The introduction of the openly gay Kevin Keller to the Archie comic family has been so successful that the character will be headlining his own ongoing series, starting in February next year.

“He’s proven to be incredibly popular,” Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive of Archie Comics, told The New York Times. “We’re just so proud of the success of Kevin and the fact that he adds a new dynamic to Riverdale.”

The gay teen joined the Riverdale gang in September last year in the sell-out issue 202 of Veronica. A successful four-part follow-up miniseries launched in June confirmed comic book buyers’ enthusiasm for the character.

Goldwater revealed that next year Keller will also be introduced into the ongoing Life With Archie series that depicts the character’s lives when they are adult and married.

“We needed to figure out how to get Kevin into that book and, frankly, not sidestep the issue. It deals with the fact that he’s a gay man and has gay relationships,” he said.

The first Archie comic was published in 1942 by Goldwater’s father.

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