Response to the new Archie character, Kevin Keller, has been so strong that starting this June he will be starring in his own four-issue miniseries by writer/artist Dan Parent. If you had said to me two years ago that Archie Comics would one day build a miniseries around the first openly gay character in the company’s history, I would not have believed you. But clearly (as noted in this 2010 CBR News Parent interview) the fine folks at Archie Comics want “to make Riverdale more diverse while avoiding the pitfalls of stereotypes and parody”. So to find out more about Parent’s plans for this new miniseries, we conducted a quite enjoyable email interview. As an added bonus, Archie’s Alex Segura was generous enough to share an exclusive preview of issue 2′s variant cover. If you happen to be at the Pittsburgh Comicon this weekend, be sure to visit Parent in Artists Alley, where he’ll be doing sketches and signing books.
Tim O’Shea: Is it challenging to build comedy around an openly gay character, or is it a non-issue as if I was asking you “is it hard to build comedy around a left-handed character”?
Dan Parent: It’s not really that challenging, since we have the core Archie characters to play off of. Their familiarity helps us build a story around Kevin.