April 22, 2010, - 4:40 pm

Hey, Parents: Teach Your Kids About Being Gay w/ Archie Comics!

By Debbie Schlussel

When I was a little kid, my dad would buy me Archie comics to read on the Jewish Sabbath.  The comic books were given as a special treat.  My dad loved comics as a kid, had a big collection of Archie and Captain Marvel comics, and wanted to pass that interest along to me.  (Unfortunately, most of our collection got ruined in a basement flood.)


But, if he were still alive, I doubt he’d give a seven-year-old daughter (that was the age he started giving me the comic books to read) today’s Archie Comics.  You see, they’re pushing a new openly gay character on kids.  Kevin Keller is his name, and Betty and Veronica are more interested in him than Archie.  (I went to elementary school with a kid named Kevin Keller; perhaps he should sue for defamation.)  It’s kind of sad that children are exposed to this stuff and pimped on it at such earlier and earlier ages.  Forget about any kids today really having a childhood.  That concept is gone and over.  Kaput.  Now, little kids will read about “Kevin.”

New York, NY (April 22, 2010): Archie Comics, home of the famous Riverdale High students Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead, is about to welcome a new classmate this fall! On September 1st, Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first openly gay character, will be welcomed into the town of Riverdale.

“The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. Archie’s hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books,” stated Archie Comics Co- CEO, Jon Goldwater.

VERONICA #202 features the full-issue story, “Isn’t it Bromantic?” that introduces Kevin, Archie Comics’ first openly gay character. Kevin Keller is the new hunk in town and Veronica just has to have him. After Kevin defeats Jughead in a burger eating contest at Pop’s Chocklit Shoppe, she desperately latches onto him. Mayhem and hilarity ensue as Kevin desperately attempts to let Veronica down easy and her flirtations only become increasingly persistent.

Reader Jacob is on target:

I didn’t think it would happen that fast, but Archie Comics has a homosexual character that they will introduce in the Fall. I knew the homosexual agenda would go for Archie sooner or later, but this is quite a shock.

I guess there really is no one you can trust in the entertainment business.

No, there isn’t.

This isn’t about “homophobia.”  If you’re gay, what you do behind closed doors is your business.  What is pushed on American kids in comic books is everyone’s business.


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113 Responses

I’m waiting for the “Batman” to come out of the closet, or maybe the Batcave. Any grown adult man who pals around with a teenager who wears tights is probably already walking on the “Wild Side”. Now he just has to accept the inevitable, come out of the closet and admit that he’s madly in love with “Boy Wonderful”.

kenny komodo on April 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Thank you Shy Guy, that was lovely!

esther on April 23, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I always wondered about Shaggy and Scooby…

Dan Oblak on April 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I don’t get what’s being “pimped.” The Archie/Veronica/Betty threesome is all about hetero sexuality, but a gay guy is worrisome? What if Kevin acted EXACTLY like the straight 3some and dated, kissed, and chased after his loves with hearts popping about his head? Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Is it only okay to “pimp” straight sexuality but not gay sexuality? That seems to be what you’re saying, Debbie, and yes, that makes you a homophobe.

missdk on April 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm

What agenda is this character pushing anyway? I’d see the “outrage” if the whole comic was devoted to the backstory of the gay character, but it isn’t. He just says hes not interested in Veronica because he’s gay, and no one else (including himself) makes it into any sort of bigger statement.

I find it amusing as well that someone who calls her column “Debbie Does Politics” gets all bent out of shape over sexuality.

reaganomics on April 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm

For the readers of the original comics and watchers of the original ‘Archies’ cartoon, it’s obvious that Moose was the gay one. Shy, put out, didn’t know how to make friends, wonderfully kind-hearted. big and strong and worked out a lot.

He would obviously be the gay one who wouldn’t even know he was gay throughout high school.

luagha on April 23, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Mrs. Schussel, the Archie comic does not contain anything related to what gay people “do behind closed doors”, as you suggested. There might have been reason for outrage if the Archie comic had sexually explicit material, regardless of the sexual orientation of the characters involved. But it didn’t. It did nothing more than feature a character who is openly gay, just as it features characters who are openly straight.
Therefore you are clearly applying a heterosexist double standard in this case: you have no problem with a comic book containing straight relationships, but when a gay character acknowledges that he is not attracted to women, you claim that children are being deprived of a childhood and “pimped out”.
You believe that the very knowledge of the existence of gay people is extremely detrimental to children, and yet you also ask your audiendce to believe that you are not homophobic (someone with an irrational fear and/or hatred of gay people)? Sorry, but there is absolutely no rational basis for your fear of openly gay cartoon characters; the contents of your article are indeed homophobic.

Will on April 24, 2010 at 2:55 am

The problem with Archie is that he will do anything when he see’s an attractive woman including dumping the woman he is with and the whole comic gives the impression that men are henpecked to death and that is just nature and that sends a bad message to men in general and to women for that matter that a man that isn’t like this some how isn’t normal. It is fine to love women but like anything else it should have boundaries. And when a man has no boundaries which Archie with a few rare exceptions will just do whatever Veronica wants this does not send a good message. We have the same problem including men to impress woman are more concerned with women from other cultures then their own who are suffering and seem to have this endless war type of mentality to impress women which I don’t think is a good thing or even what real masculinity is. It is easy to die. It is harder to live.

adam on April 25, 2010 at 1:50 am

I think Debbie should read the entire story first before going off on one of her crazy hate filled rants but as usual, she doesn’t. Archie comics is just becoming more modern, as it should be. There are gay people in this society nowadays, and Archie comics is reflecting that. A few years ago, when most gays were in the closet, it wouldn’t make any sense for Riverdale to have an openly gay guy but now things have changed. Debbie needs to grow up. Next time she will be complaining about Archie comic’s openly Muslim character.
Or Hindu character or any character that is not white enough for her.

shaw on April 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

“This isn’t about ‘homophobia.’ If you’re gay, what you do behind closed doors is your business. What is pushed on American kids in comic books is everyone’s business.”

I see. So it’s okay for kids to see Archie and his pals to pursue women and publicly date them, but not for a gay character? Or in this case, for a gay character to not even date a guy but simply state he’s not interested in dating a girl?

Forcing gay people to live to a different standard than straight people is, in fact, homophobic.

RS on April 25, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Sorry,but I’m with Debbie here. Children should have a childhood. It shouldn’t be taken away from them. There is a time and a place for something like this. A homosexual chariacter in a comic book for little kids is about as inappropriate as it gets. For one thing,I won’t be reading it. Call me old fashioned if you want but this is unnecessary and extremely creepy.

Ghostwriter on April 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Ghostwriter, how is a gay character in a comic book taking their childhood away from them? All he says is he’s not interested in a girl because he’s gay – he doesn’t even hold a guy’s hand. In what way, exactly, is that forcing them to grow up too fast?

hellcat on April 25, 2010 at 9:46 pm

One great thing about being human that I love is that we do not have to agree with each other. Why waste your time trying to get people to see how “socially advanced” you are because you tolerate everything, except the people who don’t agree with every way of life, thereby making your own viewpoints irrelevent. It’s funny how people who have “a bunch of gay friends” always say that, which makes it seem that the only reason you have gay friends is so you can say “I have a bunch of gay friends”, somehow making you the standard of “cool.” Get over it. People who support being gay are always complaining about opposing viewpoints, how they are always attacked by them. Bull. Everyone has the constitutional rights to free speech. If you look on any website that disagrees with homosexuality for ANY reason, you will see proponents of homosexuality are far more degrading and rude 10-1. So it would seem that that is where the real hatred is. If you honestly believe that it is ok to bash people who disagree with homosexuality, then YOU need the lesson in humanity. Every one knows that there are gay people. Stop trying to make it into a circus. When you use the argument “why is it ok for kids to see heterosexual interactions”. Because that is the standard, it IS the norm. It should be up to parents to discuss hot button issues with their kids, not society. Whether you want to accept it or not, homosexuality IS a hot button issue. You will not change the minds of people by constantly telling them they are stupid and degrading thenm…..always. You’ll just become more and more annoying to them. Jeez, get over your “my social sophistication is greater than your social sophistication ” self! Stop calling for tolerance then constantly giving people a mental beat down.

hypoman on April 25, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I’m not degrading you or anyone else. I’m just telling you I don’t agree with your viewpoint. Your whole argument seems to be that liberals only claim to be “tolerant” but are intolerant when someone disagrees with them. Well, I never claimed I was tolerant of everything. I’m ok with gay people living their lives and I’m ok with my children knowing about it, not because it’s “the cool thing” but because I just don’t have a problem with it. I’m not going to nod and say ok when people tell me that gay people are disgusting or wrong or should be kept away from children, because I disagree with that view. Being tolerant of certain lifestyles doesn’t mean that I have to agree with everything everyone does EVER – that’s just silly.

    hellcat on April 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      Your last sentence hit the nail on the head. THAT standard should go for everyone. And as long as I have been old enough to care about the goings on of the world, that standard has never been true. In every issue there seems to be a double standard, and it usually is the voice of those accusing hate, that do the most brow beating.

      hypoman on April 27, 2010 at 6:41 pm

        See, but that’s the thing. I don’t think there’s browbeating going on here. We’re disagreeing, and we’re each pushing for our version of what we think is the right way to do things. For example, I think gay people should be able to get married without anyone batting an eyelash, and I certainly think they can be allowed in children’s comics without turning six year olds into Satanists.

        BUT just because I think that’s ok, doesn’t mean that I think everything is ok, ever. For instance, I don’t think it’s ok when people say that gays are disgusting, immoral, hell-bound, etc. and I will point that out when I see it. Those are just the lines of MY moral code, and I will try to push them, because I think they’re right – just like you’ll push yours because you think they’re right. It doesn’t make me a hypocrite – it actually makes us the same. We’re both pushing our own version of the right way to do things, and those versions just happen to be opposing.

        hellcat on April 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I’m from Australia so I didn’t grow up with these comics although I have heard of them. What age are these comics targeted at? If children under 16 are reading these comics then yes I think it is inappropriate. I believe homosexuality is a psychology problem. It develops at a very young age and continues until adulthood. If you read articles by a brilliant psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Satinova you’ll understand how homosexuality can develop. If someone chooses to be gay then that is absolutely fine. However, there are children how there that are gender confused and having gay characters in popular comics can influence and encourage them to choose to be gay.

Suzie on April 26, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Here we go again, abbynormal people that comprise less than 2% of the populations shoving their lifestyle down our throats again.
This is all about normalizing their sick behavior and propagandizing young children.

ScottyDog on April 26, 2010 at 9:01 pm

there will be less than 100,000 copies of this comic printed. in the 5 local comics stores i frequent on a weekly basis, none of them carry archie comics. why? not for any political or social reason, but because the books just don’t sell. your children are not interested in archie comics, he’s not cool. they want spider-man and the x-men. it is basically a non-issue. your children are not going to see this issue.

Drewzer on April 28, 2010 at 2:44 am

I don’t care if you are gay or straight, I just find the whole thing to be pointless and ridiculous. Comic books are supposed to be funny. “I don’t like her. I’m gay.” Who cares? That’s not funny. It is pushing an agenda, plain and simple, and in the process of trying to seem modern and hip it will alienate a lot of people. Yawnnnn!

Meg on April 29, 2010 at 2:06 am

You honestly are trying to hide gay people from children? That’s like hiding cats, Baptists and people from Ohio.

They exist and they are not hurting. What’s more important is that YOUR KIDS COULD END UP GAY! Why can’t you people just love and accept people for who they are.

Joey123 on May 6, 2010 at 11:47 am

I’m as outraged as you are.

From twenty (!) years ago:

Hob Gadling on May 19, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Sorry but your views are wrong…I have kids in late teens…they have know gay people their whole live….they love and respect them as they have never been anything but kind toward them…since age of 4 or 5 (age appropriate ) they have know what a gay person is. and imagine..they are straight (not that it would matter) and although it does not matter to anyones business…we are christian.
Stop the damage and propagating fear and hatred toward gays in parents. Kids are smarter than that….you are gay or not PERIOD The damage parents do toward their kids by throwing some into streets simply for being who they are…

your augment is flat….don’t need a comic book or a childrens book…words work just fine….and the actions of someones character shows them too…

Terence on September 5, 2010 at 6:13 am

This is where ignorance really stands out – the homosexual agenda. Lets see. First off I am supposed to respect someone for their “faith” or “religion”. I am supposed to respect someone for their “race”. But heaven forbid I will respect someone for their orientation. Anyone who wants to deny homosexuals the right to exist without fear, does not deserve the freedoms this country freely gives. If anyone could stop the bible thumping and look at reality, homosexuality is not a choice, but hate and ignorance are.

TJCIII on January 6, 2011 at 4:21 pm

But nowadays, you rarely see kids reading comics, even Archie. They’re mostly into the internet and video games. Go into any comics shop and the clientele is primarily young adults on up. How Archie Comics is still in business is astounding (although the majority of their cash flow comes from merchandising more than the comics).

Alan on March 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm

When you or I create a universe then we can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong, we are not really calling any shots, just being stubborn. Justifying immoral behavior is like drinking poison and saying how good it is.

GS on March 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm


SHMUJEW on May 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Debbie is full of shit, while I enjoy her writings against Islam she is homophobic just like the Muslims maybe less so but that bullshit is still there. First of all gay characters in childrens literature and media does not deny kids a child hood. Rather it shows gay children that they are an accepted and a visible group just like everyone else. In fact denying visible representations of gay people only ruins gay kids self esteem and denies the reality of gay people. There is nothing toxic about gay people to be kept away from children they are just like everybody else. Furthermore gay people should not have to hide themselves in the media anymore then straight people. Nor is anyone pushing gayness on anyone much less kids they are merely showing gays as real people and representing them in the media and in stories just as they are in real life. In Japan they have gay characters on children’s shows all the time. Sailor Moon my all time favorite show is loaded with gay characters who are loved by much of the public and kids still have childhoods over there. Hell in fact their kids statistically turn out better then ours. Homosexuality is nomal, natural and is found in every species. They are apart of our civilization and species and deserve to be represented in our literature in a positive way as they many are positive and they are important and good group like any other. Gays are here there is nothing wrong with them and they certainly have nothing to hide and children should be raised to accept gays just as they accept other races, and genders. I also think it is funny that many of these dumb Abrahamics have no problem with putting violence in comics yet when we get one positive gay character these fools wild out.

Proud Pagan on July 1, 2011 at 1:23 am

It wasn’t until the age of aquarius, hippie-crowd, that heterophobes convinced the psychoanalytical community that one was “born” a homosexual. Eventually, that theory evolved into today’s angry religion. How audacious to believe that heterophobia is “not” a chosen lifestyle?

Patrick on July 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm

WTF? Isn’t Archie MARRYING Veronica? Why do I know this?

Occam's Tool on September 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

This is an incredibly dumb article.

Maureen on November 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm

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