The iconic American comic strip, Archie, has stepped into the 21st century with a new openly-gay character joining the Riverdale gang in September.

Kevin Keller will be introduced in an upcoming story titled Isn’t it Bromantic? in which he catches the eye of the character of Veronica who doesn’t know that he is gay. He befriends the character of Jughead, who is the first person he opens up to about his sexuality.

“In the last year or two, we’ve been introducing a lot of new characters: Diverse characters, characters with different ethnicities,” cartoonist Dan Parent told Newsarama.”We knew at some point we wanted to introduce a gay character, and when I came up with the story idea, we felt it worked in context with this story.”

He added: “The fact that there’s a gay character in the story isn’t a big deal to the characters. We didn’t do something with turmoil. The guy just happens to be gay, and the characters accept it, and that’s it.

“We’re trying to show that Riverdale is an accepting community, that everyone is welcome in Riverdale. We’re trying to show that Riverdale is that ideal town that everybody wants to be a part of,” he said.

Archie comics, with characters created by publisher/editor John L. Goldwater, was recently revamped to attract new readers. It was first published in 1942.

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