Monday, July 22, 2013

Wait a Minute!!! Archie Comics Already has a Lesbian Character!

It's ironic that I wrote this blog post earlier today speculating about the future identity of Archie Comics' first lesbian character. In that post, I noted that Archie Comics co-CEO Jon Goldwater had answered affirmatively this past weekend at the San Diego Comic Con when asked if there would be a gay female character. I thought it would be fun if Pepper from It's Josie! became a retro-gay character.

And then I took off for an important meeting. I got to where my meeting was supposed to occur. And I waited. And waited. And waited. There was no public wifi and no phone signal, so I couldn't distract myself with my phone. So I eventually dug through my work-tote and noticed JINX: LITTLE MISS STEPS, which is the second in a series of graphic novels featuring Archie Comics' Li'l Jinx during her freshman year in high school. I totally forgotten that I'd purchased the book earlier this summer and decided today to take advantage of my hour-plus lull to read this book.

(Incidentally, it's a great book. If you haven't read it yet, head over to your local book seller or library and get a copy. You won't regret it!)

Which brings me back to Pepper and Jon Goldwater and lesbian comic book characters. I learned this morning that Archie Comics already has a lesbian comic book and she made her retro-gay premier a couple months ago in JINX: LITTLE MISS STEPS!

One of the major struggles that Jinx contended with in LITTLE MISS STEPS was her absentee mother. They kept making appointments for lunch or visits or shopping trips and then her mother would make an excuse and cancel at the last minute. It was extremely vexing for our title character.

Turns out that Mery Holliday (what a name!) has been struggling with sexual identity issues for a while. Turns out that she burying herself in sports and then college and then work to avoid those issues. Turns out she finally stopped hiding from herself after the break-up of her family. Turns out that Mery Holliday -- Jinx's mom -- is a lesbian. And she has a girlfriend named Maritess.

Of course, nothing is easy. Jinx is still reeling from this big revelation. There is no neat patch-up at the end of this story. The journey of Jinx's acceptance of and reconciliation with her mother (assuming this eventually happens) won't occur until future chapters of the ongoing JINX graphic novel series.

However this finishes up, Archie Comics now has its first lesbian characters -- and that's a pretty exciting bridge to have crossed!

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