Menu Toggle

FCBD24 Interview: More to Come From The Cursed Library!

Archie Comics, The Cursed Library Prelude

Following over 10 years of Archie Horror content, all roads have led to the summer's scariest showcase! In 2024 worlds collide as Jinx Holliday and Madam Satan unpack the mystery behind the horrors that seem to descend upon Riverdale and its surrounding towns endlessly. Its source-the very library that Jinx calls her own. These terrifying stories are not merely tall tales, but an endless collection of dark worlds all created for the demonic Cursed Library. Who created this collection, and how can the horrors finally be stopped by this unlikely team?

We caught up with series writer and editor Jamie Lee Rotante and series artist Craig Cermak to learn more about what inspired the extraordinary characters, what we can expect from their upcoming titles, and rifle through some fun rapid fire questions!

Check out the full interview below and be sure to head to your local comic shop on Saturday, May 6 to celebrate FCBD in all it’s glory! To find a participating comic shop near you, use our FCBD Store Locator. 

Free Comic Book Day (FCBD): Set up your title for those that might be new to your comic book: What will new readers need to know before diving into your Free Comic Book Day issue?

Jamie Lee Rotante: This title is the prelude to an Archie Horror event coming later this year—but it’s also one that’s been three years in the making! There are five new pages of content within that weave together a variety of horror tales released over the past three years, centering the focus of the story on the separate, but now combined, lives of two characters that have risen in prominence in Archie Horror lore: Madam Satan and Jinx Holliday. Their seemingly separate lives converged at the end of Madam Satan: Hell on Earth, released in September 2023. Jinx is the daughter of Satan, who just wants to live a normal, teen life. Madam Satan is the disgraced former ruler of Hell, doing everything she can to regain the power she once had. It’s pretty easy to see how these two many come face-to-face, but how they interact and what happens next, no one will see coming!


FCBD: What are some of the core themes present in your book? What do you hope readers take away from your title?

JR: A core theme at play in both this year’s free comic offering as well as to come in the future event, is predetermination. Are we living our truest lives, or is there a path someone else has already placed us on, with set-in-stone outcomes regardless of what we do or say? And, if the latter, what can we do to fight against that?

Free Comic Book Day, FCBD, Archie Comics, The Cursed Library Prelude

FCBD: What part of the book was most fun to write/draw?

JR: Writer Magalene Visaggio has really perfected the voice of Jinx, so stepping into the role of Jinx (albeit temporarily!) was a TON of fun. She’s so blunt and sarcastic, while still being genuinely good-hearted that it was an absolute delight getting to write with her voice in mind.

Craig CermakJinx! I think she's a delight to draw. Fun expressions, plus some other stuff I can't say that might be spoiler-y!


FCBD: Can you share some of the inspiration behind certain characters, settings, etc.?

JR: In terms of characters, their well-defined personalities and traits are all thanks to the fabulous writers. Eliot’s been perfecting Madam Satan’s voice for years, and Mags has written for Jinx like she was born to do it. Their designs have been well updated by the respective artists who have worked on them: Robert Hack, Julius Ohta, Vincenzo Federici, and, as seen here, the excellent Craig Cermak. They’ve really not altered the designs much (Madam Satan’s been around for over 80 years!), but have planted them firmly in the present. Jinx is a perfect mix of how we saw her in the Young Adult version as well as in horror series like Jughead the Hunger.

The idea of the Cursed Library itself has been an ongoing brainstorm among myself, Art Director Vincent Lovallo, and SVP J Betancourt. We’ve all been drawn to the idea of books in the library being more than just tall tales, which really took off in 2022’s Jinx: Grim Fairy Tales. It was a fun idea at the time that we’ve had fun playing with and expanding further upon.

FCBD: If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?

CCWhatever you have going on, keep me out of it!


FCBD:Looking to the future, is there anything you can tease about what’s coming up for the title and its characters?

JR: I’ll double down on this—DEFINITELY keep your eyes peeled later this year for much more to come from Madam Satan, Jinx, and the Cursed Library!


FCBD: Many newcomers will pick up comics for the first time on FCBD – what was the first comic you remember reading?

JR: It’s going to sound on-the-nose, but mine was an Archie comic! Likely a double digest or a Betty 32. I would collect them, along with the Barbie comics made in the 1990s.

CC: I was fortunate to have a bunch of comics at once, but that means the very first comic I read is a little blurry. It was definitely something with Batman though, likely during Knightfall/Knightsend.


FCBD: What is your favorite part about working in the comic book industry?


JR: For me as an editor, it’s getting the opportunity to work with so many talented writers and artists, and helping them bring their visions to life. I’m constantly in awe of the amazing creators I get to work with!

CC: That creativity is unlimited, and it's a perfect outlet for being able to be experimental in a multitude of ways.


FCBD: Tell us why everyone should read comic books!

JR: Comics allow for storytelling that most media cannot—there’s no limit to what the imagination can come up with and comic books can take even the wildest ideas and turn them into a reality. Plus, new comics make every Wednesday fun!

CC:  A beautiful art form that takes you on so many journeys brought to you by a vast variety of creative visions, plus a very rich history.



FCBD: Now, we have a series of rapid-fire questions for you! They’re, ya know, mostly related to comics... Answer as quickly as you can and try not to over think it!


Do you listen to music while you’re creating?

JR: Sometimes! Music can help me focus, especially vinyl, where I have a full album to play through without overthinking it (though I do have to stop to flip the record!). Listening to background atmosphere sounds like rainstorms, etc., really helps me focus better than anything else (I’m listening to that, in fact, as I answer these questions.)

CC:  Yes, and during this project I specifically was listening to The Jayhawks.




What’s your favorite comic book genre?

JR: It might be on-the-nose, but I’m a sucker for good horror comics!

CC: Superheroes! I'm basic!


Are you more productive in the morning or at night?

JR: In terms of writing, night time. As much as I want to be a morning person, I just can’t get into the writing groove until much later at night.

CC: Night, to my detriment. 



What do you and 10-year old you still have in common? 

JR: We both still adore Archie Comics! (10-year-old me would be pretty impressed, I’d like to think!)

CC: Love of drawing and reading comics. And the same sweet tooth.



If you were a comic book character, would you rather be the hero or the villain?  

JR: I feel like getting to be the villain might be a lot of fun, but I couldn’t deal with all the negativity. An anti-hero is more my speed.

CC: Hero. Being evil is too stressful.



Everyone in the world gets to choose a power, but the more people that choose the same power, the weaker that power will be. What do you choose? 

CC: I would choose the ability to transform the chemical properties of any inorganic material.


If there was one fictional item you could have in real life, what would it be?  

CC: A Green Lantern power ring, of course.



If you were sucked into a game like “Jumanji,” which game would you at least want to be put into?  

JR: Monopoly. It’s the only way I’ll have the chance to own property (sorry, might have gone too real on that one!).

CC: Candy Land.





Find a participating comic shop near you to celebrate Free Comic Book Day 2024!



Follow Us Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Instagram Icon YouTube Icon