An Archie comics gay kiss is the latest in progressive turns for the long-popular series of titles, but the contemporary storyline also reflects how the septuagenarian comic has grown alongside society.
In the 1940s when the brand debuted, an Archie Comics gay kiss would have been unthinkable in Riverdale. And while modern polyamorous people point to Archie, Betty, and Veronica as a pop culture example of a “triad,” the characters have still stayed on the family-friendly side of storyline development despite the ever-racy three-way vibe at the core of the comics.
In an issue debuting August 7, the Archie Comics gay kiss will be revealed. Last year, we learned character Kevin Keller was gay, and is now openly and recurringly Riverdale’s first out gay student.
Keller has a new boyfriend Devon, and the pair lock lips at Pop Tate’s Diner for all of Riverdale High to witness. One onlooker, not a student, takes offense — but drama-courting Veronica records the boys kissing and uploads it to the Archie universe’s version of YouTube.
Jon Goldwater, publisher of Archie Comics, says a gay kiss was the next step for the teen comic in its evolution — and he explains:
“We certainly pride ourselves on being contemporary, but that’s not the reason why we’re showing ‘The Kiss.’ Just like when Kevin first told Jughead he was gay, it was in the natural course of conversation. We are creating this in the same way. It’s just part of the story.”
Dan Parent is a writer and illustrator for the comic brand, and Parent explains that the Archie Comics gay kiss was born in response to the group One Million Moms — the anti-gay group forced Toys ‘R Us to capitulate and remove the “wedding” cover featuring Kevin, but the comic went on to sell out anyway.
Do you think the Archie Comics gay kiss is a sign that America is growing more tolerant?