At this past July's Comic-Con International in San Diego, Archie Comics announced that not only would its exceedingly popular new character, Kevin Keller, the first openly homosexual member of the iconic Riverdale Gang, will star in his own ongoing series, but that readers would also see Keller get married in a future issue of Life With Archie. The publisher announced this week that the happy event will take place in Life With Archie #16, on sale in January. Introduced last year in an issue of the Veronica series, Kevin Keller is an aspiring journalist who also wants to follow in his father's footsteps by joining the U.S. armed forces. The character has earned lots of attention and praise for tackling the subjects of gay teens and gays in the military, but as Kevin's creator Dan Parent told ComicsAlliance in May, Archie Comics readers -- like the Riverdale gang themselves -- just simply love the guy for who he is.

Kevin is the all-American teenager who just happens to be gay. We wanted it to be an important factor, yet it doesn't completely define him either. The reaction from the Riverdale gang is basically a non-reaction, because Riverdale is an accepting and tolerant community where it's OK to be gay.

The Life With Archie series explores the lives of the Riverdale characters as they extend into a possible future. The book is notable for depicting two separate storylines, one in which Archie Andrews marries Veronica Lodge and one in which he marries Betty Cooper. The wedding between Kevin Keller and his "Mr. Right" will take place in January's Life With Archie #16. It will be the first gay marriage depicted in an Archie Comics publication, and among the first depicted in mainstream comic books in general.

Written by comics veteran Paul Kupperberg with artwork by Fernando Ruiz, Pat Kennedy, Tim Kennedy, Al Milgrom and Bob Smith with a cover by Norm Breyfogle, Life With Archie #16 goes on sale in finer comics shops and newstands in January, and can also be purchased from the Archie Comics website.

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