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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]

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Teaser: God loves The Pack

To answer Rob’s question from earlier in this week: Yes, the Greenbay Packers only hope of winning the Super Bowl is to stack their team with undead players.

We’ll have one final teaser tomorrow for Tim Seeley and Mike Norton’s new comic from Image; check out the previous teasers from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for more small-town newspaper fun.

Marvel, ESPN team up for Tebow time

NFL SuperPro v2.0

Although I’m not a big sports guy, I am aware of the cultural phenomenon that is Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow–mostly because of the Tebowing blog someone showed me some time back. And since the guy apparently already has a superhero name and a healing factor that rivals Wolverine, why not just go all the way and turn him into a Marvel superhero?

Marvel and ESPN, both part of Disney, have teamed up to create three pieces of art that ESPN’s SportsCenter and NFL studio programming will feature throughout the weekend, by comic artists Bong Dazo (above), Scott Koblish and Todd Nauck. The 144-second piece features a voice-over from NFL Sunday Countdown host Chris Berman. The video was up on YouTube, but has since been removed, but you can watch for it on ESPN this weekend.

Comics A.M. | The Power Within creators land on Out’s ‘Out 100′ list

Charles Christensen and Mark Brill

Creators | Out magazine has included writer Charles “Zan” Christensen and artist Mark Brill in its 17th annual “Out 100″ list highlighting the 100 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of the year. Christensen and Brill are the creators of The Power Within, an anti-bullying comic book published by Northwest Press. “Inspired, or rather upset, by Tyler Clementi’s tragic death last year, the pair set out to create an empowering story of an eighth-grader picked on for being gay,” the magazine writes. Northwest Press has distributed over 700 free copies of the book to more than 50 gay-straight alliances, schools, churches, community centers and other youth organizations. [Out]

Creators | Uncanny X-Men writer Kieron Gillen considers the accessibility of the relaunched comic in light of reviews he’s read around the web, particularly the fact that some people were thrown by the X-Men living in San Francisco: “Of course, I can see the reason why it’s thrown the people … they know the X-Men live in a mansion in Westchester. That they’re not living in Westchester is the problem. It’s not about giving the information to read the story that’s there. It’s about correcting pre-existing assumptions. In other words, it’s not a problem about being accessible to new readers – because a genuinely new reader would accept the fact the X-Men live on Utopia in the same way that they except that Bilbo lives in the Shire – but rather a problem with the readers being old readers. They feel lost not because of the story on the page, but the gap between the old story in their heads and the story on the page, and wanting to know what connects the two.” [Kieron Gillen]

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