Throughout history our most brilliant thinkers have wrestled with one of the thorniest questions ever to puzzle humanity. Namely, are coloring books "comics?" They frequently star comic book characters in humorous or thrilling situations, they're sold in stores in areas near periodicals, and they are soft-covered with interiors on uncoated stock. And sometimes they feature word balloons. Let's face it, they're books that tell narrative stories with a combination of words and pictures, and if that isn't "comics" then I don't know if I trust anything any more. Take THAT, brilliant thinkers throughout history! Which is good news, because a coloring book is what we got this week.
Based on the cartoon series that was in turn based on the comic book series that was in turn based on a short story in "Archie's Madhouse" #22, in turn based on the obscure writings of 8th century monks hidden for centuries in underground chambers guarded by the skeletons of the unwary, Sabrina the Teenage Witch has been one of the more successful media franchises to come out of the comic book world, with several different cartoons, live-action TV shows, and TV movies based on the character. The pinnacle of Sabrina iterations, however, is this 1971 coloring book, which apparently stars Sabrina, a comically shrunken Archie and Veronica, and one of the cats from Walt Disney's "Aristocats," I think that's Toulouse.
This is Sabrina, a Teenage Witch and Survivor Of Face Mangling Car Crash And Subsequent Starvation Diet. Color away kids!
This coloring book is all about the gang and their summer camp adventures. The boys' camp is Villa de Wilda, and the Camp Director has a lot of interesting rules, like "clothing is optional" and "any time is tickle time."
Betty is really way too excited about unpacking.
Something about lower bunks really inspired our anonymous crayonist. Maybe their sibling on the upper bunk had bed wetting issues? That's gonna make lower bunks kind of triggering, not gonna lie.
In a shocking departure from established Sabrina continuity, here in the SCU (Sabrina Coloring-book Universe) Sabrina's magic is accomplished not only by the Elizabeth Montgomery-esque ear-tugging, but the ear-tug calls forth a miniature Aunt Hilda spirit, who then grants Sabrina's wish. Sounds a little complicated. But whatever lets Sabrina cheat, that's the goal!
Oh no, Princess Veronica has to climb a few stairs. Poor baby!
"Tee hee! I hope I don't fall on top of you while you're in bed!" At this point the fan fiction, or Penthouse Forum letters, if you prefer, are practically writing themselves.
The Art Fair seems like a must for the girls, especially Sabrina, because right here she really needs to find somebody to re-draw her entire head.
Oh, real talented there, art guy, real innovative use of the cut and paste tool. What a genius!
Why not be an artist? Low pay, appalling working conditions, humiliation and abuse from friends and family, and the heartbreak of seeing the expression of your innermost feelings ignored and dismissed by the general public. THAT'S why not.
It's the end of a fun day as Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island (RIP Dawn Wells) and the Little Dutch Boy paint company mascot share a romantic bus ride back to camp.
Here's what I'm talking about with that camp director. Boundaries, dude. Learn them.
We TOLD you that Army recruiter was going to lie to you, Sabrina!
It pays to deny the Holy Trinity and hand your soul over to the forces of darkness, most definitely when you want to get out of doing the dishes! Why not consort with Black Phillip today?
But Aunt Hazel in her miniature astral projected form is here to remind Sabrina that magic can be used for better things, like, for instance, coloring the other half of your blouse.
Time for a scavenger hunt versus the boys' camp, with an appearance by what I can only assume is the little seen Archie character "Calamity June."
wow, thank you magic, for giving me such wondrous visions as (checks notes) two guys pushing a wheelbarrow full of junk
Stop pawing each other for ONE MINUTE, girls, and check out how I used my magic to cheat! I mean, how I found some stuff!
"I cheated, that's how!" A fine lesson for the youth of America. Use sinister forces of supernatural evil to win every inconsequential contest!
It's at this point that the gang quit including Sabrina in all their games, and then she used her magic to make them forget they were mad, and everything was fine. Repeat for fifty years!
Nothing like a little exploring among the scenic wonders of Sigmund Freud National Symbolic Wilderness Area
Cinematography by Bill Butler
Directed by Stephen Spielberg
Somebody take Sabrina fishing sometime so she can see what a simple jon boat (or "johnboat", if you prefer) looks like. Not every boat is Mr. Lodge's yacht!
On the other hand the old-fashioned Tom Sawyer raft might be the best thing for navigating the geometric paths of this Pac-Man maze.
Those things are expensive Sabrina, that canoe is going to show up on your final bill! Which you'll pay with magic disappearing money!
Again, we TOLD you to stay out of the Army, Sabrina! If you aren't going to listen to us, you could at least try to stay in uniform!
"Aunt Hilda could tell me if we had any sudden-onset Black in our family tree!"
Look, *I* didn't color this page, okay?
But Aunt Hilda rolls over and goes back to sleep, leaving Sabrina to learn the value of Doing Things For Herself Without Cheating. And so Sabrina gave up on magic forever and from then on the show was called "Sabrina The Teenage Teenager" and was cancelled immediately, meaning nobody had to suffer through THIS uncanny-valley escapee:
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