kevin keller THKevin Keller broke new ground back in 2010 when he became the first openly gay character in the Archie Comics universe.

He was an instant fan-favorite—Kevin’s debut issue, Veronica #202,quickly sold out and became the first reprinted comic in Archie history. In 2011, Kevin landed his first miniseries and received a GLAAD Media Award.

The following year, a Kevin Keller ongoing comic debuted.

That comic is coming to an end in July with Kevin Keller #15, but creator Dan Parent tells us in an exclusive interview that it’s far from the last we’ll see of Riverdale’s #1 out teen.

“We will be making a new Kevin announcement at the end of the year,” says Parent. “It will be exciting, and I promise will be even better than the current series!”

Below, we talk with the legendary artist-writer about Kevin’s legacy, his future and his place in the larger Archie-verse.

Why is Kevin Keller being cancelled? 

To be clear, we’re not canceling the book: It’s ending so we can take a minute to plan a relaunch for the character. In the meantime, Kevin will continue to be a big part of the other Archie titles— including Afterlife with Archie.

Comics Kevin Keller.JPEG-0a7fbIt’s about direction for the character. I’ve had some ideas for Kevin that I have discussed with the powers that be at Archie, and these ideas would work better as a relaunch rather than as a continuation of the current book.

What are the advantages of taking the focus off Kevin for a beat and letting him take a supporting role in other books?

His role in Riverdale is very important—we don’t want to forget that he’s part of the gang. And his interaction with Archie, Betty, Veronica and everyone is very key. We’ll be seeing Kevin pop up more frequently across the Archie line.

Is Kevin’s love life going to continue to be explored in other titles?


Of course! He’s a normal red-blooded teenager and that goes with the territory!

How about the supporting characters from Kevin Keller—will they find new homes within the Archie universe? 

Yes, his family always played an important role in his stories, and will continue too. And his friends—and boyfriends—will pop up here and there too.

Looking back, what was the most rewarding Kevin Keller story you’ve told?

In the second issue, Kevin had a secret admirer who was leaving him notes in his locker. But when Kevin went to meet him, the guy wasn’t ready to come out. And I think this hit a chord with young gay people who sometimes need time and space to come out.

On a larger scale, what do you think Kevin adds to the Archie mythos?

He’s added a layer of reality and diversity to Riverdale that was never there before. And I think we’ve treated the character with respect and honesty—which is why he’s become a fan favorite and permanent fixture in Riverdale.

As Kevin’s creator, have you noticed a change in the response to the character from when he was introduced in 2010?

People were surprised at first that we were introducing a gay character, but once they got to meet Kevin, they liked him and welcomed him with open arms to the Archie-verse. Gay fans tell me how much Kevin means to them, and how their lives would have been different had Kevin existed when they were growing up. And straight fans like him because he’s another cool kid in Riverdale!

Kevin Keller #15 hits stands July 16, 2014.

Originally published on NewNowNext


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Last night, Lindsay, OWN’s troubled docu-series about troubled actress Lindsay Lohan’s road to recovery, came to an end with special two-hour finale. Tears were shed, bombs were dropped, and a Mean Girls reunion was confirmed—sort of.

Here’s what you need to know about the Lindsay series finale:

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Lindsay and Paris Hilton are no longer BFFs

While Lohan was at Art Basel in Miami, reports surfaced that her friends got into a fight with Barron Hilton after he badmouthed LiLo. Because Lindsay didn’t allow OWN cameras to follow her on the trip, nobody knows the full truth: Lindsay drafted a statement denying any involvement, but her team dissuaded her from posting it on her website.

Meanwhile, Paris took to Instagram to threaten Lohan: “They both will pay for what they did,” the hotel heiress posted with a picture of her beat-up brother. “No one fucks with my family and gets away with it!”

“I’m not going to explain,” Lindsay later said when confronted on camera about the fight. “My name was involved in it. It is what it is.”

So that clears all that up.

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Lindsay can’t get ratings—but she understands how they work

Lindsay goes to Z100′s Jingle Ball to introduce Miley Cyrus, and asks for some one-on-one time with the Bangerz queen. When OWN producers ask if she wants to film their kiki, Lohan reflexively responds with a “well, we should, yeah!” in such an obvious tone that you’d almost believe she allowed the cameras to follow her around at all times.

Alas, while the two stars share a Disney bond, Miley declined to meet with Lindsay. Instead, LiLo is left asking her team to make sure Miley responds to her tweets.

Stars, they’re just like us!

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Lindsay is shopping around a memoir

It looks like Dina isn’t the only Lohan adding “author” to her resume: Lindsay meets with literary agent Scott Waxman to discuss writing a memoir that will allow her to tell her full story and all the unfiltered truths of her tumultuous life. “This is like a multimillion dollar book,” Waxman assures Lindsay, before explaining how bidding wars work.

Because this same idea worked so well as a docu-series?

Lindsay’s sex list is real

Lindsay admitted to Andy Cohen last week that her notorious list of sexual conquests is truthful. Last night, she clarified that writing down the “sexual inventory” was a step in her Betty Ford program.

“I don’t care about me. I care about the people that are involved with other people because it’s really unfortunate and disrespectful,” she expounds. But sleeping with married or otherwise partnered people isn’t disrespectful?

“That’s not something I’d show anyone except my sponsor,” Lohan says, “who is also a very well-known person.”

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Lindsay had a miscarriage while filming

Lindsay dropped a rather shocking revelation, by way of explaining some of her erratic behavior: “No one knows this — I had a miscarriage for those weeks that I took off,” she revealed. “I couldn’t move, I was sick. Mentally, that messes with you.”

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Lindsay shows us what her docu-series should have looked like

While at a photo shoot for Nylon Singapore (that she showed up to on time!), Lindsay was constantly praised by the photographer as being “such a pro.” At lunch with film producer Hilary Shor, Lindsay is so excited about getting back onto a film set that she wants to start filming Inconceivable as quickly as possible. And when she travels to the Sundance Film Festival to formally announce the film, her passion for acting is evident.

This is the Lindsay Lohan we wanted to see in Lindsay. Sadly, we mostly got the tardy, excuse-prone and inconsiderate version those who work with her constantly complain about.

If Linds can keep up this professionalism and positive attitude, there might be a chance for that career resurrection after all. But if Lohan thought it was going to come with this show, she’s sorely mistaken.

Originally published on NewNowNext


Tove-Lo-1Tove Lo has quickly become Sweden’s most exciting musical import since Robyn.

Her brilliant debut EP, Truth Serum (iTunes), was released last month to rave reviews. A gut-wrenching record that chronicles the singer coping with the deterioration of a painful relationship, the EP calls to mind Jagged Little Pill – but with a sophisticated and contemporary electro pop makeover.

Currently hitting the road on her first ever American tour, Tove chatted with me about her upcoming full length album, her refreshingly unfiltered lyrics, her thoughts on drugs and tattoos, and more.

ALEX: Where does the name Tove Lo come from?

TOVE: Tove Lo has been my nickname since I was, like, three. Lo means “lynx” in Swedish, and there was a lynx that was named Tove at the animal park that I kind of fell in love with when I was a kid, so this has been my nickname since forever. It felt natural to keep it.

Last month at SXSW, you played your first ever U.S. show. How did that experience compare to playing in your homeland of Sweden?

I love playing in Sweden. The audiences there are very attentive and you can tell they’re really listening to what you’re doing. But here, the response was just amazing. The audience had so much energy, and the way that people are cheering you on kind of feels like they’re interacting a bit more. They don’t hold back from anything. And if I’m like, “It’s so good to be here,” they’re like, “Yeah, it’s so good to have you!” And I’m like, “Oh, thanks!” So that was a really big difference. Just the energy in general and that kind of openness – it’s awesome.

This week, you’ll also be playing your first ever New York show. What are you looking forward to most about performing in the Big Apple?

I’ve been to New York so many times and I love the city. I’m just so excited to finally play there and I hope there are going to be tons of people. I’m playing at The Westway, which is an old strip club, so I’m kind of hoping some people will take the initiative to get up and do a full dance. I know the poles are still there, so whatever they’re doing, I’m going to be super excited! It’s going to be really fun.

That sounds like such a fun time! The Truth Serum EP is so brutally raw and honest, and it really does an amazing job of detailing the various hardships and stages of grieving that people go through after a tumultuous breakup. Are all the songs written about the same person? And did you find that expressing yourself through your music gave you closure on this relationship?

Yeah, it’s all about the same person. It’s about the relationship from beginning to end. I didn’t plan to write it that way, but when I looked at the songs that I had when I was picking ones for the EP, I was like, “Oh my god, here it is.” I didn’t really figure out that it was going to be the full story right there until I looked and listened, and I was like, “Wow, here it is! Just the way it is!”

When I figured that out, I was very happy because I was so proud of it. But then I kind of got to this empty moment. It was like, “Oh, this is it. It’s done now. I’ve now worked through these emotions, and I’ve released all the songs.” So even though the EP is done, the story is done, and the chapter is closed, I kind of relive everything a bit when I’m on stage sometimes. I have some gigs that just really get to me and it’s like I’m getting thrown back into those moments that the songs are about. But yeah, I feel like it’s been kind of a closure. It’s been an interesting experience putting my emotions out there for everyone.

I bet. Do you prefer writing songs about despair or writing happy songs, and why?

I think despair. Outwards, I’m generally a really happy person — although I do have my moments. But I usually shut the door on everyone when I’m in those moments. So I think for me to get that out is good. I like writing about things that make you feel a bit of tearing in the heart. That’s what I love to listen to as well – something that kind of tears you from the inside because that emotion is just more honest to me. I feel better after writing a song that gets me through something that’s darker.

Later this year, you’ll be releasing your first full length album via Island Def Jam. Both thematically and musically, how do you think this record will differ from your EP?

Well it’s all going to be about my life, and keep that same kind of truthful, raw honesty. But it’s going to be more of a mix of the life that I’ve been living the last few years. Just everything that’s been happening and that sudden feeling of having all eyes on me. You know, that kind of feeling where you’re like, “Whoa, everybody’s suddenly very curious about who I am,” and you kind of realize, “Was it worth it to give it all away?”

To be so honest is the only way I can write my own stuff. So it’s going to be a lot of love and frustration and kind of what it feels like to be under the radar. I’ve experienced a little more and have gotten into a bit of trouble, so that’s going to be on there as well.

Right now, I’m going to keep writing for a while to see what else I can get out of me. Pretty soon I’m going to just start looking at what I have and figure out where I see the story and what I want to tell. It’s important to me that it’s cohesive. I don’t want it to be like one of those projects that’s thrown together with tons of different writers and tons of different producers. It’s going to be with my people that I like to work with and be very clearly, “Oh, this is Tove.” You’ll know that right away.

Do you have a title and/or release date in mind yet?

There is a deadline … but I’m not paying attention to that. So far, the working title is Embryos, but that’s all I have so far. I came up with the title for Truth Serum when I had all the songs and it was done and I was like, “What do I want this to be called?” That’s when I came up with that. So it’s going to be the same for the album. When I have it all done, I’m going to know what I want to call it.

In March, you released the music video for “Habits,” which includes some intense party sequences. Was there a specific scene that was most fun to film for you?

It was actually very hard to film because it was so emotional. But the most fun I think … it’s a combination because we had three nights out during that shoot. During the first one, we were in the good drunk place. We weren’t like, too drunk. We were dancing with all these people and that was really fun. The making out stuff was funny too. It was funny when we did the close ups because you feel so weird. Those are some of my best friends that are in the video, but I’ve never made out with them before. It was really kind of a funny and awkward moment to be like, “So, we’ve known each other for years, time to take this other places,” And we were just like laughing and that was really fun. But everyone was a good sport for making out with me for a week.

Drugs show up in a couple of your songs. On “Habits,” you’re using them to numb the pain of a breakup, while on “Not on Drugs,” you’re comparing them to the euphoric feeling you get when you fall deeply in love with someone. Have you received any backlash for being so open and candid about this topic? And if so, what’s your response to those critics?

I haven’t really looked at any comments or reviews. I’m trying to stay away from that stuff because it scares me. But I’m assuming that of course some people are going to be against it, and say I’m not a good role model and that it’s not good for young people to see this. I mean, someday it’s going to come. Especially with the song growing, people are going to have a lot of opinions about it. I know it’s provocative, but I like to do it that way. I think I’d rather have people react than not feel anything about it. It’s also that I write what I know and this is what I know. You don’t have to listen to it.

So what are your thoughts on the criminalization of marijuana?

Well, I think that if alcohol is allowed, I don’t understand the reasoning for why marijuana isn’t. That’s how I feel. Obviously, I’m not saying that I think alcohol should be illegal.

I totally agree. The “Stay High” remix of “Habits” has been blowing up ever since Ellie Goulding endorsed the song on her Instagram. How did that remix come into fruition and what appealed to you most about how Hippie Sabotage reworked the song?

It’s a very funny story, actually. There was a friend of mine who was like, “Hey, have you heard this awesome remix?” It was in a surf video that someone put up and I was like, “No, that’s amazing!” So I was like, “Who’s it by, who’s it by?” And they were like, “I don’t know, I think something Hippie?”

So then I found them, and was like, “Hey, I heard you guys did an awesome remix of my song, can you send it to me, please?” and they were like, “Oh my god, hi, yeah!” and they emailed it to me and said, “Here it is, what do you think? Do you have any opinions?” And I was like, “Only that it’s awesome and I want it on my EP!”

So we just kind of worked out all the kinks and got it on the EP and it just took off. I was blown away. I just love how they’ve made a proper dance remix of the song, but it still has that darkness to it. It’s just the way that they used all the parts. They did a genius job on it. I haven’t ever even met them, but obviously I think they’re great.

Speaking of collaborating with other musicians, you recently hit the studio with Adam Lambert to help write songs for his upcoming album. What details can you share about what you two cooked up together?

I’m sorry, I actually can’t talk about that at all.

No worries! You’ve worked with such coveted songwriters as Max Martin and Xenomania, and you’ve written music for various other artists – including Cher Lloyd, Lea Michele, and Girls Aloud. As a songwriter, how is your creative process different when writing for yourself versus when you’re writing for other musicians?

It’s all about getting in someone else’s head, really. When I’m writing for others, I won’t use my own experiences and my own stories because they’re not lived by that other person. It’s more like you connect to a feeling. Like, “Yeah yeah, I’ve had that feeling, let’s write about that feeling.” I try to just get into their heads and try to imagine what they would want to say and how they would say things. It helps if you’ve met them or if you know them, or if they write themselves, and you can do it together. The biggest thing is seeing from someone else’s perspective.

What are your thoughts on the resurgence over the past few years of Swedish artists being infused into American pop culture (i.e. Robyn, Icona Pop, Lykke Li, Loreen, iamamiwhoami)? Do you think there’s something distinct and inherent about Swedish music at its core that American listeners are attracted to?

Yeah! I’m so excited that there’s so much good stuff coming out of Sweden. I’m really a big fan of a lot of it. I think there’s a sort of darkness to it, and is a little bit melancholy, and I think that part speaks to a lot of people. Maybe there’s a type of directness and a kind of very lyrically clever theme that sometimes is a bit more honest, and not as edited or thought through as it might otherwise be.

This is actually something I’ve been thinking about, but I think it might also be because English is our second language. It’s much easier for me to express myself in English because there is that little distance to overcome. I can say things that are so personal and mean so much to me, but if I were to sing the same things in Swedish, it would feel like, “Whoa. That hit too hard.” Maybe we’re able to say things more honestly in English because there is a little bit of a distance. Does that make sense? But for you, when English is your first language, that goes straight to your heart and I think that maybe a lot of people can feel the connection. So maybe that’s why we dare to sing about it more than if it was in our first language. That’s my little analysis.

That’s so interesting! I hear you’re very big into tattoos. How many do you have and which one would you say is your favorite?

I have three, all in decent places. I have two that are from the painter, Mark Ryden. I love his stuff and it also reminds me of my time in my old band. There’s one on my left upper arm and one on my right lower arm. Then I have a little super ugly scorpion that’s tattooed under my right collarbone, which I don’t know what I’m going to do about. I mean, it’s part of me now, but it’s so ugly! It’s the worst. But I think my favorite is actually the one on my shoulder. That’s actually how a lot of people recognize me. I always figured I had an ordinary face, so when people see that, they’re like, “Oh my god, it’s you!” It’s pretty funny.

Well thank you so much, Tove! This has been great. Is there anything else you’d like to add about your tour, EP, or upcoming album that we didn’t discuss?

I don’t think so! I think we covered the lot of it. Thank you so much!

Tove Lo

Originally published on PopBytes



This week on Lindsay, Lindsay Lohan continued to deal with family drama, struggle with her sobriety, and shockingly, exhibited no ounce of work ethic whatsoever.

Here’s what you need to know about this week’s Lindsay:

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Dina Lohan is “writing” an autobiography

And Orange Oprah is so unabashedly open about having a ghostwriter that she’s basically the anti-Aviva Drescher. It’s almost a shame that all that the book will really have to offer is lame Parent Trap puns and a clearance-bin companion for Lynne Spears’ memoir.

Lindsay skips work to hibernate (again)

Thanks to her supreme generosity, Lindsay agrees to appear on the cover of Elle Indonesia‘s anniversary issue—“just for exposure.” But at 3pm on the day of the shoot—three hours after the noon call time—Lohan’s rep shows up alone, and suggests that the shoot be postponed to a later date because Lindsay needs to catch up on sleep.

“That bitch, Lindsay! I can’t do it tomorrow because I have other things on my schedule,” says fashion editor Anindita Saryuf, who flew two days to attend the shoot. “And she wants a comeback?”

Really great job of making people want to work with you again, LiLo!


Lindsay is working on a “covert” project

When the Elle Indonesia team asks Matt Harrell why it was so important for Lindsay to sleep in all day instead of showing up, he responds by saying that she was up late working on a “covert” project he couldn’t disclose any further details on. Um, does this covert project involve Jaegerbombs and lines of blow off a restroom toilet seat?

Don’t call it a comeback, girl. No, but like, seriously. Don’t.


Lindsay hates natural lighting

Photographer Eric Silverberg, tapped by Elle to shoot the ginger starlet, informs Lindsay that he only works with natural lighting. But after she insists on five wardrobe changes, there’s not enough natural light left—thus extending the shoot to three. whole. days. Thanks to the missed deadlines, designers begin asking for their clothes back and Lindsay has to pluck from her own wardrobe. (“If I could list all the shoots that I should get credit for as ‘co-stylist’ it would be a full novel,” she says).

Rather than apologizing, Lindsay blames Silverberg for making the shoot so difficult and advises him to work with artificial lighting in the future. Later, when privately asked about what it was like to work with the Mean Girls star, Silverberg straight up laughs into the camera.


Lindsay still has a thing for knives

Back in 2007, photos of Lohan and Vanessa Minnillo posing provocatively with knives hit the Web. But the backlash clearly didn’t resonate with the star: In this week’s episode, Lindsay steps behind the camera to film four of her friends playing a game of “Dare” (who needs “Truth,” right?) As an open bottle of tequila is passed around, one Einstein pierces another’s ear with a big knife. Did we mention this all happens at 7:20am on the day of Lindsay’s rescheduled Elle Indonesia shoot?

Is this the type of covert project she was talking about?

Lindsay’s road to recovery includes a detour to the club

Lindsay is offered $100,000 for a two-hour appearance at Foxwoods Casino’s Halloween party. Drinks are flowing, Dina’s booty is bouncing, and Lindsay continues to insist she can stay sober around drunk people because of how much she loves to dance and socialize. Of course she’s already admitted to relapsing and missing AA meetings.

How encouraging is it that the only member of Lindsay’s “sober crew” who gets camera time admits he “had a drink here and there” and is not “a model AA member”?  Not very.

Lindsay Lohan - A Little More Personal (Official Album Cover)

BONUS THING WE LEARNED THIS WEEK: Lindsay has a giant print of her second album cover framed in her living room

Perhaps to serve as a subtle reminder to viewers that they’ll get far more insight into the troubled star’s life by listening to that record than by watching this entire docu-series? #JusticeForALittleMorePersonal(Raw)

Lindsay airs Sundays at 10pm on OWN

Originally published on NewNowNext


Cabaret02_605x329In 1998, director Sam Mendes didn’t have American Beauty and Skyfall under his belt, and choreographer Rob Marshall hadn’t taken Chicago and Into The Woods to the big screen yet. But the duo shepherded the Tony-winning revival of Cabaret onto the Great White Way and into musical theater history.

This year, Roundabout Theatre Company has enlisted Mendes and Marshall to remount the show at Studio 54, bringing back Alan Cumming as the emcee and scoring three-time Oscar nominee Michelle Williams to step in for the late Natasha Richardson as Fraulein Sally Bowles.

And unlike the previous Broadway revival, which ran for 2,377 performances, this Cabaret is saying auf Wiedersehen on August 31.

Here are 6 reasons you shouldn’t miss Cabaret’s triumphant return to Broadway.


1. Alan Cumming’s still got it

As the sexually fluid master of ceremonies, Cumming steals the show in a role that won him a Tony more than 15 years ago. He’s laugh-out-loud hilarious, whether adlibbing scenes or performing campy numbers like “Two Ladies” (in which one of the ladies is played by a man). But he also knows how to reel in his shtick to pack a powerful punch during songs like “If You Could See Her” and the somber standout, “I Don’t Care Much.”

While Joel Grey was phenomenal in the original stage version and film adaptation, Cumming has really come to define the character for a new generation. 


2. Anne Hathaway wasn’t cast as Sally Bowles

When the revival was announced, rumors swirled that Anne Hathaway would be the main attraction at the Kit Kat Club.

Academy Award aside, Hathaway is—to put it gently—not the most musically gifted actress. Her Fantine was overdone and, despite her best efforts, Miss Hathaway’s never been able to shed her Princess Diaries wholesome image. We’re much happier that Williams is the Brokeback Mountain star whose name is on the marquee. (Though we’d love to see Jake Gyllenhaal in the role, just saying.)


3. Michelle Williams dazzles in her Broadway debut

Williams has a penchant for playing dark characters (even Jen on Dawson’s Creek died, for Pete’s sake) and her Bowles is one giant exposed nerve.

By bringing the character’s fragility to the forefront, Williams lets us see that Sally is using the cabaret as a coping mechanism for the chaos of Weimar-era Germany. (Hence her blind dismissal of politics even as the Nazis start to gain terrifying momentum).

From her desperate and raw “Maybe This Time” to her stripped down, heartbreaking rendition of the title number, Williams brilliantly emphasizes Sally’s knack for self-destruction. She’s taking a fresh and deeply psychological approach that adds layers of complexity to a character that’s been around for half a century. It’s a tact that stands a good chance at earning her a Tony.

Plus, her English accent won’t make you cringe.


4. The ambiance

Studio 54 has resurrected the Kit Kat Klub, offering theatergoers intimate seating, bordello-style furnishings and a full cocktail menu serviced by scantily clad waiters. In fact, they’re so committed to the cabaret vibe that ushers don’t give out Playbills until after the show is over.

Cabaret04_605x3295. The orchestra really is beautiful

This revival really delivers on sex appeal: Not only are the musicians gorgeous—they blow their horns and gyrate on stage in nothing but leather vests and lacy halter tops. (It’s the girls wearing the halters, if you were confused.)


6. It has Liza Minnelli’s stamp of approval 

“I’m excited to see what they will do with the show and am sure it will be great,” Minnelli told E! Online. “Michelle is a wonderful actress and I love Alan Cumming.”  Minnelli, who won the Oscar for her interpretation of Sally Bowles, swore, “I will be there opening night.”

There you have it. The queen has spoken.

Currently in previews, Cabaret at Studio 54 officially opens April 24 and runs through August 31.

Originally published on NewNowNext