Dan Parent, a veteran Archie Comics artist and creator of Kevin Keller, is celebrating 10 years of the character with Kevin Keller Celebration!, a 700-page omnibus collecting stories featuring the character, from his first appearance to the Life with Kevin graphic novel that showed the character’s future.
The project is current being crowdfunded on Kickstarter, where they’re looking for almost $50,000 in support.
“For the past 35 years, I’ve had the pleasure to work on multiple characters and titles for Archie, but my heart always comes back to my heart and soul, Kevin Keller,” Parent said. “Being able to spearhead this campaign with the support of Archie Comics is the perfect way to continue the legacy of the character as well as celebrate the 80th anniversary of Archie Comics.”
According to the campaign page, the omnibus will include all of the classic-style Kevin stories, including his first appearance from Veronica, his four-issue mini-series, his 15-issue series, and the Life with Kevin graphic novel by Parent and J. Bone. It’ll also feature his wedding to his boyfriend Clay from the Life with Archie series, which imagined two different timelines for the Archie characters in the future.
“The addition of Kevin to Riverdale was an important one, because we hadn’t had an openly gay character in our comics before,” Parent wrote on the campaign page. “But when I brought up the idea to Jon Goldwater, he felt it was time for the LGBT community to have a place in Riverdale. The tricky part was to introduce a character in a way where it didn’t come off as a gimmick, but as a part of a permanent place in Riverdale. This was important to the integrity of the character, our comics and myself as a creator. Fortunately, Kevin was very well received, and soon seamlessly blended in to the fabric of Riverdale. A decade later, the mission has been accomplished, as Kevin is an integral part of the gang, and a main character on the Riverdale TV series.”
As far as pledges and rewards go, you can get the digital edition of the collection for a $15 donation, and while a print copy will cost you $45. Right now it’s planned as a softcover, but if they break $50,000 they’ll upgrade it to a hardcover. Other tiers offer bookmarks, buttons, shirts and sketches from Parent.
The campaign runs through Oct. 13 on Kickstarter.