Archie comics will introduce a gay character into the Archie comic series starting in September, 2010 according to the article.
This is the first time a gay character has been introduced in a comic book that is sold directly to young kids.
The Comic Book industry has introduced gay charactes in other comics, but those comic books were sold to older teenagers or adults.
There are some in the Gay Rights movement would eventually like to introduce gay characters in children’s TV shows and Saturday morning cartoons.
This direction the comic ‘Archie’ is going, with a gay character, would have been against the beliefs of John Goldwater, the founder of Archie Comics.
John Goldwater was a religious man, and allowed one of his comic book writer-artists who helped draw the Archie cartoons, Al Hartley, use the Archie characters in his Spire Christian Comic series.
19 out of the 59 Spire Christian Comics included the Archie characters, and in some of the other comics in the series, characters are seen reading Archie comic books.
In the Spire Christian Comics series, Hartley mercilessly satirized the 1960s and 1970s Counter Cultural Revolution that was taking place in the United States, portraying hippies and the mainstream Media as degenerate, and promoted Christian morality and beliefs:
Al Hartley was the son of Congressman Frederick Allan Hartley, Jr., (Republican from New Jersey), co-author of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947.
"He (i.e., Al Hartley) began writing and drawing for Archie Comics, infusing some of the stories with his Christian beliefs. At one point he was directed to cut back. “I knew God was in control, so I respected my publisher’s position and naturally complied”. He later received a call from publisher Fleming H. Revell, for whom he then freelanced a comic-book adaptation of David Wilkerson The Cross and the Switchblade in 1972, quickly followed by adaptations of God’s Smuggler by the pseudonymous Brother Andrew and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.
Inspired, Hartley helped launch the Spire Christian Comics line, and pitched Archie president John L. Goldwater to let him license the Archie guys ‘n’ gals. The Jewish Goldwater, himself religious, agreed, and Spire went on to release 59 comics — at least 19 of them Archie titles — as well as six Bible stories, 12 biography adaptations, four other book or movie adaptations (including Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika), and nine children’s comics."
List of Spire Christian Comics:
Spire Christian Comics: ‘Archie’s Something Else’ (with pro-religious and anti-liberal message):