Why I Like Sabrina

Here’s an early page from this year’s Halloween issue, Sabrina the Teenage Witch #88.

Page from Sabrina #88

I really like the way Tania del Rio blends several different levels of material:

  • the plot for this issue: Sabrina has concerns about Shinji’s new girlfriend Hemlock but doesn’t know how to tell him.
  • the continuing story: The problems with the mana tree and the kids’ struggles to investigate.
  • acknowledgment of ever-changing relationships: Usually it’s Sabrina’s feelings about her boyfriends, but here, it’s the two young women. And how wonderful is that, that the two girls, however briefly, talk about their relationship with each other?
  • an acceptance of change: You may no longer feel the way you did, but what’s to come may still be good. And you may not have only one true love or only one bestest friend ever… you may see attractive qualities in different people. I’m thinking of how Sabrina’s found it difficult to choose either Harvey or Shinji without question. Both have virtues and flaws. It’s more like life. But as shown with Llandra, there’s still the possibility of deep true love.
  • the art: Even a simple talking scene is kept interesting with expressions, body language, backgrounds, and vibrant colors.
  • humor: Meaningful dialogue is counterbalanced with a light-hearted approach.

It’s on sale next Wednesday for $2.25 US.


7 Responses to “Why I Like Sabrina”

  1. Anthony Says:

    Any idea on how well “Sabrina” is selling? I gather the manga makeover it got must be doing pretty well, since it hasn’t reverted back to its more traditional Archie house-style format yet…

  2. Johanna Says:

    We’ll know best when the Statements of Circulation are published in the books in December. (Those are the numbers required for mailing permits.) But yes, that it’s still going indicates contentment (or inertia :) ).

  3. James Schee Says:

    I really loved the series as well, too bad I went like 2 months without getting to see an issue. So I feel too behind now.

    I wish with it being such a different approach to a series by Archie creatively. That they would take a different approach commercially as well and release bigger trades and in a more timely manner.

  4. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Sept. 17, 2007: The jingle of a dog’s collar Says:

    [...] Johanna Draper Carlson on Tania Del Rio’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch #88. (Above: panel from the issue, ©2007 [...]

  5. Ed Sizemore Says:

    It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Sabrina. It’s the only pamphlet comic I read immediately after purchase. I love the characters and the story line and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. I know Tania is signed on until issue 100, but I hope she stays for a long time after that.

  6. David Oakes Says:

    You want to know just how awesome Tania del Rio is?

    1) I got through the entire page without once thinking “Ew, Girl Cooties”, and

    2) I got all the way to the last panel before my innate loathing of Manga style kicked in.

    I mean, short of actually having read a comic book once in my life, I am the farthest away from the target demographic as any human being can be. And just this one page made me think “Huh, maybe I should pick up a copy, see what this is all about. (Until that last panel. Sorry Ms. del Rio.)

    Amazing.

  7. Oliver Says:

    Yeah, I have to admit I do enjoy reading this series but it came slowly. When I first saw it, I didn’t embrace it as I do now. I only have issues 79 and 88 (the halloween issues) but I think I am going to permanently collect this series from now on.

    I also enjoy reading Veronica Comics just because they’re quirky and funny. It must be something about girls’ comics that seem to have a certain cool vibe.

    I hope Sabrina and Tania Del Rio reach way past issue #100 together.

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