Sabrina the Teenage Witch Manga Ends

Yesterday’s Previews catalog calls Sabrina the Teenage Witch #100 “the exciting conclusion to the Sabrina manga series!”

This doesn’t surprise me, to see Archie ending the manga approach. They didn’t capitalize on it sufficiently to capture a manga fan audience; they should have done more than just one slim reprint collection. They also never seemed quite comfortable with either the idea of manga or doing something so different for them.

Ultimately, though, it was likely about sales; Sabrina was one of their lower-selling titles. And that can be attributed to a mismatch between audience and sales outlets. Their big sellers are digests, and the manga-styled stories didn’t make it into those. Manga readers, meanwhile, buy online or in bookstores, and Archie doesn’t have much of a sales presence in either place, sticking with comic shops and grocery stores.

Now that the company is emphasizing nostalgia in their approach, I won’t be surprised to see a big relaunch in the new year with a more traditional look, perhaps even bring Sabrina back into interaction with Archie and the other Riverdale kids.

Issue #100 is due in comic shops on February 18. I previously interviewed writer/artist Tania del Rio about her plans.

27 Comments

  1. While I liked the series, the biggest problem for me was a mix of format and distribution. It wasn’t a title the comic shops I visited worked to keep an inventory (I suspect they’re used to Archies being titles that don’t require a stock of back issues or even enough current issues for every customer who might want it in within a couple months of coming out) and, more importantly, I tend to enjoy comics in collections more often. Coming out at a time when I was getting out of the periodical comic habit, the series eventually was more work to follow than my enjoyment (which was pretty high).

  2. James Schee

    I’m sort of like Lyle in this instance, as I loved reading the series. Yet it was a very hard series to get when you don’t pre-order.

    I hope Archie eventually does collections, as I’d love to read it all.

  3. *Sigh* I’m so disappointed that the manga style is ending, because I’ve really been enjoying Del Rio’s work. On the other hand, shojo/shonen manga do end and I like that sense of closure. It’s good to get a complete story out of it – at least I assume it’s going to be a complete story.

    I’m still hoping Archie will eventually collect the whole run in digests. The girls in my school love rereading that first collection and Sabrina is one of the few floppy comics they’ll look at – the other being Sonic. But I totally agree distribution was the problem. I had to get a subscription because my LCS never ordered more than one issue and usually sold out before I got there. But then the owner had no use for Archie Comics at all.

  4. Ed Sizemore

    My love of del Rio’s Sabrina is no secret. I left a message on the Archie’s blog asking them to reconsider. (I just have to wait for moderator approval before they post the comment.)

    I hope they do a full size trade that reprints the entire run.

  5. Ed Sizemore

    I’m very disheartened to hear how poorly Archie comics are treated by some LCS. This makes me appreciate my LCS (Richmond Comix) all the more. They carry all the Archie books. In fact, the kids section is located right at the front door, so parents don’t have to go hunting for age appropriate comics.

  6. It would seem weird _not_ to trade the whole thing – it’s a complete series with appeal to a specific market Archie’s meant to try to appeal to.

    And that means ££££s.

  7. But manga publishers who do this full-time are having trouble right now, and I just don’t see Archie making the effort. Unfortunately.

  8. [...] manga version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch is coming to an end; Johanna Draper Carlson has some thoughts at Comics Worth [...]

  9. I agree that there should be more Sabrina graphic novels, but Archie has also neglected its Josie & the Pussycats manga. Remember there were a few Josie manga stories in Archie & Friends (around issue #100)? That stopped, but I wanted to see more of the traditional Josie coming out. More Cheryl, too (which did happen in B&V Double Digest, but Cheryl wasn’t the sexy seductress she used to be).

    And when will Archie All-Stars be coming out? Didn’t they announce a long time ago a contest to name a new comic? Geez!

  10. I thought the Josie manga looked pretty bad, myself.

    Archie All-Stars was supposed to have been out by now, yes, but they decided to keep telling Archie & Friends stories instead.

  11. Thank-you for your reply. Yeah, the Josie manga art wasn’t as attractive as Tania Del Rio’s artwork for Sab. I would just like Josie stories to be serialized like Sabrina. I really think Archie could do that, whether it be a short story in Archie & Friends (like the few gorgeous Katy Keene comics that ran), or as a 5-part project like the “Cheryl’s new Boyfriend” stories in B & V Double digest.

    So Archie All-Stars may never come out? Well, my thoughts on that are whatever. But they could tell new Josie and Katy stories in Archie & Friends. Do you read some of the new Archie & Friends issues? They seem to be having longer stories now, and a new one by Alex Simmons, the writer for the Archie World tour. Thank-you for your knowledge of the comics field!

  12. I do read Archie & Friends. My most recent review covers #124.

  13. I LOVED the Sabrina manga series, and wish it wasn’t ending. With all the predictable comics out there, this one constantly surprised and delighted me and captured my imagination. Tania del Rio did an amazing job, and I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future!

  14. [...] was curious to see what Archie Comics did with the title after the Sabrina manga ends with #100. Today, they announced that her cat Salem was taking over the title, as it goes from [...]

  15. [...] last big manga storyline begins here, with lots of exposition as the Queen and Sabrina finally get a face-to-face [...]

  16. I loved this series, but to be honest I missed about half of the storyline because once the comic is released for the month, if you don’t get it before the new issue comes out, you can’t read it.

    i would really like to see them sell the series in sets/books/graphic novels (i know they did this already with the “Magic Revisited”, but that was discontinued) or even just sell the issues individually online or something.

    (on a side note, if anyone here knows where i can find the issues to read online or somewhere else, please tell me!)

  17. You could probably find most issues from mycomicshop.com and comicsamerica.com

    If not, you can order the Sabrina Collector Sets directly from archiecomics.com Stuff Shop.

  18. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to catch-up on what’s happening in the series!

  19. You’re welcome

  20. [...] now we know why Sabrina ended with #100. It’s not just that its sales put it last, but that it wasn’t showing any growth. Note [...]

  21. I loved manga ever since third grade but I only got to read about 5 random Manga Sabrina issues and I’m trying to get Magic Revisited Vol.1 At least they got to the 100 issue mark.

  22. You know, I never liked the manga version of Sabrina, she was much too lanky, and that turned me off.

  23. [...] new Sabrina series is “in the works” to relaunch the magical girl character. The same is true for Katy Keene and Little Jinx, who will be just “Jinx” and aged 13 [...]

  24. It’s so sad for me to hear that it ended. Though I was already following the rebooted Sabrina series (I was reading when it was inspired by the animated series), when Sabrina went manga I was elated. Sadly going to college made it so I couldn’t buy every month anymore, and I lost touch. Hopefully, there will be a supply for the missing pieces in my collection online.

  25. [...] story is written by Tania del Rio, who spent several years creating the manga version of Sabrina, so she knows her stuff. Art and covers are by Gisele, continuing from the previous issue, which [...]

  26. [...] bet that’s the Tania del Rio whose work I enjoyed on the manga Sabrina and other stories for Archie Comics. What a neat little surprise [...]

  27. […] yaoi. (So many tortured faces staring at the reader!) Oh, and Archie was pushing its manga take on Sabrina the Teenage Witch from a few years […]

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