In 2013, Archie Comics revived their horror line of comics with the delightfully twisted Afterlife With Archie which was shortly followed by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Both these series not only helped shape the direction Archie would take both narratively and creatively in their subsequent revamp of the Archie series, but would also produce some of the best modern horror comics in recent memory which would have fit right in with the best comics featured in Eerie back in the day. Now while it may not be readily apparent, Archie has a strong history in the horror genre.
The Chilling Adventures in Sorcery anthology series and its successor Red Circle Sorcery showcased some of top talent at the time such as Alex Toth, Dick Giordano and Stan Goldberg alongside rising stars including Howard Chaykin and Larry Hama. Several of these strips have been included as backup features in issues of Afterlife With Archie and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and now they are available all in one place.
As is the norm for horror anthologies of that ilk, the stories that make up this collection are standalone pieces that are completely removed from the comics that Archie were publishing at the time, with the exception of the first two issues that are introduced and narrated by Sabrina. The stories cover a variety of subjects ranging from giant bugs and witchcraft to more subtle tales featuring vampires and general suspense pieces. There’s also a great variety of art styles on hand with the more traditional Archie style of Stan Goldberg to the more noir style of Alex Toth and Howard Chaykin. Nothing feels out of place and it is amazing how much atmosphere the talent involved manage to get out of the small number of pages they have been allocated. It would take too long to list highlights but Marvin Channing’s contributions (Particularly Face of Love –Face of Death) and some early work by Howard Chaykin are well worth checking out.
This is a great sample of the classic horror comics that were being produced in the 1970s and also an ideal way to see the work that shaped the modern takes on the genre. Add to that the who’s who of legendary comic creators involved, this is definitely a title all horror fans should have on their shelves.
Chilling Adventures In Sorcery is out now from Archie Comics
(9781627389907, p/b, £16.99)