GASPAR SALADINO in THE WITCHING HOUR

All images © DC Comics. From THE WITCHING HOUR #8, April-May 1970

This mild horror title ran 85 issues from 1969 to 1978. It was edited originally by Dick Giordano, then by Murray Boltinoff, and it followed the pattern of other similar DC titles like HOUSE OF MYSTERY, THE UNEXPECTED, and GHOSTS. At first it was full of short stories by DC veterans like Alex Toth, but over time it became dominated by art from The Phillippines, something DC did to keep costs down. Gaspar Saladino did the fine logo in the form of a giant word balloon, and he lettered many of the covers but just a few stories inside. His first cover above has a large balloon with large display lettering to add drama to this Neal Adams cover.

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GASPAR SALADINO in WESTERN COMICS

All images © DC Comics. From WESTERN COMICS #31, Jan-Feb 1952

This title began in 1948 and ran 85 issues to 1961. Unlike other DC western comics, it was initially edited by Jack Schiff and his assistants George Kashdan and Murray Boltinoff. With issue #43 in 1954, Julius Schwartz became the editor, which made sense as he was already editing the other DC western titles. Gaspar Saladino lettered no covers for the series, nearly all were by Ira Schnapp. Under Schiff he lettered just two stories, but when Schwartz took over, bringing in his regulars, Gaspar became the main letterer, sometimes doing entire issues. On his first story, above, the feature logo is by Ira Schnapp, who did them all for the series, the rest is by Saladino. Gaspar’s wide and angular lettering is present, and there are two style points that help identify him: the open letter over a black shape at the start of the first caption and the organic border with tiny zig-zags around that caption.

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GASPAR SALADINO in WEIRD WORLDS

All images © DC Comics. From WEIRD WORLDS #1, Aug-Sept 1972

In 1972 DC Comics licensed characters from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and continued the existing titles TARZAN and KORAK (son of Tarzan) previously published by Western. They ran backups in each featuring John Carter, Warlord of Mars and David Innes in Pellucidar, and later in 1972 DC began this new title featuring those characters, each getting half of each issue. It must not have sold very well, because the last three issues dropped the Burroughs characters in favor of a new one, Iron Wolf, a sword and sorcery creation of writer/artist Howard Chaykin. That must not have caught on quickly either, but DC was not patient then, and the book ended essentially with issue #9 in early 1974, with the final issue in late 1974, probably to use the third Iron Wolf story already completed. I enjoyed this series, and was sorry there weren’t more. Gaspar Saladino lettered many of the covers and just one inside page. I’ll show all that here, beginning with the covers. On the first one, above, his WEIRD WORLDS logo is at the top, and his captions are at the bottom.

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GASPAR SALADINO in WEIRD WESTERN TALES

All images © DC Comics. From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #13, Aug-Sept 1972

DC Comics had had success with westerns in the 1950s, but they had faded in appeal in the 1960s. They tried a revival of ALL-STAR WESTERN in 1970, but it didn’t go so well until they introduced the disfigured bounty hunter Jonah Hex, who was a surprising hit. That pointed out a new direction, and with issue #12 the title was changed to WEIRD WESTERN TALES. Jonah continued to be the star until getting his own series in 1977, when Scalphunter took the lead. That character did fine, but not as well as Jonah, and the series lasted to issue 70 in 1980. Gaspar Saladino lettered some of the covers and two stories for the book. The cover above has his logo that splits the two genres neatly, and his banner below.

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RAY PERRY to LARRY NADLE, Letters and Art

All images from the collection of Ken Nadle, used with permission. Raymond Perry portrait of Larry Nadle, March 17 1952 (I think).

Raymond Perry had a long and fascinating career as an illustrator and fine artist before he began working in comics, and then he drew an adaptation of “Ivanhoe” for Major Malcolm Wheeler Nicholson’s NEW FUN COMICS (later MORE FUN COMICS) from 1935 to 1937. Some time after the Major’s company was taken over by Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz around 1938, Perry began working in their production department where one of his jobs was to color most of the covers, according to Jerry Robinson. He also did many text page headers, both lettering and art. He worked on staff at National (later called DC Comics) from about 1938 nearly until his death in 1960 at the age of 84. For more about Perry’s life and career I recommend THIS article on Alex Jay’s blog, and MY OWN article about his DC work. Larry Nadle began working for All-American Comics some time in the early 1940s, and when that company merged with National/DC around 1946, he came over along with other editors like Sheldon Mayer, Julius Schwartz and Robert Kanigher. Larry’s forté was humor, and he edited many humor titles for DC, from funny animals to teen humor to Hollywood humor like THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE. Larry’s brother Martin was a humor artist for DC, but he spelled his last name Naydel to make that connection less obvious I guess. Larry was born in 1913, and he did many kinds of humor writing himself, a Wikipedia article about him is HERE. He died in 1963 at age 50. These two DC staffers became close friends, and Larry’s son Ken has sent me scans of letters and art by Perry that he wanted to share. Ken told me that, after holding on to them for 50 years, he’s now thinking about selling these items. If you’re interested in purchasing any, please CONTACT ME through my website and I will put you in touch with Ken. Raymond Perry’s art is known and appreciated in the fine art world, which has not yet seen any of these works by him. Above is his portrait of Larry, I think in oils. Perry liked to do small portraits of people he knew, and I believe other DC staffers also received one from him, but this is the first example I’ve seen. Comparing it to photos of Nadle, I think it’s a good likeness.

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