This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Harper Lodge, a supporting character in Archie comics. Harper first appeared in “Archie” #656 in June 2014. She was created by writer/artist Dan Parent.
In her debut appearance, Harper is introduced as Veronica’s cousin, who’s visiting Riverdale from out of town. Like her cousin, Harper has a vivacious, outgoing personality. Besides being a student, Harper’s a talented teen fashion designer. She also runs her own online advice column.
Harper also makes use of a very glitzy-looking wheelchair designed by herself. Harper befriends the rest of the cast at a Riverdale High dance, and even briefly dates one of the boys she meets there. (Despite the cover, it’s not Archie.)
Dan Parent based Harper on a real-life person, Jewel Kats. Ms. Kats was a children’s book writer who lived in Toronto. She passed away in 2016 at age 37.
While it was initially uncertain what Harper’s ethnicity was, Harper’s appearance in “Archie” #665 confirms that her mother’s Indian.