Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Comic Book)
Sabrina The Teenage Witch is a long-running character published by Archie Comics, who first appeared in Archie's Mad House #22 (October, 1962). The comic focuses on the adventures of Sabrina Spellman, a teenaged witch who lives with her two aunts, Hilda and Zelda, who (being witches themselves) tutor Sabrina on the use of her powers. Sabrina's traditional adventures usually involved Sabrina getting into some magic-oriented hijinks either caused by or resolved by the use of her powers. Also appearing in the Sabrina comics were Sabrina's boyfriend, Harvey, and her pet cat, Salem.
After the debut of the live-action sitcom of the same name and the subsequent animated series adaptation, the comic was Re Tooled to match the sitcom and animated series' interpretations of the characters. Sabrina's hometown was finally named "Greendale" (as it was named in the animated series; the earlier stories either didn't name her hometown or featured her living in Riverdale alongside Archie and the others, though Greendale is a neighboring town), while Hilda and Zelda were given makeovers to look more like typical modern women (before, they were drawn as traditional witches, with Hilda looking homely and both aunts wearing traditional witches' clothes). Finally, Salem, until then a non-talking ordinary feline, was given the same backstory and personality as the character from the TV series (a warlock turned into a cat as punishment by the Witches' Council).
All of these elements were retained when the comic was Re Tooled again by writer-artist Tania Del Rio, who shifted Sabrina to a more manga-ish art style and introduced a long-running dramatic storyline over the course of three and a half years. The comic was canceled in early 2009 after its hundredth issue, though Sabrina continues to make occasional cameos in other comics (including Jughead #200).
- Adorkable: Harvey can fall under this at times. This is toned down in the sitcom and cranked Up to Eleven in the 1999 animated series.
- Artificial Human: It was originally explained in the comics that Sabrina was created by her "aunts" with a magic potion gone wrong.
- Animesque: Tania Del Rio's Retool.
- Cats Are Snarkers: Salem.
- Darker and Edgier: From 1972 to 1974, Archie published Chilling Adventures in Sorcery as Told By Sabrina. It had the odd combination of straight-up horror stories with art in the familiar Archie house style. Sabrina plays the role of Horror Host. One story in particular stands out, featuring a boy who teases a stutterer at school. The kindly teacher happens to be a witch, and gives him an enchanted book that melts his face off, and possibly kills him! The story probably violated several rules under the Comics Code, but somehow gained the CCA seal of approval (perhaps because Archie pretty much ran the CCA?)
- Demoted to Extra: Cousin Ambrose seems to have fallen prey to this, in favor of the increased use of Salem as a supporting character.
- Hot Aunt: Hilda's and Zelda's modern appearances probably fall under this.
- Magical Girl: Obviously. Complete with talking animal companion.
- Progressively Prettier: Sabrina's aunts, who originally were depicted as conventional looking witches, were given makeovers in the late 90s, presumably either to update their look or to match their more normal looking portrayals in the TV series. Hilda lost her haggard, skinny appearance and long nose, and Zelda went from being heavy-set to slim, with both losing their traditional witches' clothes/hats in favor of modern women's fashions a la Sabrina.
- Retool: Several over the series' run, including one set in Sabrina's junior high years (per the animated series) and the more recent manga-style series.
- Recursive Adaptation: The late 90s/early 2000s Sabrina animated series (and its versions of the cast, etc.) was adapted back into the comics, in the context of being flashback stories to Sabrina's junior high years.
- Sexy Santa Dress: In a comic cover that showed her in a Pastiche of stuff from different holidays.
- Talking Animal: Salem, in modern comics; earlier comics (made before the TV show) showed Salem as a non-talking ordinary cat, akin to Jughead's pet Hot Dog.
- White-Haired Pretty Girl: Sabrina, in her earlier appearances. Now she's simply blonde.