Robot 6

Kevin Keller faces anti-gay bully in latest issue of Archie Comics series

From Kevin Keller #3

Since moving to Riverdale nearly two years ago, Kevin Keller has established himself as the town’s first gay resident, gotten married (in the alternate-future Life With Archie, at least) and even beaten back the forces of One Million Moms. But in Kevin Keller #5, which goes on sale Wednesday, he faces a homophobic reaction from one of Cheryl Blossom’s Pembrooke Academy classmates.

Comic Book Resources has an exclusive preview for the issue, by Dan Parent and Rich Koslowski, which finds Kevin enjoying his first summer as a lifeguard on Riverdale Beach — until he meets up with Cheryl and her snobby, trouble-making friends. One in particular, the goateed Sloan, takes issue with Kevin’s sexual orientation, referring to him as “twinkle-toes” — it is Riverdale, after all — and facetiously offering to kiss his hand.

However, apparently not all of the Pembrooke gang has a problem with Kevin: The solicitation text teases that, “to make matters more complicated, a guy across enemy lines has eyes for Kevin … a surefire way to add drama to the whole mix!” Maybe it’s Sloan; he does seem to be overcompensating for something.

Check out the entire exchange below, and read the full preview at CBR.

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Comments

21 Comments

oh no. now my son and/or daughter will grow up wanting to a bully like sloan.

Brandon Morgan

June 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm

This is about fifty thousand times more relevant than the recent media stunts by DC and Marvel. Kudos to Archie Comics for tackling such an important issue!

@ Brandon Morgan: Well, to be fair, its harder for DC to do anti-bullying for their gay characters, when most of those gay characters can either kick butt using only their pinky, or have enough power to level a mountain. And what’s he likelihood of seeing Darksied or the Dark Phoenix Force calling Green Lantern or Northstar “Twinkle Toes”?

I think Archie Comics should be ashamed of themselves. They’re setting a very bad example for the children who read this. Guys, the proper spelling is “mouth-to-mouth RESUSCITATION!”

On the other hand, I’m glad to see them doing a storyline about anti-gay bullying.

Twinkle toes?!?….. Lmao!

I never knew ‘Twinkle Toes’ could be used as a insult.

My first thought was that I thought Sloan saw “The Good in Everyone.” But I guess the folks at Archie just aren’t Canadian indie fans…

Relevant, but I read Archies when I was 9 or 10 years old. Why TF would a 9 or 10 year-old be interested in these kinds of issues??

duhwhat: 9 or 10 year olds don’t have to learn how to deal with bullies? What planet do you live on?

@Jason

I was speaking more to the gay/sexuality issues. But I suspect you already knew that was what I was speaking to

Since you asked, I live on a planet where political correctness and emotionalism take precedence over clear thinking and being a common-sense realist

Reading ficiton helps kids learn to deal with real life issues. Real kids every day have to face being insulted a bullied all the time for all sorts of reasons, whether it’s being gay or fat or having glasses or whatever. And maybe by reading how Kevin Kellar faces the issue and comes out on top (and there’s no question the story will have a happy ending — it’s an Archie comic, for Pete’s sake) will help them learn how to deal with these situations in their own life. Political correctness and emotionalism have absolutely nothing to do with it, and the fact that you can’t see past it being a gay character speaks more to your own prejudices than it does to Archie’s intent or what actual, real-deal children could get out of a story like this.

@Jason

You’re the one that is blind. The fact that you’re calling me prejudiced shows that you have not even read my comments – and instead are addicted to your knee-jerk PC way of looking at other human beings

Overt sexuality issues don’t have a place in comics aimed at 9 year-olds. I would find it just as weird, as a 9 year-old, to read Byrne’s Namor comics, which made statements about corporations and CEO’s in the American economy. As a kid, I might enjoy the drama of heroes versus villains, or Namor fighting the Griffin, but I probably would have ignored or not really gotten the CEO/capitalist slant of the story.

The only difference being, Archie comics are aimed at kids between 7 and 10 or so, generally speaking, whereas super hero comics are aimed at older audiences also.

You did just as I predicted by resorting to emotionalism and calling me prejudiced instead of making a rational argument for why kids should be exposed to adult topics. And for the 100th time, stop falling back on the bullying argument, I’ve said twice now that that was not what I was objecting to

Good luck

“Overt sexuality issues don’t have a place in comics aimed at 9 year-olds.”

How is Kevin Keller being gay any more overtly sexual than Archie, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, Valerie, et al, being straight? Archie Comics is pretty much founded on love triangles and romantic pursuits and rivalries.

You’re the one failing reading comprehension and making knee-jerk assumptions here, bud, not me. What I meant by you being prejudiced isn’t that I think you’re a homophobe or any other PC nonsense, but that you have formed a preconceived notion (that’s the very definition of what a prejudice is) that gay/sexuality issues have absolutely no place in a story aimed at children, which I do not believe to be a true statement, and outlined exactly why I feel that way.

And don’t fall back on the bullying argument? It’s a story ABOUT BULLYING of which we’ve gotten to see exactly one page. Frankly, I don’t see how there can BE an argument about anything else with what we have to judge here. And I find it laughable that you keep accusing me of being all wrapped up in political correctness when my argument is that the merits of the story go far beyond the “why are there gay people in my kids comic?!” aspect that has you so bent out of shape.

Also: what Kevin said.

Still waiting on one good reason why kids should be learning about this stuff at such a young age. Still waiting… still waiting… …

@Jason

Noticed you ignored my Namor example completely. I guess you’re fixated on the bullying stuff – not a conversation I’m interested in or ever intended to have.

I guess if you cannot provide a logical counterpoint to someone’s post – just fixate on some other topic altogether – that’s debating 101 on the Intent I guess

@Kevin

I think you have a point there, and it is one I had considered. But I don’t really see anyone specifically defining their sexuality in the older Archie comics. Once you start specifically defining it for a character, then you open a can of worms – for more conversations – which again, I don’t think are appropriate for such a young age. Most 8 and 9 year-olds don’t care about sexuality – gay, straight or otherwise. They care about candy and Matchbox cars, or video games or whatever. It’s become in vogue now to expose kids to these adult topics at a much younger age. I’ve yet to hear a good reason why that is appropriate

I don’t know why I’m even bothering to respond when this is like screaming at a wall, but here goes…

I ignored your Namor example because it’s a stupid example, but okay, fine. If we assume your argument that a comic book that might possibly be read by kids shouldn’t mention anything like corporations or (gasp!) gay people that a kid might not understand, where do we stop? Should the ugly, scary Real World never be mentioned in children’s fiction? Should Peter Parker not have to struggle to sell photos to the Daily Bugle to make ends meet or worry about Aunt May getting sick and dying, because kids shouldn’t have to worry about money, unemployment, or loved ones dying? And if not, well, what else is there? Should superhero comics just be about Namor or Spider-Man or whoever just punching bad guys in the face? Because to my mind, mindless violence is a much more objectionable thing to hand a kid than something that *gasp!* happens to have a gay person in it.

I mean, I don’t know what kind of bland stuff your parents were foisting on you when you were 10, but I was reading things like “Charlie & The Chocolate Factory,” “The Phantom Tollbooth,” and “Watership Down,” which introduced topics that were a lot more challenging than “Sometimes boys like other boys, and y’know what? That’s okay.”

You “don’t really see anyone specifically defining their sexuality in the older Archie Comics”? Are you blind? Ask anyone in the world what the premise is of Archie and the answer is “Betty likes Archie, Veronica likes Archie, but Archie likes them both and he can’t decide!*” If all that “girls like boy, boy likes both girls” doesn’t 1000% define those characters as straight, I don’t know what more evidence you need. And Kevin Keller’s sexual orientation is defined in just as generic, kid friendly terms…his presence is to give kids the message “Everyone is accepted in Riverdale. No exceptions.” How on earth can any rational human being object to that?

* Some might also add “And oh yeah, Jughead likes hamburgers more than Archie likes Betty and Veronica combined,” but that’s something else entirely.

@Jason

LOL.

I’m not spending another second articulating any other response than that to you irrelevant ramblings

You’ve done nothing to refute my points at all. Though you have gone off on some weird and laughable tangents

“But I don’t really see anyone specifically defining their sexuality in the older Archie comics.”

Your kidding arn’t you?? Their one defining feature is their sexuality. Archie, Betty and Veronica is the original love triangle! It’s what they’re known for.

@duhwhat

Your trolling is hilariously pathetic. I actually did giggle at how stupid your posts were.

I hate the new Archie comics:
Cheryl gets cancer
Archie gets married
The gang split up
And most of all they have a gay and make him a hero. They don’t make Cheryl a hero for surviving cancer
Archie comics are dark

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