JUGHEAD'S COMING OUT
Archie's burger-loving best friend has had a makeover recently in a series by Canadian writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Erica Henderson. In the fourth issue, out this week, Jughead Jones's asexuality is casually introduced in a conversation with another student, the website Comic Book Resources reported Monday.
The move follows through on a promise Mr. Zdarsky made at a comics convention last year to portray Jughead as having no sexual interest in women, because "historically he has been portrayed as such."
Asexuality – as distinct from celibacy, which is a conscious choice not to be sexually active – is a part of the sexual spectrum in which one experiences no or little sexual attraction.
In 2010, Archie Comics introduced its first-ever gay character, Kevin Keller, to acclaim from gay-rights groups and fans. Two years later, Kevin married an African-American doctor in Life with Archie, a spinoff series featuring the Archie characters as adults.
Kevin's creator, writer and artist Dan Parent, introduced Harper, a mixed-race cousin of Veronica Lodge who uses a wheelchair. Harper was inspired by Toronto children's author Jewel Kats.
BREAKING THE FORMAT
The comics publisher has also shaken up the Archie formula in recent years with sometimes head-scratching genre switches, such as the 2013 zombie-apocalypse series Afterlife with Archie:
… last year's partnership with Dark Horse Comics on an Archie vs. Predator miniseries:
… or cashing in on the viral popularity of sharks with Archie vs. Sharknado.