Review by: BionicDave

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Avg Rating: 4.0
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Price: 2.99

Pay attention, Hollywood! Now this is how you write a gay character: by writing one who doesn’t have to talk about his sexuality all the time – or even at all.

In KEVIN KELLER #3 (I believe it’s a four-part mini, before Kevin gets an ongoing next year) one might notice that writer/artist Dan Parent doesn’t use the word gay once, or even refer in the slightest to Kevin’s orientation. Is “Jersey Shore” mentioned within these pages? Yes! Jonah Hex? Oddly, also yes! But not Kevin Keller’s sexuality. Though Parent has never exactly hit us over the head with this topic anyway, he does go one step further here… and yet it continues to feel right.

It’s actually a gutsy move so early on in Kevin’s publishing history. All the press surrounding him has been anchored to his status as an out-and-proud Riverdale student. It’s what green lit Kevin’s very existence, what made him relevant: that squeaky-clean Archie Comics was adding a gay kid. I confess, it’s the only reason I’m buying this mini – and why I picked up VERONICA #202 & #205, the first appearances of Kevin Keller – the first Archie Comics I’d bought in thirty years. (Gasp, I’m old!) Many others are right there with me, as VERONICA #202 sold so well that Archie Comics had to issue a reprint for the first time in company history. And Dan Parent hit it out of the park. It’s been really cool seeing gays finally talked about within the Archie-verse, and seeing it done with such fun and sensitivity.

But in KEVIN KELLER #3? Dan Parent emphasizes that much if not most of life has nothing to do with one’s sexual preference, and that his title character is just a normal high school kid, dealing with the same ups and downs his classmates face. KK#3 finds Kevin confronting his fear of public speaking. The fact that he’s gay has nothing to do with it – so Parent felt no need to bring it up. Fortunately, Kevin Keller is already a multi-faceted character; so while we can predict that future tales will indeed deal with what’s made Kevin so popular with readers, it’s good to know Parent is willing and able to tell us about other interesting things in this kid’s life.

That being said? I do hope KK#4 gets back to gay stuff! LOL Because Dan Parent has done something rare and refreshing in these books: he portrays teen homosexuality as being as natural and innocent a part of Americana as teen heterosexuality is. He shows there’s no reason to continue enabling harmful notions that a “gay lifestyle” is somehow more lustful, perverse or worrisome than a straight one is. That it should be just as cute to see little boys mooning over other boys as it is to see them pining for girls. Today’s parents need to teach these things to their kids at an early age. And with KEVIN KELLER, one Parent is making that easier for us all.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent

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