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Archie Comics' first queer character Kevin Keller gets the last word in a massive new collection

Kevin Keller Celebration!
(Image credit: Dan Parent (Archie Comics))

Kevin Keller celebrated his tenth anniversary in 2020, and the Archie character's creator Dan Parent is so proud of him he's organizing a compendium of all of the standout queer character's first decade-plus in comics.

Kevin Keller Celebration! is a planned 700-plus-page omnibus of all things Kevin, including his first appearance in Veronica #202, his four-issue limited series, his 15-issue ongoing series, the Life with Kevin graphic novel, as well as unspecified "highlights, extras, and so much more" according to Archie Comics.

(Image credit: Dan Parent (Archie Comics))

"For the past 35 years, I've had the pleasure to work on multiple characters and titles for Archie, but my heart always comes back to my heart and soul, Kevin Keller," Parent says in the announcement. "Being able to spearhead this campaign, with the support of Archie Comics, is the perfect way to continue the legacy of the character as well as celebrate the 80th anniversary of Archie Comics." 

Although Archie Comics is supporting this project (and owns the character and comics), Dan Parent is the one organizing Kevin Keller Celebration! - and using Kickstarter to raise funds for it. This will be Parent's fourth Kickstarter, after three successful crowdfunding campaigns for his creator-owned series Die Kitty Die. Archie does plan to publish Kevin Keller Celebration! itself if Parent's Kickstarter is successful.

"When Dan came to me with the idea of introducing Kevin to Archie Comics ten years ago, I knew we were on the precipice of a huge cultural shift for our brand and for that reason, among many others, is why we fully support Dan's campaign efforts," Archie Comics' CEO/publisher Jon Goldwater says. "The introduction of Kevin, Archie Comics' first gay character, ignited readers and fans across the country and it's a testament to Dan's creative work that Kevin is such a positive and everlasting fixture in the world of Riverdale." 

Kevin Keller was the first gay character introduced in Archie Comics history, leading the way for Jughead to identify as asexual years later, and the introduction of other new queer characters such as Toni Topaz.

The Kevin Keller character later appeared in The CW's Riverdale show, played by Casey Cott - and even cameo'd in the Katy Keene spin-off.

Kevin Keller Celebration! is planned for a January 2022 release, and can be pre-ordered now through the Kevin Keller Celebration! Kickstarter page

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Chris Arrant

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.