Archie Comics 2016
Written, Penciled & Coloured by Dan Parent
Inked by J. Bone
Lettered by Jack Morelli
Kevin Keller’s life has been pretty busy in NYC! His internship at NYC-TV has kept him on his toes, unfortunately that means he hasn’t had much of a social life… and after a few major dating fails, Kevin’s not sure he’ll ever find love in the big city. However, that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his dream of making a difference. After coming out as gay on live TV and taking a shy high schooler to his senior prom, Kevin’s become an unwitting viral sensation. But is he ready for the pressures of being in the spotlight?
I know this what a Quarterly book and it’s only on issue four but seriously if this doesn’t become a trade paperback at some point in time then there’s a huge problem. Not only is this one of Archie’s best publications but it’s also some of the absolute best work that Dan’s done to date. Taking Kevin out of Riverdale making him older and having running around NYC with his Riverdale naivete and sense of right and wrong while he falls into the same traps and pitfalls us normal folk do has is not only constant laugh out loud material but it’s the most entertaining thing i’ve read.
Forget that that it’s an Archie book. The Dan writes this is almost like it belongs in those old underground books featuring queers. I think this is what we long for when it comes to books that don't fit into the mainstream but are too good to pass up! For a straight man who's married and has children Dan understands dating, love and what it’s like to just want things to work out, regardless if it’s between opposite or same genders. It’s like reading old I love Lucy shows with Kevin finding himself in the worst situations possible that turn into caricatures of everyone. The fact that this issue focuses on a Telenovela isn’t coincidence as his life is one, forget Soap Opera’s those pale in comparison to Telenovela’s and how the are so over the top.
I love the characterisation here from Kevin and his good guy morals to Veronica’s well meaning but selfish ways to the world he works in that will take advantage of the littlest good deed if it means ratings and making sales. That he can pace this book and make it feel like we’re spending hours with him in the span of pages is a testament to just how good he is as this.
Okay so Kevin runs into a former boyfriend who by all accounts was toxic for him. So why does a kiss from him make him woosy all over again? Cause who doesn’t like a bad boy? Who doesn’t like the idea of going back and seeing a changed man? It’s pure fantasy but we’ve all had it only what Kevin’s ex does for a living well that’s where even a Telenovela seems like Sesame Street. I couldn’t stop laughing out loud reading this issue. I’m sure my neighbors heard the uncontrollable laughter from every angle of what was happening here.
Is there something better than a triple threat? Because that’s what Dan is. The man is genius when it comes to storytelling. His artwork and his words are visionary in ways that are both overt and subtle as the messages within are themselves. How do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume? That’s what Kevin should be asking Dan.