April 23, 2010

Archie Comics' 1st Gay Character

ENTERTAINMENT - The beloved preteen/teen comic book series Archie is getting a new character in September 2010... one which is sure to mess with its traditional love triangles of Archie-Veronica-Betty-Reggie and others.

The fictional town of Riverdale has been around since 1941 and while it was always fashion forward, it was also frequently behind the times when it came to sensitive issues.

For years there has been rampant speculation that Jughead is gay (because he shows no interest in women and his first and only love is food). Now that can finally be put to rest by having a character (named Kevin) who is honestly homosexual... but unfortunately can't convince Veronica of it.

“It’s nothing against her. I’m gay,” Kevin tells Jughead over a burger at Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe.

Archie comics has previously tackled issues like racism, drug addiction, alcohol abuse... but these were kosher topics supported by the general public. Homosexuality in the USA is still very much a hot button topic for many conservative religious folks.

Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater admits they might lose some fans from the far right of the political spectrum but also says: "We want to make Archie Comics [to] move forward and make it fun and inclusive."

Which then begs the question... when will they introduce lesbianism, more religious backgrounds and more ethnic diversity? There is Chuck Clayton (stereotypical African-American athlete) and his girlfriend Nancy (African-American cheerleader, reporter, artist)... which have been around since 1974 and 1976 respectively.

Evidently the folks at Archie Comics are very worried about upsetting their fan base and thus add new characters slowly and cautiously. No guts no glory.

Of course there's also been unintentional incidents where the characters look to be doing something unusual... some more dubious than others.

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