Archie Comics is dishing out the chills this Halloween.
Chilling Adventures of Salem–a one-shot spinoff of the popular Chilling Adventures of Sabrina horror series–will hit stands in time for Halloween, and Horror News Network this week received exclusive black-and-white interior artwork from the book. Check out the illustrations on this page.
The comic, according to the description, is a “solo adventure for Sabrina’s famous cat, during which it helps animals deal with a bad dude wielding black magic in the neighborhood.”
The title–available Oct. 12 for $3.99–is written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Dan Schoening in a style reminiscent of ’80s horror paperback art.
In discussing the comic, Jamie L. Rotante, Archie’s senior director of editorial, said “there was no doubt Bunn would do a Salem-based horror one-shot justice.”
Rotante added that they didn’t want the book to simply be a Pet Sematary ripoff. “We wanted to make sure it didn’t feel like an ‘Archie-does-Stephen King-take’,” she said. “We see glimpses of modern horror movies like Hereditary in the protagonist’s obsessive need to right wrongs and meddle in the occult to overcome a greater evil.”
As for Bunn, he said he wanted “to lean into the charm of Sabrina’s cat” in telling this tale. “I didn’t want to forget about the humorous origins, but I wanted to take those elements into a really dark place. Salem is a talking cat–yes–but he’s devious and sneaky and ruthless in the pursuit of his goals. An anti-hero.”
Schoening added that illustrating a story “featuring the most famous familiar I can think of–Salem the Cat–was truly serendipitous. For inspiration, I looked to a lot of Amicus and Hammer horror films. I also tapped into some EC comics of the ’40s and ’50s. It was an honor to illustrate Salem’s first solo outing.”
Keep reading Horror News Network for all updates on the Archie Comics horror line, and we invite all horror comic publishers to send us preview artwork and titles for inclusion on this website.