Last year One Million Moms had a right wing hissy fit when the organization discovered that Archie Comics had a gay character in their comics. Not just gay, but that Kevin Keller was marrying Clay Walker in the pages of Life With Archie and that comic was being sold in Toys R Us, where you know, moms and dads take their kids and buy them toys. With the mantra “We must protect the children!” in their hearts those alleged million moms organized a boycott that failed spectacularly when Archie Comics went back to press for a second printing for the first time in its 70 year history. Archie publisher Jon Goldwater must have laughed all the way to the bank over the irony. Dan Parent and Archie Comics didn’t miss a beat in all the ensuing media attention, being spot on and supportive the entire time. Not that “media whore” comes to mind when you hear either of those names, but all that attention worked in their favor when it came time for GLAAD Media Awards. This may be the first time a publisher whose comic won has sported a GLAAD logo on its cover. See it there right above the Kevin logo? Yes, you can think what you want about GLAAD’s reputation. I continue to be pleasingly amazed by how Parent and Archie embrace Kevin and their LGBT readers.
What do you do for an encore? You take last year’s One Million Moms boycott incident and turn it into a storyline in this week’s Kevin Keller. That’s what you do.
Here’s the recap! Kevin continues to support and encourage boyfriend Devon to reconnect with his father after being kicked out of the home. The boys share a goodbye kiss right before Devon’s bus leaves and Nora Felshop, mother of bright eyed young Megan, launches into a caterwauling tirade at the scene. Good old Pop is having none of this and tells the woman off and tells her to leave his shop. And being dispruptive in a business, dear Christians, is how someone can be denied service while being a member of a protected class in the real world. BFF Veronica gets the whole thing on video and, because it’s a plot device, uploads the whole thing to You Tube. Besides, people don’t always ask permission anyway. What’s that? Users can delete uploaded videos? Did you not read “plot device” in the last sentence? How else will the video go viral and events spiral out of control with news reporters showing up at the Keller family home. Devon resorts to hijinks and succeeds in keeping his dad from seeing the news coverage while mending their relationship. Thanks to super compression, Kevin and family appear on the Ellen show. Kind of bizarre to see Mr Weatherbee and Miss Grundy sporting HRC red equality tee shirts while proclaiming “Equality for all our students!” Parent gets a couple digs in with a jab at One Million Moms membership numbers and the slippery slope argument that’s a mainstay objection to same sex marriage. And then Parent jabs harder by having Nora Felshop’s daughter read a supportive essay during the live taping and uses Kevin to deliver a final blow of kindness. And then they all go back to Riverdale and life goes back to normal. Sort of and only till next issue because Devon’s dad, who is kind of hunky in his own right, thank you, Mr Parent, learns about the video. Will Devon and his dad make up? Will Pop let Nora Felshop into Pop’s again? Will Nora’s daughter Megan grow up and become America’s first lesbian President? Will Dan Parent continue to have fun writing Kevin Keller? The answer to at least one of these questions is yes!
In all seriousness, really good job here with the story, Dan! Thanks for staying true to the message of Kevin and real world LGBT youth and young adults being as normal as their straight counterparts. And for Kevin and Devon’s kiss this issue!