Friday, September 14, 2012

A Gay Ole Time in Riverdale: Thoughts on Kevin Keller

Read an article today that made me think more about the newest resident of Riverdale: new character Kevin Keller:

"But thinking in terms of quotas as a non-binding guideline could be helpful, because without some sort of prompt to encourage creators to think about diversity the default inclination is to go with what's familiar."

That is an extremely wrong-headed idea that is anathema to why Kevin has been a success. He's a fun character and him being gay is not the only thing that defines him. That's where Dan Parent has excelled -- in writing a character who feels at home in the Archie Universe. Reading the Kevin stories doesn't make me feel like I'm watching "a very special episode" of a sitcom, or an old "After School Special" (yeah, I'm that old...), but that I'm just reading a fun Archie story that happens to feature a character who is gay. I also never got the idea that Kevin is the only gay kid at Riverdale high, but rather that he's the first to break into the Archie's Gang Clique. That's why Kevin Keller works so well.

This also makes me think more about how Riverdale functions as an idyllic fictional society. Although it has may progressive traits (openness to all races, gay students, embracing environmentalism, charity work), it does so while embracing what can only be described as traditional family values. None of the core characters in the Archie universe come from broken or single-parent homes. None. And I'm including a lot of secondary characters, including Moose, Midge, Raj, Chuck, Tre, Kimoko, Dilton, Ginger, and others.

I don't want to read too much into the Archie universe, but it's interesting to note that the Progressive Agenda seems only to work when it is built upon the strong foundation of a "traditional" family.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Collection Update

Today's sorting efforts, part 1
Had a little downtime today while waiting for a work call, so I took the opportunity to continue trashing the guest bedroom with piles of comics. Heh. At least I think that's what my wife and the housekeeper think.

In truth, I pulled three boxes out of the bottom of my office closet and finally cracked them open to see what was in there. For the past two weeks I've been going through them, reading graphic novels and enjoying some of my stash. But today was about finally taking a stab at organizing the titles so I could continue cataloging them.

So I did what any fanboy would do -- I sat on the bed and went through the boxes, tossing the comics into piles of related titles or publishers. In this case, most of the boxes were full (or half-full) of DC Comics titles.

In particular, I found my stashes of these titles:

  • Green Lantern: 23
  • Green Arrow (all three major series): 70+
  • Impulse: 48
  • Young Justice: 22*
I also found a lot of the Bat books (Batman, Detective Comics, Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin, etc.), but I didn't enter them into the system. I'm creating a huge Bat Stack and will handle them later. After sorting the comics, I entered some into the computer. Sorting by index, I was able to determine that I entered 159 comics today, most in those series mentioned above.

BTW: I put a star by young Justice because it includes that pesky "Sins of Youth" series, which includes nine comics that have a #1 number. That means nine different series, which makes it that much harder to catalog in the software.

My Stash Statistics
My other stacks, including lots of Green Arrow, Green Lantern
and a big bunch of misc. publishers like Bongo.
So, today I crossed a threshold by having cataloged 4,006 comics. By my rough estimate, that puts me at the 40% mark, but to be honest, I'm thinking it looks closer to 30% of my total. I've got a LOT of boxes I haven't even touched, yet. And lots more to sort and catalog from what I have touched. As I said, that Bat Stack is getting bigger all the time (although I have entered a lot of Robin and Nightwing comics). Time will tell, though. I still think that my collection is around 10,000 comics.

As things stand, here are my top 5 publishers:
  1. 1,260 - DC Comics
  2. 1,105 - Marvel Comics
  3. 969 - Archie Comics
  4. 198 - Kenzer & Co.
  5. 52 - First Comics
And my top 10 series are:
  1. 162 - Knights of the Dinner Table
  2. 130 - The Defenders
  3. 97 - Jughead's Double Digest
  4. 92 - Archie's Pals-N-Gals
  5. 79 - Archie Double Digest
  6. 75 Bett & Veronica Double Digest
  7. 66 - Green Arrow, vol. 2
  8. 66 - Fantastic Four, Vol. 1
  9. 66 - Betty
  10. 62 - Archie Comics Digest
The Archie Comics are disproportionately represented at this time because I started with the Archie Comics. I have yet to enter any of my Daredevil or X-Men comics, and as I mentioned previously, I have a lot of Batman books sitting on the sidelines in my Bat Stack.

In other news, I plan to make a big purchase of boxes and shelves in the next month so I can finally have everything lined up and can start putting this stuff away for long-term storage and finally get a grip on what I have in my stash.