EXCLUSIVE: Aguirre-Sacasa Previews "Sabrina," New "Afterlife with Archie" Story

Robert Aguirre-Sacasa has helped usher in an era of even further change at Archie Comics. Not only did he take on the position of chief creative officer back in March of this year, he's the writer of the company's acclaimed horror comic "Afterlife with Archie," where he and Eisner-winning artist Francesco Francavilla deliver zombie-infested chills on a regular basis, in an extremely rare non-all-ages Archie series proudly diverting from the publisher's squeaky-clean image.

Yet it's about to get a little less rare this fall, when Archie introduces previously announced companion series "Sabrina," a new ongoing set in the 1960s and starring the company's iconic Teenage Witch. The series is also written by Aguirre-Sacsa, joined this time around by artist Robert Hack -- telling a tale outside of "Afterlife" continuity, but in the same spooky spirit.

CBR has the exclusive first look at both the next installment of "Afterlife with Archie" -- #6, a "shocking and horrific" standalone story out later this month -- and October's "Sabrina" #1, along with comments from Aguirre-Sacsa on what readers can expect from the issues, which both prominently feature the wayward witch.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacsa: "The last time we saw Sabrina in the pages of "Afterlife" was in Issue #1, after she resurrected Hot Dog and was banished by her aunts to the nether-realm. Since then, people have been asking, 'What's she been up to? When is she going to come back and fix things?' Issue #6 answers those questions, but maybe in an unexpected way. Both Francesco and I are huge H.P. Lovecraft fans, which is how this issue came about; also, we wanted to do something that was really shocking and horrific -- a true horror book. Hopefully this issue, especially the last two pages, delivers that to our fans. It was also important that we do a done-in-one horror story, like a Lovecraft story, that's stand-alone, but expands the 'Afterlife' mythology."

Aguirre-Sacsa: "Robert [Hack] and I are doing something different with our 'Sabrina' series. This is not the Sabrina from 'Afterlife,' she exists in a separate universe. And it's an epic, occult, coming-of-age story, set in the 1960s, so it's a period piece, as well. And half of the first issue, which is super-sized, is Sabrina as a little girl, a bad seed, before she even gets to high school. (Though don't worry, she'll be in a cheerleader's outfit well before the last page.) And the way 'Afterlife' is a showcase for Francesco's genius, 'Sabrina' will be that for Robert Hack. I think people's minds are going to be blown by what he's doing. And he's coloring the book, as well, so it really will have that unified voice."

The above preview pages will be included, along with a reprint of "Afterlife with Archie" #1, in a convention-exclusive promo book on sale for $5 at Archie's booth (#2842) at this month's Comic-Con International in San Diego, happening July 23 through July 27.

"Afterlife with Archie" #6 is scheduled for release on July 23; "Sabrina" #1 is scheduled for release on Oct. 8.

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