Kevin Keller: Drive Me Crazy
Written by: Dan Parent
Art by: Dan Parent (issues #5-7), Bill Galvan (issue #8)
While I haven’t read the trade paperback itself, I have read the individual issues making up Kevin Keller’s second trade volume. My thoughts on the individual installments are below.
“Kevin Keller” #5
Kevin gets his first car, which resident genius Dilton Doiley helps soup up. When Kevin arranges a date, he decides to use the car and take his date to the drive-in; this is despite not having been shown fully how the car works. Hijinks ensue, of course.
This one was fun, and showing Kevin’s capable of being in the same sort of situations Archie and the others might find themselves caught up in. Well, anyone testing one of Dilton’s unfinished inventions, anyway.
“Kevin Keller” #6
This was the much publicized (as a single issue comic) George Takei story. Kevin writes an essay (later published) about George Takei’s life work in awareness of gay rights and being in a Japanese-American internment camp, as well as playing Sulu on “Star Trek.” Takei gets wind of the essay and decides to speak at Riverdale High School, to Kevin’s surprise.
Seeing Takei in an Archie comic was great. Kevin’s essay reminds me of the report I wrote about Takei years ago in college, after reading his mid-90s autobiography. Of course, Takei wrote his autobiography before fully coming out, so imagine the tone would be different if and when he writes an updated version.
“Kevin Keller” #7
This story finally sees Kevin gain an ongoing boyfriend. Devon, however, turns out to be not openly gay, which is something he resolves; however, it doesn’t go well with his parents. Additionally, Devon’s a bit Reggie-like—he’s supposedly a “bad boy,” though without Reggie’s ego. On top of all of this, Paul, the “secret admirer” from issue #2 finally returns, this time also finally out.
I liked Archie’s two cents that he throws in at the end of the story. Fortunately, Kevin doesn’t share Archie’s dating style.
“Kevin Keller” #8
Continuing from the previous story, Devon grows weary of Paul hanging around Kevin. Meanwhile, Veronica writes and produces an utterly awful class play that Kevin and Paul get roped into; this manages to irritate Devon even more.
Pretty typical Archie-style dating hijinks, whether gay or straight. Of note is Devon worried about Paul kissing Kevin. While this indicates the comic is willing to show physical same-sex affection, actual kissing doesn’t appear until a story in “Kevin Keller” #10.
Overall, an amusing batch of stories. “Drive Me Crazy” should make a nice addition to Archie fans’ libraries. The trade paperback comes with an introduction by George Takei; that and the Takei story might also make this volume interesting to “Star Trek” fans.