Thursday, February 9, 2012

On the best thing about Kevin Keller #1

It was a book about a popular teenager nervous about going out on his first proper date.

It wasn't about a popular GAY teenager nervous about GAY going out on his first proper GAY date.

It was a story about a regular guy and his various misadventures preparing for a date. That the dates were with other guys were absolutely immaterial to the story. kevin was written, and is treated by his friends and family, and his preferences are not treated as aberrant or requiring any special treatment at all.

You know, the way actual gay people should be treated.

Dan Parent, creator of the character, and penciller of the issue (not to mention Conspirator) puts forth a perfectly entertaining story that wouldn't be out of place in any Archie title.  That's not at all a dig - That Archie has chosen to create a monthly comic starring a gay character is an amazingly forward thinking move.  To remember that the purpose of a comic book is to entertain first and educate second is absolutely vital.  Spoonful of sugar and all that.  I'm wholly certain Kevin's life in Riverdale in the title will not be rainbows and lollipops all the time - I'm sure we'll meet the occasional clod who won't cotton to Them People, and they will be dealt with a non-confrontational manner.  But I'm also confident that Archie, who has been doing this for Quite A Long Time, will keep the balance, and the book won't get the feeling that it must be read because It Will Be Good For You.

I've long been of the opinion that it's not the flashy, flaming (dare I say stereotypical?) gay characters on sitcoms and in films that will change people's minds, but the gay characters who look, act and quip the same as all the other characters, the ones who instead put forth the idea that there are gay people all around, and many have no better dress sense than you, and save for a couple of small differences that you probably wouldn't notice if you weren't such a nosey parker, they're just plain folks.

In the What-if, Out Of Continuity (I think...) Life With Archie title, Kevin will be marrying his partner, an Iraqui War vet , who is black.  Also, Archie will be heating his brief relationship with Valerie Brown from Josie and the Pussycats, and in another future history moment, they will bear a child. 

Talk about jumping in the deep end!  Who'd'a thought a couple of years ago that some of the most socially forward and most risk-taking plot and character choices would be coming from Archie Comics?

1 comment:

  1. Seeing as how we've recently dumped practically all DC comics from our reading list, to be replaced with Life With Archie, I find myself looking forward to this.