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Toronto Writer Inspires New Archie Comics Character

When Jewel Kats first encountered Archie artist and writer Dan Parent at a comic book conference, she fearlessly wheeled up to him and asked: "Why isn't there a character with a disability in Riverdale?"

Now, thanks to the Toronto author's confidence, spunk and creativity, there is: Archie Comics unveiled the brand new character Harper Lodge — directly inspired by Kats — on June 4th. "She's the cousin of Veronica Lodge, and a wheelchair-user like me." explains Jewel. "As you know, I'm a huge fan of "Archie Comics", and this is a dream come true!" says Jewel.

"[I looked at her] and thought she would be a great Archie character herself," said Parent, the Archie artist behind some of the classic comic's more diverse recent storylines, including the introduction of the openly gay character Kevin Keller and the crossover with TV's Glee. Kats gives CBC's Deana Sumanac a sneak peek at the new comic and recounts how she helped inspire Riverdale's newest character.