Kevin Keller, the first openly gay resident of Archie comics‘ fictional Riverdale, will have his own monthly comic book starting in February.
Kevin was introduced as a new student at Riverdale High in Veronica #202, and his instant popularity with fans led to that sold-out comic becoming the first in the publisher’s history to go into a second printing.
He is currently featured in a four-issue spin-off this summer. The series, told in flashbacks, shows Kevin’s struggles and triumphs through middle and high school.
“He’s proven to be incredibly popular,” said Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive of Archie comics.
“We’re just so proud of the success of Kevin and the fact that he adds a new dynamic to Riverdale.”
In early 2012 that story line will feature Kevin’s marriage.
“We needed to figure out how to get Kevin into that book and, frankly, not sidestep the issue,” Mr. Goldwater said. “It deals with the fact that he’s a gay man and has gay relationships.” Mr. Goldwater said the overall reception to Kevin has been positive.
“Out of all the people who subscribe to the Archie books, we only had seven total cancellations,” he said.
Kevin’s debut in the Veronica issue earned a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Comic Book this year.