Archie Comics are definitely not what they used to be. In keeping up with the times, comic writers are taking on controversial issues one at a time, and Archie and his pals aren’t immune to the social climate.
In 1941, when Archie debuted, a same-sex kiss would be as likely on the front cover as a woman in astronaut gear; but even now, seven decades later, there are groups who take issue with homosexuality and condemn it, and that’s exactly what the latest issue of Archie Comics is about.
The issue deals with Kevin Keller, an openly gay character, kissing his boyfriend Devon at Pop Tate’s Diner in front of everyone. When a woman sees the kiss and gets irate about it, Veronica records the scene and uploads it to a YouTube-like video sharing site, where it quickly goes viral.
“We certainly pride ourselves on being contemporary, but that’s not the reason why we’re showing ‘The Kiss.’ Just like when Kevin first told Jughead he was gay, it was in the natural course of conversation,” said publisher Jon Goldwater. “We are creating this in the same way. It’s just part of the story.”
Dan Parent, who wrote and illustrated the issue, said he created it because of a One Million Moms protest in which they urged Toys ‘R Us not to display an issue which showed Keller getting married near the checkout aisles. But Archie Comics got the last laugh; the issue went on to sell out despite being taken down by the toy store.
The new issue goes on sale August 7.