6:00am PT by Graeme McMillan
Archie's Kevin Keller Appears in 'Love Is Love' Charity Anthology (Exclusive)
In September, IDW Publishing and DC Entertainment announced plans for Love Is Love, an anthology created to support LGBT nonprofit and advocacy organization Equality Florida in the wake of the attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., this summer.
Created and curated by writer Marc Andreyko, the title brings together the work of a number of creators, with more than 100 stories running no longer than two pages responding to the June attack that left 49 dead and 53 injured — including two stories featuring Archie Comics characters debuting exclusively on The Hollywood Reporter today.
"When Marc Andreyko approached me and Archie about including a story in Love Is Love, I knew we had to be a part of it — and that we also had to approach it in a direct way," Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer and Riverdale TV series showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who writes one of the two Archie entries in the collection, told THR. "It had to be in the more modern 'New Riverdale' style and obviously include our openly gay character, Kevin Keller. Marc then paired me with the supremely talented Stephen Byrne, who delivered gorgeous art. We often talk about how Riverdale exists in the real world today, so we’re incredibly honored to be paying our respects to the terrible tragedy that happened in Orlando, along with so many of our colleagues in the industry."
"It was an honor and a privilege to be included with all the talented creators in this book," said Dan Parent, who created the Kevin Keller character for 2010's Veronica No. 202, and contributes a story to the collection. "More importantly, to give back to the families and victims of such a tragedy is simply the right thing to do. Let's help the healing process by contributing any way we can. And let's remember to keep fighting!"
"For as long as I've been steering the ship at Archie, we have striven to showcase the town of Riverdale as a welcoming, inclusive and friendly place for everyone," added Archie Comics Publisher/CEO Jon Goldwater. "Kevin Keller's introduction was a watershed moment not only for us as a company, but for comics and pop culture as a whole. It made perfect sense to join forces with our friends at IDW and DC Entertainment to include Kevin, Archie and his friends in Love Is Love. We're honored to be part of such an important book and will continue to strive for a real world that's as safe as Riverdale."
The 144-page collection, which features work by creators including Marguerite Bennett, Damon Lindelof, Jason Aaron, Kieron Gillen and Ed Luce, as well as an introduction by Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, will be published by IDW Publishing with the support of DC Entertainment on Dec. 21.