George Gladir, the longtime Archie Comics writer who created Sabrina the Teenage Witch with Dan DeCarlo, passed away Wednesday, the publisher confirmed.
A 2007 recipient of the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing, Gladir began working for Archie in 1959, initially penning one-page gags for Archie's Joke Book before moving on to other titles, including Archie's Pal Jughead, Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica and Archie's Madhouse. It was in that last title, in 1962, that he and DeCarlo introduced Sabrina, the well-meaning witch who became a sensation, inspiring two animated series, a television movie and a live-action sitcom.
"I think we both envisioned it as a one-shot and were surprised when fans asked for more," Gladir recalled in a 2007 interview. "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]."
About the same time his career at Archie took off, Gladir began working for Cracked Magazine, eventually becoming its head writer. Over the next 30 years, he wrote an estimated 2,000 pages for the satirical publication. A prolific writer, Gladir contributed to Archie right up to his death.
“I am deeply sorry to hear that George passed away," Archie Editor-in-Chief Victor Gorelick said in a statement. "My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family. I’ve had the pleasure and the honor of working and learning from George for 54 years. As an editor, George made my job easy. He was always current, understood the characters, was funny and always sent reference. The entire staff at Archie Comics was saddened by the loss of George Gladir. We’ll all miss him.”