[Editor's Note: Welcome to Archie's House of Horror! We're thrilled and chilled to team up with Archie Comics for this recurring column written by Jamie L. Rotante, writer and Senior Director of Editorial at Archie Comics. Each column takes a closer look at the terrifying themes and eerie inspirations found within the pages of the ever-expanding world of Archie Horror, with this month's column focusing on the intense exorcism that possesses the pages of Jinx: A Cursed Life, now available from Archie Comics!]

As far as horror tropes in genres go, possession and exorcisms are probably some of the most ubiquitous. I mean, right now, The Pope’s Exorcist is out in theaters. There’s seldom a long passage of time between exorcism and possession-related movies in theaters, thanks in large part to the lasting impact/legacy of Ed and Lorraine Warren, as questionable as they may be. And sure, a lot of exorcism-based movies can feel like different shades of the same color, but there still is something about them that keeps viewers (and readers) coming back time and time again.

I’d be remiss to discuss possession-related media without giving proper due to The Exorcist. As shocking as it may seem, I wasn’t a big horror movie fan growing up. I’ve always had a deep, deep love of Halloween, but I enjoyed the pageantry of it most. I wasn’t in it for tricks, only treats. Being a very anxious person my whole life, I wasn’t keen on jump scares. I didn’t frequent too many haunted house attractions, and I mostly avoided horror movies for fear that I’d be too on edge to actually sit and enjoy them or follow the plots.

Then at some point late in high school, I finally watched The Exorcist, and it changed my mindset on what horror films could be. It wasn’t reliant on jump scares. I was on the edge of my seat (my seat being my friend’s family couch in their living room, where we watched it on a projector screen—an optimal viewing experience if I’m being quite honest), not because I was worried that I’d be “scared,” but because I was so drawn into the story and its emotional push and pull. This got me to explore the genre more, paving the way for who I am today.

It’s been documented before, but a large part of what makes The Exorcist so memorable is that William Friedkin hadn’t ever directed a horror film before; his background in documentary filmmaking led to a more realistic approach, including casting real priests and medical personnel. This made the graphic scenes all the more in-your-face without coming off as shock-for-shock value. As film critic Roger Ebert said in his 1973 review of the film: “During the movie, there are no reservations, but only experiences. We feel shock, horror, nausea, fear, and some small measure of dogged hope.” It’s those extremes in feelings that make for well-rounded horror. It doesn’t need to rely solely on blood, gore, jump scares, or violence, but if they’re included, they must all be pieces of a larger puzzle.

When I read My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix, it further expanded my view of the possession trope by introducing an important key element: the power of friendship (and a healthy dose of humor). And that’s also a key element in a majority of Archie Horror comics, especially in Jinx: A Cursed Life. If you haven’t yet reacquainted yourself with the character of Jinx Holliday, allow me to bring you up to speed: Li’l Jinx Holliday (originally called Li’l Jinx Bubblegum) debuted in July 1947 in Pep Comics #62, before starring in her own title from 1956–1957. She was typically depicted as a lovable but mischievous young girl, engaged in a variety of battles of the wills with her father. You can still read these classic stories in pretty much any Archie Comics digest available today. The character was revamped in 2012, and a pre-teen version of the character was introduced. Now dropping the “Li’l” from her name, Jinx was a quick-witted kid navigating crushes and softball practice.

Jinx got her name because she was born on Halloween. This was all that was needed to take her character in a very different direction. In 2019’s Jughead the Hunger vs Vampironica, we learn that Jinx’s father is Satan. And it was her reading from the book of Lucifer that caused the various worlds of the Archie Multiverse to cross over. A huge thank you to writer Frank Tieri for adding this element to the character. We were able to expand upon the idea of Jinx having access to these terrifying tomes—a whole library of them, in fact—in last year’s Jinx: Grim Fairy Tales and this year’s Free Comic Book Day offering, The Cursed Library.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: “That’s great and all, but what does any of this have to do with exorcisms?”

Writer Magdalene Visaggio is an absolute genius. She crafted such a fantastic voice for Jinx that we knew she had to come back and give us more of an insight into Jinx’s life. And she’s responsible for coming up with the brilliant idea for Jinx: A Cursed Life—what if Jughead got possessed by Satan (who may or may not be her father), and Jinx is the only person who can exorcise him? (Sidenote: poor Jughead! What won’t this poor burger-loving boy endure?) But she’s not about to do it alone, and bringing a friend to a possession party could have some disastrous results for all attendees.

Jinx: A Cursed Life deftly blends humor with the horrifying, rife with one-liners and the exact kind of reactions you’d expect from a 14-year-old girl having to perform an exorcism on a local teen boy. But it also tells a story of conquering inner demons, both literal and metaphorical, and those layers of meaning are another reason Mags is one of the best writers around. She can kick you in the teeth with horror and humor while also making you actually feel something along the way. Remember what Roger Ebert said about The Exorcist? Reading this comic will have you running a gambit of emotions, jumping from experience to experience. That’s elevated by the grotesquely gorgeous artwork of Craig Cermak, along with haunting colors from Ellie Wright and the fantastic craftsmanship of letterer Jack Morelli.

It was only a matter of time before Archie Comics added exorcisms to the pantheon of horror genres we have and will continue to inhabit. But Jinx: A Cursed Life is so much more than just a story about possession, and Jinx is much more than just Satan’s daughter. And Danni is so much more than just her best friend. But that’s all I’ll say about that for now. Just know that their stories are far from over, and we hope you’ll make sure to have this comic book in your… possession.


To learn more about Jinx: A Cursed Life and to order a copy of the new one-shot, visit:


Jinx Holliday is a firecracker and a firestarter. Destruction always follows in her wake. And sometimes weirdos stop her and talk about her “destiny.” It’s all combined to create quite the aura of mystery around a 14-year-old girl who just wants some pizza rolls, and while her soul might belong to Satan, her heart belongs to the electric guitar. But one day, when Archie and company come looking for her help because Jughead is acting weird, Jinx and her BFF Danni embark on a mission to exorcize Jughead. It’s the two BFFs vs. Satan for the good of humanity—or at very least, for Jinx to just be free to be a normal 14-year-old girl who just happens to dabble in necromancy and rock ‘n’ roll. *Retailer orders for all covers placed by FOC date will be 100% returnable (no minimum)*

Script: Magdalene Visaggio
Art: Craig Cermack, Ellie Wright, Jack Morelli
Jinx: A Cursed Life ONE-SHOT CVR A Main Cover: Craig Cermak
Jinx: A Cursed Life ONE-SHOT CVR B Var: Reiko Murakami

32 pages

Cover by Craig Cermak:

Variant Cover by Reiko Murakami: