Celebrating Gaspar Saladino

Today there is a remarkable series of blog posts going up at DIAL B FOR BLOG focusing on the work and career of my favorite letterer, Gaspar Saladino. The entire 12-part series is being posted over the span of today, one part every two hours. Other sites are joining the Gaspar celebration, a full list can be found here.

Gaspar was an inspiration to me, especially his cover lettering and house ad work, which I often studied. In 1985, while on staff at DC, I put together a 54-page xeroxed collection of Gaspar’s cover lettering, as a source for myself, and also for the production staff assembling the DC covers, as sometimes we were able to reuse parts of Gaspar’s work, to save him and us a little time. Gaspar’s cover lettering, while I was on staff, was all done on plate or smooth finish one-ply Strathmore Bristol Board art paper. This was just thin enough to enable one to see through it to work around logos when necessary, and top quality photostats could be made from it, which is what was usually pasted on the cover art.

All those pieces of art paper with Gaspar’s cover lettering were stored in a few bulging folders in a file drawer in the DC production room. When I had time, I went through what was there, mostly from the late 1970s to 1985, and put together these reference pages. While this collection represents a massive amount of work, it’s only a small part of what Gaspar did on covers alone. The first 13 pages are below, I’ll be running more on each of the next three days, covering the entire project. As I’ve been scanning them, I’m once again marveling over the endless creativity and terrific style of Gaspar’s work. It is truly a joy to behold, and reminds me once again why Gaspar will always be my favorite letterer.

All lettering © DC Comics, Inc.

7 thoughts on “Celebrating Gaspar Saladino

  1. Bill4935

    Great Stuff!

    I especially like “She calls herself the Executrix…”

    …and she’s here to disburse your late uncle’s bequests??

  2. Porticulo

    I would love to see somebody produce a complete ransom note-style story just using these exclamatory sentence fragments.
    I think my favorite is ARMORDILLO!, Just floating in space devoid of any context. They all are, but that one seems particularly ridiculous and inexplicable. Yeah, okay, Armordillo, nobody’s ever heard of you. You don’t get to have those epic, fancy letters.

  3. Robby Reed

    An amazing collection, Todd! Genius on every page, and many pages. Thanks for your help in shining a well-deserved spotlight on Gaspar! Clem Robins just e-mailed me that Gaspar is befuddled by all this attention. He knows how good he is, but he is so humble it is remarkable!

  4. Chuk

    I like the Ambush Bug ones best. This guy really worked on everything, didn’t he? As a kid I just figured it was a bunch of different letterers…

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