July 16, 2014 11:45am PT by Graeme McMillan
Singapore Bans 'Archie' Gay Marriage Issue
Kevin Keller is having a very bad day.
Not only does his best friend, Archie Andrews, die while saving his life in the much-publicized Life With Archie No. 36 released today, but the character’s marriage in the third collection of the series has apparently led to the book quietly being pulled in Singapore.
Singapore-based cartoonist Sonny Liew made the discovery that the third collection in the Archie: The Married Life series was unavailable from local distributor Kinokuniya, despite the availability of the first, second, fourth and fifth volumes in the run. When he contacted the company, he was told that the collection was “deemed to breach the Content Guidelines for Imported Publications, and removed from sale by notice of MDA.” The response added, clearly, “we are not able to sell this title.”
“Obviously, we do not agree with Singapore’s decision to ban such a key book in our publishing catalog,” Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO Jon Goldwater told THR in response to the news. “Archie: The Married Life v3—which reprints the now-classic Life with Archie No. 16—is a milestone issue featuring the first gay marriage in comic book history. We stand by that story now as we did when we published it.”
The Life with Archie series, which finishes with next month’s 37th issue, took place in a possible future for the iconic high school characters. The marriage of Keller, Archie’s first gay character who debuted in 2010, generated upset from conservative groups including One Million Moms in the U.S. when the issue was published in 2012.
“Riverdale will always be about acceptance, equality and safety,” Goldwater continued. “I’m sad readers in Singapore will miss out on the chance to read such a pivotal moment in comics.”
Both Archie: The Married Life Vol. 3 and Life with Archie No. 36, in which Archie is killed saving Kevin Keller’s life, are currently available.