Comic Con News--It was just over a year ago when Archie Comics announced that it was featuring its first gay character, Kevin Keller, who debuted in Veronica
#202 (see “Gay Character in Archie Universe
”). Today at the “Gays in Comics Panel,” Archie Comics creator Dan Parent indicated the Keller, who quickly got his own miniseries (see “Archie Plans Kevin Keller Miniseries
”), which turned into an ongoing monthly title, will, according to Bleeding Cool
, “in some future Archie stories be portrayed as married with a same-sex spouse.”
While attitudes towards gay marriage appear to be changing as more states legalize same sex unions, there are still only a handful of state that have made the move, and if Archie Comics is indeed planning to portray Keller as married in the near future, it would have to be seen as a courageous and perhaps clever move on the part of a publisher that appears to be increasingly adept at using PR-driven storylines such as the "Archie Wedding" saga (see “Archie Enters Alternate Reality
”) to drive sales.
Also since Archie Comics are targeted at younger female readers, a gay marriage scenario might not be as risky as it appears at first glance. Polls indicate that young people are far less negative towards gay marriage than the over 40 crowd, and young girls in particular are not threatened by gay male characters as can be seen by the popularity of the yaoi
genre of manga (a girls manga subgenre with stories about relationships between gay men written and drawn primarily by female creators for a female audience) in both Japan and North America.