a safe world for everyone can only exist in the pulp pages of a comic book designed for tweens.
The upside is knowing that there is a whole generation of young people who will grow up with the simple idea that a gay friend is as normal as Archie’s 68 year inability to make up his mind as to who likes. =)