Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Sabrina the Teenage Witch" #76 (Nov. 1982). Cover art by Stan Goldberg. Original title is stylized "Sabrina: The Teen-Age Witch"
Publication information
Publisher Archie Comics
Format Ongoing series
Genre Teen humor
Publication date (vol. 1)
April 1971 - Jan. 1983
(vol. 2)
May 1997 - Dec. 1999
(vol. 3)
Jan. 2000 - Sept. 2009
Number of issues (vol. 1): 77
(vol. 2): 32
(vol. 3): 104

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a comic book series published by Archie Comics about the adventures of a fictional teenager named Sabrina Spellman. Sabrina was created by writer George Gladir and artist Dan DeCarlo, and first appeared in Archie's Madhouse #22 (cover-dated Oct. 1962).

The series' premise is that Sabrina, a "half-witch" her mother is an ordinary human, or "mortal" as witches refer to them, while her father is a witch lives with her two aunts, Hilda and Zelda Spellman, both witches themselves, in the fictional town of Greendale, which is located somewhere near Riverdale, the home of Archie Andrews. Also living with the three women as the family pet is Salem Saberhagen, a witch who's been turned into a cat as punishment for world domination attempts.

Most of Sabrina's adventures consist of Sabrina either trying to use her powers in secret to help others witches generally are not allowed to tell mortals about their abilities or existence or dealing with the day-to-day trials of being a teenager. A recurring theme in Sabrina's stories is her learning more about the proper use of her powers, either through her aunts or from trips to a magical dimension that is the home of various magical/mythological creatures, including other witches. Various names are given to this dimension; the mid-late 2000s comics refer to it as the "Magic Realm,"[1] while the live-action sitcom referred to it as the "Other Realm."

Sabrina's primary romantic interest is her mortal boyfriend named Harvey Kinkle who, like nearly all the other mortals in Sabrina's world, is unaware his girlfriend is a witch. (In the live-action sitcom, Harvey would eventually learn Sabrina is a witch on his own.)

The comic's characters have also appeared in various other media formats. One format was a long-running live-action sitcom series. Earlier, there had been an animated series produced by Filmation Associates. Another format was a series of paperback novels (see list below) written by various authors, including Nancy Holder, Diana G. Gallagher, and Mel Odom, as well as a late 1990s animated series in which Sabrina discovers her powers while in junior high.

Publication history

Sabrina the Teenage Witch debuted in Archie's Madhouse (the logo sometimes given as Archie's Mad House) #22 (Oct. 1962). Created by writer George Gladir and artist Dan DeCarlo.[2] She first appeared in that humor anthology's lead story (the logo then spelled "Teen-Age"),[3] and eventually became one of Archie Comics' major characters, appearing in an animated series and a television sitcom. Gladir recalled in 2007,

"I think we both envisioned it as a one-shot and were surprised when fans asked for more. We continued to do Sabrina stories off and on in Mad House until 1969 when we were flabbergasted to hear it was to become an animated [TV series]. When it came to naming Sabrina I decided to name her after a woman I recalled from my junior high school days ... who was very active in school affairs, and who assigned a number of us to interview prominent people in the media. In addition, the woman's name had a New England ring to it. Some years later I recalled the woman's name was not Sabrina, but actually Sabra Holbrook."[3]

Sabrina made regular appearances in the comic book Archie's TV Laugh-Out. The title was published from 1969 to 1985, and consisted of 106 issues.[4]

The first volume of Sabrina The Teenage Witch was published from 1971 to 1983, and ran for 77 issues.[2][3] A new "Sabrina" comic series was introduced shortly after the debut of the 1996 live-action sitcom. This series ran for 32 issues, between 1997 and December 1999. The new series incorporated elements from the live-action sitcom, including modernized fashions and appearances for the aunts, and Salem's personality and backstory.

Starting in January 2000, Archie rebooted the series from #1, this time based upon the 2000 animated series (the final issue of the 1997-1999 series had acted as a transition between the two adaptations). This new title was simply titled Sabrina and lasted for 37 issues; issue #38, published in late 2002, again acted as a transition issue, as the series was retitled Sabrina The Teenage Witch and resumed the conventional high school setting. However, elements of the live-action sitcom (Salem's backstory, the modernized appearances of Hilda and Zelda) were retained, along with the name of Sabrina's hometown (Greendale) from Sabrina the Animated Series being incorporated into the comics. The conventional setting lasted until issue #57, published in 2004, when the comic underwent a manga makeover (see below). The series ended with issue #104 in September 2009.

Sabrina also occasionally appears in other Archie Comics as a visiting acquaintance of Archie, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, and Jughead Jones. In Jughead #200 (May 2010), Sabrina reveals to Jughead that she's a witch, which is made use of in a follow-up story.[5]


Issue #28 of Sabrina, as well as the Sonic Super Special Crossover Chaos, featured a crossover with Sonic the Hedgehog, in which Sonic was brought to Greendale from Mobius by one of Sabrina's enemies and subsequently brainwashed into attacking Sabrina herself. In this issue, it is mentioned that Salem is a fan of Sonic and has all of his comics and watches Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Manga-inspired version

In 2004, beginning with issue #58 (in the second Sabrina the Teenage Witch comic book series), the comics were taken over by Tania del Rio with her manga-inspired art and design style. Concurrent with this, the comic ceased to be connected to either the live-action or animated Sabrina series. The comics were then released featuring new characters and a slightly more serious, continuity-heavy plot. The manga Sabrina story wrapped up at issue #100 in 2009,[6] albeit with a few unresolved subplots.

Issues #58-61 of the 'manga makeover' series were reprinted as Sabrina- The Magic Revisited.[7][8] Then, in 2013, issues #58-67 were reprinted as Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Magic Within Book 1 in grayscale instead of full-color.[9][10][11] Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Magic Within Book 2 containing issues #68-78 also was reprinted in grayscale instead of full-color.[12][13] Book 3 and 4 containing issues #79-89 and #90-100, respectively, were also released and, like the first two, were reprinted in gray-scale instead of full color.

Issues #58-100 of the 'manga makeover' series were released digitally as Sabrina Manga #1–43.

Stories of Young Salem

A four-issue spin-off mini-series featuring Salem as a young boy (predating his attempts at conquest later in life and his transformation into a cat) was published in 2009. The miniseries was written by Ian Flynn and illustrated by Chad Thomas.[14] The mini-series continued directly on Sabrina's regular series beginning with issue #101, albeit with a different title known as The Magical Tales of Young Salem.[14] This was done as a method to cut newsstands costs.[15] The new series is partially based on a two-part story which occurred during the manga Sabrina series issues #93 and #94, which was a flashback about Salem's near-rise to power.[14] As of issue #104, the first The Magical Tales of Young Salem mini-series was concluded, but apparently the comic book series was subsequently suspended for internal reasons[15] with no further Young Salem stories announced.

Present status

As of 2015, there has been no announcement of a new Sabrina the Teenage Witch comic series, although the characters (based on their pre-manga designs) have been appearing in classic and new stories in other Archie publications, sometimes making appearances among the Riverdale gang whilst they remain oblivious to Sabrina's world and her magical powers. For example, Sabrina and Salem make a notable appearance in the 2012 Archie issue #636, where Salem, as a plot device, performs a twisted spell (much against Sabrina's desires) that gender-bends the entire town of Riverdale, and the characters did not even realize it.[16]

In October 2014, a horror-themed book, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina began publishing,[17] taking off as a spin-off to Afterlife with Archie, which is aimed specifically for older readers due to its content and subject matter being not suitable for younger readers. Albeit they share many characters and similar themes, the title series are not explicitly related to each other. Both series are rated "TEEN+" and is published under the Archie Horror imprint. Series under the Archie Horror imprint take place in alternate realities, and thus depict the established characters much differently.

In 2015, "New Riverdale" was introduced, rebooting the entire original Archie lineup in favor of a realistic aesthetic aimed at older readers. In 2016's Jughead #9, Sabrina will guest star in the issue, making it her first appearance in a New Riverdale title.[18] However, a separate New Riverdale series starring Sabrina has yet to be announced.


This is a list and description of the characters that appear in the Sabrina comic books. For information about the characters from the live-action TV sitcom, see List of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch characters.

Main characters

Other recurring characters

Characters from the Gravestone Heights stories

A 1990s storyline saw Sabrina and her aunts relocate for a time to the town of "Gravestone Heights," which is populated by various monsters and creatures.[24]

Characters from the manga stories

In other media

Filmation animated series

In 1970, CBS debuted a Filmation boy-oriented animated superhero fantasy sitcom, The Sabrina the Teenage Witch Show, a spin-off from its popular Archie franchise. It included shorts with her Universal Horror-inspired cousins, the Groovie Goolies, and ran for four seasons, with the Goolies spinning off into their own series in 1971.[25]

Live-action TV movie

In 1996, the comic was adapted into a live-action made-for-TV film of the same name. In this version, Sabrina lives in Riverdale (fictional hometown of the Archie characters), rather than Greendale, as it was in the comic books. Her last name is Sawyer instead of Spellman, also it is said that both her parents are witches.[26]

Live-action sitcom

In September 1996, the live-action TV movie spawned the Sabrina, the Teenage Witch television series. Both the TV-movie and sitcom starred Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina. The fictional home of the series was moved to Westbridge, Massachusetts.[27] Her last name was changed back to Spellman, and her mother was stated to be mortal. The sitcom ran for seven seasons and included two television movies and one soundtrack release.[28]

Sabrina, the Animated Series

In 1999, Hart provided the voice of Sabrina's two aunts for Sabrina, the Animated Series. This series lasted one season and produced 65 episodes, the television/direct-to-video movie Sabrina: Friends Forever, and the continuation-spinoff series Sabrina's Secret Life.[29] Both of Sabrina animated shows and a movie are all produced by DiC Productions, now called DHX Media.

Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch

In 2011, Archie Comics announced plans to produce a new animated series based on Sabrina the Teenage Witch to be released in late 2012. The show featured CGI animation that was produced by MoonScoop, and a brand new look for the Sabrina characters.[30] As of October 2012, The Hub has picked up the series,[31] and it finally debuted on air on October 12, 2013.


On July 23, 2016, at San Diego Comic-Con, K.J. Apa confirmed that Sabrina will eventually appear in the series.

Upcoming theatrical film

Sony Pictures announced in April 2012 that they would be producing a live-action film that will re-imagine Sabrina as a superhero. Until 2013, Paramount Pictures was originally planning to make the film.[32][33]



  1. Sabrina the Teenage Witch vol. 3, #58-100, 2004-2009
  2. 1 2 Sabrina the Teenage Witch at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
  3. 1 2 3 Archive of McQuarrie, Jim, "Archie's Mad House No. 22", "Oddball Comics" (column) #1153, April 1, 2007. Original page
  4. "Internet Store". Mile High Comics. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  5. Archie & Friends #152, April 2011
  6. Carlson, Johanna (2008-11-27). "Sabrina the Teenage Witch Manga Ends". Comics Worth Reading. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  7. Carlson, Johanna (2006-12-24). "Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Magic Revisited". Comics Worth Reading. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  8. Sabrina the Teenage Witch Graphic Novels: Sabrina- The Magic Revisited
  9. Sabrina the Teenage Witch Graphic Novels: Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Magic Within 1
  10. Archie Unveils Three New 2013 Covers
  11. Mobile Suit and Tie - RIGHT TURN ONLY!! - Anime News Network
  12. Sabrina the Teenage Witch Graphic Novels: Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Magic Within 2
  13. RIGHT TURN ONLY!! Hungry Like the Wolfsmund
  14. 1 2 3 "This March, Prepare to See Salem as You've Never Seen Him Before!". Archie Comic Publications. 2008-12-08. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  15. 1 2 Carlson, Johanna (2009-04-14). "Interview with Mike Pellerito, Young Salem Editor". Comics Worth Reading. Retrieved 2009-11-01.
  16. Johnston, Rich (2012-08-07). "Preview: Gender-Bending Archie #636 – Introducing Archina". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
  19. Sabrina the Teenage Witchvol. 2, #20, Dec. 1998
  20. Sabrina the Teenage Witch #12, June 1973
  21. Sabrina the Teenage Witch #2, July 1971
  22. Sabrina the Teenage Witch vol. 2, #50, December 2003
  23. Archie's Mad House #28, September 1963
  24. Sabrina's Halloween Spooktacular #1, 1993
  25. "History of Animation 1961 to 1970"
  27. Episode entitled "Sabrina's Driver's License"
  30. "Archie Plans New Sabrina the Teenage Witch Animated Series". Comics Worth Reading. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  31. "The Hub Facebook page". October 1, 2012.
  32. "Sony Pictures Giving 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch' A Superhero Makeover". Deadline Hollywood. 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2012-04-11.
  33. Paramount bringing Sabrina, the Teenage Witch to the big screen

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