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George Gladir, co-creator of Archie’s Sabrina, passes away

GeorgeGladirGeorge 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.”

Sabrina

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5 Comments

Unsung amongst his many talents, Gladir did many gag cartoons for men’s cartoon digests and magazines such as ARMY FUN, BROADWAY LAUGHS, and LAFF TIME. He drew as well as wrote these single panels and even produced two page short story comics which allowed him to draw parodies of newspaper strip characters like Li’l Abner, Beetle Bailey, Superman, and even (at least once) Archie Andrews.

He was also one of the few American writers of Japanese manga, where he was often asked to produce stories depicting how many Americans misunderstood aspects about daily Japanese life.

I respect this man very much. My condolences go out to his family, friends, and many admirers.

I met George via working at Dyna-Search in the 90s, and later grew closer when John Carbonaro re-introduced us.

What a charming happy soul. Deepest condolences to his family and friends.

As an avid reader of Archie digests (and comics when I was younger), I have my favorite artists. DeCarlo & Gladir are the two on top, along with Schwartz, Lucey, Goldberg and Scarpelli.

Knowing that we are slowly but surely losing the greatest artists is so sad, because I have yet to see any new artists live up to the amazing work that these men have done with Archie & his friends.

I will be missing Mr. Gladir and his artwork, and hoping that the people at the Archie Comics company will honor him as they have Mr’s DeCarlo, Schwartz, and Lucey with a book of his own works for fans.

Rest well, Mr. Gladir. You will be missed.

I let myself be swayed by Mr. Gladir’s sales pitch for the CINDY AND HER OBASAN comic at his table at SDCC ’07. Not having read any Archies for over 30+ years, the book was a trip— a Japanese Fairy God Mother (FGM) with a cellphone ‘wand’… Elvis Presley looking for his missing halo to get into Heaven… the Yakuza… a giant crystal maneki-neko… miniature robots… all drawn by Stan Goldberg in that inimitable, clean ‘cartoony’ style.

A wonderfully inventive, bizarre, Dada-ish and FUN single-issue story that put all those dour, ongoing leather/spandex’d superheroes punching-each-other comics to shame!

Thank you, Mr. Gladir. Rest in Peace.

Kathleen Webb

April 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I’m so sorry to hear of George’s passing. He was always a gentleman and very kind to me. I had the privilege of meeting him and his lovely wife Mary in San Diego at the Comic Con in 1995. I spent a wonderful time with him and Dan DeCarlo. He and I also exchanged phone conversations and correspondence for a while after that. George had gotten some work published in Japan (he’d written a series of manga stories entitled, “Honto Ka Na (Is That True)? that were published in tankouban) and was trying to encourage me to get work in Japan as well. It never came off but I thought the work he did for the Japanese publisher was great. I will miss him as I also miss Dan DeCarlo. I always appreciated their support and encouragement of me as a writer and an artist. I pray God blesses his family as they grieve his death.

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