Evil Geek Book Report: Special Edition – Undiesofwondy’s Hall-O-Reads : The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Welcome, foolish mortals…
As autumn rolls its way through the Upstate region (even though it’s actually 95 degrees out as I write this — curse you global warming!) and the end of September draws nigh, the spooky season is now upon us! There’s nothing I love more than curling up with some chilling tales and a cup of tea during this time of year, so I decided to write up some of my favorites in what I like to call Undiesofwondy’s Hall-O Reads! So grab some cider donuts, light a candle, and gather ’round.
The first edition of Hall-O-Reads comes straight to you from the Archie Comics’ universe. Just this week, news broke that there was a new Sabrina the Teenage Witch series in development from the team that is currently bringing us the sexy goodness that is Riverdale. (For my review of Riverdale, click here — I highly suggest catching up on Netflix before the new season airs in early October.)
The series is said to be based on the ongoing comic title, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch , which I’ve heard great things about, and also a great many complaints, due to the fact that the people at Archie Comics have been publishing these books at a near glacial pace. But don’t get too mad at them, folks! They’re busy bringing us more Riverdale, so naturally, all is forgiven there. Well, at least from me.
Naturally, with all this Sabrina news, I decided to give the comic a try. I was a huge fan of the TGIF series growing up, and I’ve always loved the Archie Comics universe. I will, however, state first that this is not your TGIF Sabrina by a long shot. Much darker and with a slightly Satanic edge, this comic really pushes the edge on what you know to be the Archie Comics universe. You see familiar faces, such as Hilda, Zelda and Salem, but they’re definitely not the goofy characters you remember. I won’t spoil anything for you, but let’s just say Salem REALLY liked the ladies and Harvey isn’t the guy you remember.
The barebones plot of the comics is that Sabrina tries to navigate being a powerful half witch with her teenage lifestyle. On her sixteenth birthday, she must either accept her responsibility to become a witch, or be a mortal forever. Her father, Edward’s ex flame — aka Madam Satan, returns and is determined to wreak havoc and chaos on the Spellman family, by targeting the object of Sabrina’s affections — her beloved Harvey.
I’ve yet to read Afterlife with Archie, but I noticed that it definitely ties into that story as well, so I may give that a chance too, but I will say that the Riverdale gang plays a significant role in Sabrina’s story as well. Basically, if you ever wanted to see Betty and Veronica summon a demon, this is definitely the comic for you!
Additionally, the art is absolutely gorgeous, and some of the variant covers are super cool. My personal favorite cover is one that mirrors the movie poster for Carrie. I love the classic look of the characters and the simplistic style used throughout the comics, that pays homage to the 1950’s-1960’s era that the comic takes place in.
Issues 1-8 are currently available, with the series itself beginning in 2014. I was able to pick up all of the issues at once (shout out to the amazing crew at Earthworld Comics in Albany — who I swore by even before they decided to pay me regularly, for the record…) and will anxiously be waiting for the next installment, which is set to hit comic shops in December of this year!
I will say that this story is super accessible to someone who hasn’t read Archie in a number of years, aside from the Riverdale tie in comics — and is a great spooky read to get you in the mood for this season.
That’s all for this edition of Undiesofwondy’s Hall-O-Reads, stay tuned for some more spooky reading suggestions from your favorite spooky, scary, Evil Geek!
Be sure to tweet me @undiesofwondy , or leave a comment here for your Hall-O-Reads suggestions and to let me know what you all think of mine.
Back when I was younger, when I was dragged to the supermarket with my mother and grandmother, occasionally I was treated to an Archie digest. I practically consumed them, and looked forward to seeing what sandwiches Jughead was eating these days, watched Betty and Veronica vie for Archie’s affections, mentally facepalmed over whatever stupid crap Moose and Reggie were up to, and so on. Archie Comics hold a special part in my heart, as they were some of the first comics I’d ever gotten my hands on. My love for Archie went from there to listening to ‘Sugar, Sugar’ on repeat, to watching this VHS tape repeatedly.
Which, oddly enough, seems to me like they got the basis for ‘Riverdale’, in the first place. (I’ll have to revisit it and let everyone know!)
But seriously, who would have thought Archie, Jughead and the gang would make for a hot teen drama?
Full disclosure, I am a sucker for trashy TV. Reality shows, yes. Dramas, you betcha. Teen Dramas? You have my complete attention there. This summer I binged the entire 90210 reboot on Netflix. I signed the petition to #BringBackNashville. And here I am, fully onboard for the Riverdale TV show, something I’d been looking forward to for months now. Even more so, since ‘Stranger Things’ cast member Shannon Purser (aka KWEEN BARB) signed on to play Ethel Muggs. (I swear on all that is holy, CW, if you kill her on this show, you will have to answer to ME.)
I’ll be the first to say that Riverdale, as a premise for a show, is utterly ridiculous. It is the raunchy, gritty, Archie we never needed. The writing is subpar at best, and the slutty Twin Peaks’ aesthetic is impossible to ignore. But GODDAMN AM I HOOKED.
Let’s start with Exhibit A, Archie Andrews.
Seriously. That’s him.
Yes, guys. Archie. The dude who wore sweater vests in the majority of those comics. He has abs for days.In all seriousness, ‘Riverdale’ Archie is a babe. And the guy who plays him is Australian. How can we go wrong here? Archie is the FUCKING MAN. He’s got this brooding bad boy lurking underneath his boy next door persona. He’s starting to write AND play his own music! He plays football! Hangs out with hot girls! And still has time to bang his teacher!
If you just heard the sound of brakes screeching to a halt, good, you’ve been paying attention. If you didn’t, go back and reread the last line of the above paragraph. Yep, you saw that correctly. Archie is boning Ms. Geraldine Grundy.
Yes, that Miss Grundy. Isn’t her outfit the epitome of style? Only she doesn’t look this way on the CW. No, no. She looks like this instead.
Quite the difference from page to screen, there. And no, clearly the CW writers didn’t consider how weird it was to have these old fashioned names in a modern day show. I never thought I’d say that Miss Grundy was bangin’, but here we are. Since the actors are probably the same age, their tryst doesn’t seem weird to someone casually viewing the show, but when you consider that he’s supposed to be underage, and not like, he’s a senior in high school underaged…more like…HE’S A SOPHOMORE IN HIGH SCHOOL. Ew. Miss Grundy. Control your loins. What’s worse, Archie seems to be in love with her. Yikes.
That’s pretty bad news for Betty, who is (unintentionally) comically friendzoned by Archie at the end of this episode. Bummer.
But speaking of Betty, while as a solo character she hasn’t won me over yet, the Betty/Veronica dynamic is AMAZING. I love that they didn’t take the typical “GRR I LIKE YOUR BOYFRIEND, NOW WE MUST FIGHT AND HATE ONE ANOTHER IMMEDIATELY” route, and that Veronica actually seems to be morally aware. Veronica, by the way, is completely spot on. They seem to have done away with her more ditzy side, and have portrayed her as the new girl in town, soon to be head bitch in charge. Oh, and if you grew up reading Archie comics and had high hopes for Betty and Veronica to make out for no specific reason, you’re in luck!
I thought it was kind of shitty of the writers to put a “two girls kissing for attention” thing in there, especially when they were tauting themselves in their promos as more culturally aware, having LGBT+ characters in the show. This type of stuff, to me at least, seems like a setback. But back to that head bitch in charge thing…
Any Archie readers remember this vixen? Cheryl Blossom, the character that was deemed “too sexual for a children’s comic”. Seriously, I remember reading some Archie comics with her in them and being SERIOUSLY uncomfortable. ‘Riverdale’s’ incarnation of Cheryl also makes me uncomfortable. The main plot this season seems to be centered around Cheryl and her twin brother, Jason Blossom. The Blossom twins, from my perspective, seem to have some incestuous crap going on, and Cheryl Blossom seems like she’s off her rocker. She’s got all the sass of Regina George, mixed with a bit of Alison DiLaurentis (Pretty Little Liars) craziness. She’s head cheerleader, of course, and she seems to want to make Betty, specifically, suffer.
The actress playing her nails the mixture of creepy/bitchy and is a perfect dynamic to throw into the whole Betty/Veronica shenanigans. It’ll be nice for them to have a common enemy, and I’m intrigued to know what’s in store for Cheryl Blossom.
Other highights of the ‘Riverdale’ premiere include super-out-of the closet Kevin Keller and hiding-in-the closet/hung like a horse/ secretly going to get a blowjob from Kevin by the river Moose, potential incest plotline featuring the Blossom twins, dead people in the river where in the closet gays go to get their dick sucked, an Archie and Veronica make out scene, Luke Perry as Archie’s dad, and my personal favorite –a Josie and the Pussycats cast entirely by African American actresses. And they are fucking FIERCE.
I’m already looking forward to their return, hopefully actual songs that will be released on iTunes as well, and to see what role they play in Riverdale.
I’ll definitely be tuning into Riverdale for the foreseeable future. We still have to see hipster/sexually ambiguous Jughead (Played by Cole Sprouse) and solve a murder, people! Oh, and hopefully we can see some more shirtless Archie, too.
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We’re so close to the end, my friends. Today’s beard is a famous one, but one that’s somehow been forsaken in the past year or so. I, myself, think it’s an important part of the face to which it’s attached but the CW and the New 52 have made it quite clear that they disagree. Naturally, I’m referring to the Van Dyke which adorns the face of Oliver Queen.
The Green Arrow (as is woefully apparent on the CW series that bears part of his name) started out as a pretty shameless Batman ripoff. He had a teen sidekick, a stylized car, and a quiver full of gimmicky gadgets. So, it’s no wonder he was quickly relegated to the B List. To his credit, he was a member of the Justice League of America, but then again who wasn’t? And this was the face of that laughable loser.
It would not be until years later that the Green Arrow could actually be taken seriously. Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams gave the character his first taste of sweet, sweet credibility when they partnered him up with Hal Jordan in “Green Lantern/Green Arrow”. They gave the two a sort of buddy cop dynamic, Jordan was the by-the-books and almost naive space policeman while Oliver was the savvier, more liberal-thinking moral anchor. He would point out the ironically narrow view of a man who had seen distant planets, he’d give him a bit of shit for thinking he had things figured out. And occasionally, Hal would get him back by be extraordinarily insensitive in emotionally trying times.
We should all be so lucky as to have friends like that.
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*Hey, leave us a comment if you’ve been growing a beard this month. Even if we don’t include it in the last post, we still get off on that kind of stuff. Stay sexy, geeks.