When the CW announced they were in the process of creating a Riverdale spin-off based on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, fans of Riverdale and Sabrina the Teenage Witch around the world rejoiced. Those of us who adore the horror-tinged reinvention of the Archie universe that the Archie Horror imprint has bestowed upon us have even mustered up the hope that the CW Archie-verse could crib from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's brilliant Afterlife with Archie books in some forthcoming television season. But for those of us who don't know much from these creepy comics, we've put together a list of required reading for getting up to speed before Sabrina (and who knows what else!) hit our screens.
Afterlife with Archie Vol. 1: Escape From Riverdale
The flagship book of the Archie Horror imprint featuring haunting art by Francesco Francavilla, this freakily fun comic throws Riverdale into a world of horror movie hurt. After his beloved dog gets hit by a car, Jughead Jones begs Sabrina to bring him back to life using black magic, with results that devastate Riverdale and change everyone's favorite burger-eating boy forever. A book that shook the foundations of the Archie world, it's arguable that without this comic the CW's Riverdale wouldn't exist. In fact, the comic's writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is the CW smash's showrunner!
Jughead: The Hunger
This one-shot explores the roots of Jughead's world-renowned appetite and puts it in a whole new light. It explores Juggie's dark and twisted family history as many of Riverdale's most recognizable residents fall prey to a mysterious monster. Michael Walsh's beautiful watercolor art makes this Frank Tieri written tale a sumptuous spooky treat to read this Halloween season.
Afterlife with Archie #6 - #11 "Betty RIP"
In the wake of the undead invasion of Riverdale, the survivors are trying to find a new home. But as we've all learned from watching a lot of zombie movies, sometimes the most dangerous part of the apocalypse is the humans. This almost complete run is an extraordinary exploration of the horror of survival. Part Archie, part Breakfast Club, part Walking Dead, this is a great addition to Archie Horror's creepy canon.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Vol. 1
The inspiration for the newly announced CW project, this radical reimagining of the teen witch we all grew up with is an utter highlight of Archie's 60 years of comics. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina focuses begins just before her 16th birthday, as she's about to make a huge decision between her normal life and her destiny with the dark arts. With incredible art by Robert Hack that harkens back to the heyday of EC horror comics, this is a nuanced and darkly delightful book.
Archie vs. Predator
This vividly violent book is one of the most fun comics crossovers of all time. Archie vs. Predator does what it exactly what it says on the tin. What if the Predator headed to Riverdale to hunt Archie Andrews? Writer Alex Di Campi and classic Archie artist Fernando Ruiz craft a surprisingly fresh book. Its quality and success--it was the biggest selling book of the month for both Dark Horse and Archie Comics--cemented the horror credentials of this once frighteningly wholesome series.
Complete Sabrina the Teenage Witch Vol. 1
This oversized omnibus from Archie Comics collects the first decade of classic Sabrina comics. These cutesy cartoons might be a world away from the dark vision of Sabrina's Riverdale that Chilling Adventures portrays, but these fantastically fun comics are where it all began. This brand new book is a perfect starter for any Sabrina fan, plus it's only $9.99 for 500 pages!
Archie Meets Kiss
Though the glam rockers might not seem like a particularly petrifying addition to the Archie-verse, this story is Sabrina centric. After one of her spells accidentally introduces a horde of evil monsters into Riverdale, the terrified teens have to team up with KISS to save the day! This silly supernatural story is lots of fun, and though we're unlikely to see a KISS cameo in the new Sabrina show... wouldn't it be great if we did?
Did we catch your attention with our creepy Archie recs? Just stoked to see Riverdale return? Or excited to see Sabrina back on our screens? Let us know in the comments!
Images: Dark Horse, Archie Comics