Archie Horror Returns…

Let us be honest — from a comics retailer perspective, the sudden appearance of Archie in horror books was a boost in sales for that publisher, doing far better for the direct market than the regular all ages Archie books. Startling and well-written, putting the citizens of Riverdale in the midst of a zombie apocalypse worked far better than it sounded. And when it was followed up with a ’60s era Sabrina book that felt as if it was published by Warren instead of Archie, fans had to take notice. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had twisted old familiar characters into something new, and led a creative renaissance for Archie Comics — followed by a reboot of the flagship title by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples. Things looked great and then suddenly… the horror books missed their deadlines.

To his credit, Aguirre-Sacasa offers no excuses, only an apology. And to be fair, he became an extremely busy man, writing television, serving as Chief Creative Officer for the company, and probably a couple of other things that we don’t know about. Is it too late? Will people get back on the bandwagon? We can hope — as long as the publisher has a plan to keep these books on schedule, or at the very least, have them prepped in arcs, similar to what Bryan K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples do on Saga.

From Archie Comics:

Archie Horror springs back to life this May, as the critically acclaimed and genre-defying CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA and AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE series return to comic shops with brand new issues and more to come.

After much anticipation, writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artists Francesco Francavilla and Robert Hack bring ARCHIE HORROR back from the brink.

The spotlight turns to Reggie, the instigator behind the zombie apocalypse that now threatens the entire planet, in AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #9. Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Francesco Francavilla take us back to the fateful night that started everything and ask the question: is redemption possible for Reggie Mantle? Find out on June 1st when AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #9 returns to comic shops.

CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA #5, with raw and macabre artwork by artist Robert Hack, continues to pit the teenage witch against the deadly manipulations of Madame Satan. Still reeling from the fallout of her botched baptism and the fate of her boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle, Sabrina faces her toughest challenge yet in the form of the Witches Council. Issue #5 hits comic shops on May 18th.

“There’s no excuse for late books, just apologies,” said Aguirre-Sacasa, promising additional issues of AFTERLIFE and CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA are in progress.

“We know how much these books mean to you—so thank you, thank you, thank you for sticking with us through thick and thin.”

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About Derek McCaw

In addition to running Fanboy Planet, Derek has written for ActionAce, Daily Radar, Once Upon A Dime, and The Wave. He has contributed stories to Arcana Comics (The Greatest American Hero) and Monsterverse Comics (Bela Lugosi’s Tales from the Grave). He performs with ComedySportz San Jose and ShakesBEERience, in addition to occasional screenwriting and acting jobs. If you ever played Eric’s Ultimate Solitaire on the Macintosh, it was Derek’s voice as The Weasel that urged you to play longer. Email him at editor@fanboyplanet.com.