Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Archie alters story arc over Russia’s anti-gay laws

Kevin Keller's first kiss

Kevin Keller’s first kiss

Publishing | The Archie gang has canceled a (fictional) trip to Russia because of that country’s draconian anti-gay laws. One law would allow the arrest of foreigners suspected of being gay or “pro-gay,” while another defines any pro-gay statement as pornography and therefore makes it a criminal act to make such statements in front of anyone under the age of 18. Archie cartoonist Dan Parent, who created Riverdale’s first openly gay character, Kevin Keller, is taking a stand in his own way: “Russia should be boycotted, so much so that actually in an upcoming special four-issue story arc I’m writing the Archie gang are going to take a world tour to four countries. Russia was to be one of them. But they’re not going there now. They just can’t and they won’t. They love and support Kevin.” [Back2Stonewall]



Publishing | Deb Aoki takes a look at the Dark Horse Originals line of graphic novels with indie appeal, and interviews editors Brendan Wright and Philip Simon as well as creators Paul Tobin (Bandette) and Alex DeCampi (Smoke/Ashes). DeCampi praised Dark Horse for its support of creators, saying, “There are several publishers out there that are producing good independent graphic novels, but almost none pay an up-front page rate. They often take 50% of the film and publishing rights, or they don’t provide much editorial and marketing support. [Dark Horse] gave me editorial support for my book. They provided useful and constructive feedback for me and my artists — they’re not just traffic managers.” [Publishers Weekly]

Digital comics | Bruce Lidl surveys the expanding digital comics scene, looking at new business models, the discussion about digital rights management, and the addition of art-comics publishers like Fantagraphics to the digital fold. [Publishers Weekly]

Sailor Moon, Vol. 12

Sailor Moon, Vol. 12

Comics | Noah Berlatsky takes issue with Todd Mc Farlane’s claim that “There hasn’t really been historically a comic book that has worked that is trying to get across a kind of [political] message, if you will.” Berlatsky points to two very good, and popular comics with a strong message of female empowerment, Sailor Moon and Wonder Woman, as counterexamples. [The Atlantic]

Creators | Paul Gravett talks to Gareth Brookes, whose first graphic novel The Black Project is due out from Myriad Editions (in the United Kingdom) in September. [Paul Gravett]

Creators | Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh claims Charlie Chaplin as an influence, saying, “Chaplin’s works are simple, silent, emotional and meaningful. The works make people laugh and enjoy themselves, but they have not been produced just to make you laugh.” Derambakhsh, who recently won the 33rd International Nasreddin Hodja Cartoon Contest in Turkey, shies away from politics, saying, “Politicians have become thick-skinned and cartoons do not affect them anymore.” [Payvand Iran News]

The Archer

The Archer

Comic strips | We mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but now the comic is out: Kent State University has launched a weekly comic strip by alumnus, and Crankshaft cartoonist, Chuck Ayers portraying real-life football player Dri Archer as a football superhero to promote his bid for the Heisman trophy. [Athens Banner-Herald]

Collecting | Comics dealer Vincent Zurzolo explains why comics are a good investment, and he should know: His companies have been involved in the three biggest-money comics sales of all time, including the copy of Action Comics #1 that went for $2.1 million a couple of years ago. [Market Watch]

History | Swansea University in Wales will digitize about 1,350 cartoons by Joseph Morewood Staniforth and present them, with background and commentary, on their own website. Many of the cartoons appeared in the Welsh paper The Western Mail during World War I and reflected the progress of the war and the struggle at home. [Wales Online]



I wonder if the Archie gang would go to China? I mean they’ve been known to systematically rape and torture political dissidents, but I don’t know of any anti-gay laws.

Fair point. But I’d be very surprised if they didn’t think of that themselves, so China is probably off the list as well.

Not a lot of places to go if you’re serious about human rights, unfortunately.

I guess the Archie Trek across the Middle East is out as well. I assume Archie’s publishers were unaware that there are countries, including Russia, that regularly trample human rights.

Well, I’m certainly going to be adding Archie comics to my reading list now that they’re chock full of political BS.

Political BS?
I haven’t seen this much baiting since then last cbr article on bass fishing
Last I checked, there isn’t a Utopia anyplace on earth.
Riverdale residents get as close as I’ve seen, and I appreciate the work Parent has done integrating real world incidents into their stories in a natural character-driven way.

“the work Parent has done integrating real world incidents into their stories in a natural character-driven way.”
Where Kevin Keller is concerned, absolutely. Even Riverdale is rife with homophobia, though, and Parent outs it every other issue. Surprisingly, racism has been eradicated. As has sexism, since there’s no concern that Betty and Veronica might meet up with some restrictions on their world tour. Nor does Parent mention the NSA collecting data on U.S. citizens, something that affects his entire cast, but doesn’t single out Kevin, so isn’t really relevant.

If by “real world incidents”, you mean social engineering. Then I agree.

Amazing how so many people who don’t even read “Kevin Keller”–or even any Archie titles–feel the need to be offended over something that has nothing to do with them. Of course, they also show what kind of homophobes they are in the process.

Archie and his friends aren’t making it to Russia, but not because of anti-gay laws.

Spoilers: It’s because the first stop is in Australia, where they’re all getting mauled to death by koalas.

@JosephW: what you said.

Archie: exposing the horrors of Outback life in Oz!

I doubt that the reasons for Russia’s anti-gay laws will be elaborated upon and debated in the Archie books.

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