GASPAR SALADINO in GODZILLA

All images © Marvel, from GODZILLA #21, April 1979

Marvel licensed and created this comics series in 1977 to 1979, and it ran 24 issues. Gaspar Saladino lettered two covers (if I have that right) and a number of first story pages. I’ll look at the covers first. The one above has lettering that might be either by Saladino or by Marvel staffer Danny Crespi, but the style of THE in the last line points toward Saladino.

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GASPAR SALADINO in GIANT-SIZE…

All images © Marvel. From GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #3, Feb 1975

In 1974 and 1975, Marvel flooded the market with these annual-sized comics under many titles, but all beginning with GIANT-SIZE. Some were all new material, some were all-reprints, many were a mix of both. Gaspar Saladino did cover or story lettering for quite a few, and I’m detailing that here. Rather than try to go chronologically, I’m going alphabetically by title. The cover lettering on the first one, above, is by Saladino, though the giant numbers are part of the cover art. WHO in the final balloon with a burst around it adds energy and drama.

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GASPAR SALADINO in CLIVE BARKER’S HELLRAISER

All images © Clive Barker and Marvel. From CLIVE BARKER’S HELLRAISER #2, 1990

Here’s one I missed earlier. Hellraiser began with the novella “The Hellbound Heart” by horror writer Clive Barker, then quickly became a long series of horror films. Marvel published this horror anthology comic through their Epic imprint, and it ran 20 issues from 1989 to 1993. Most issues had several stories usually with painted art by different creative teams. Gaspar Saladino lettered quite a few of the stories. The first one, above, has a very Gaspar story title. These were all likely lettered on vellum overlays either placed on the painted art if it was available, or more often on photocopies of the art. The lettering was then combined with the art photographically, or possibly digitally toward the end of the run, I’m not sure when Marvel started doing that.

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And Then I Read: THE URTH OF THE NEW SUN by Gene Wolfe

Gene Wolfe’s books that I’ve read so far have been a mixed bag for me. I liked “The Book of the New Sun,” a four-novel series which I reviewed in PART ONE and PART TWO, but did not at all like his novel “Peace.” This book is called a coda to Book of the New Sun, so I thought I’d try it. It follows Severian, the ruler or Autarch of Urth, which is our own world far in the future when our sun is dying. Severian has been granted a chance to travel through space to the distant world of Yesod to be judged. If he is worthy, he will be granted the power to bring a new sun to Urth, restoring vitality to the world, but at the cost of great cataclysms and calamities for the inhabitants.

Wolfe has an annoying tendency to bury or skip over the most important events of a story, leaving the reader puzzled and unsure what exactly happened, or at least this reader. It was so in Book of the New Sun a few times, but there was enough continuous narrative around those events to make filling in the blanks not too difficult. Peace was just the opposite, I never could figure out exactly what was happening, and the story skipped around continuously in time to add to the confusion. This novel is somewhere between those two poles, with more annoying guesswork and skipping around in time than Book. I enjoyed parts of it, but overall I can’t recommend it, and I found it frustrating and disappointing as a sequel. The book was nominated for several top awards, so I might be in a minority here, and if you’re interested, I suggest you try it for yourself.

The Urth of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe

GASPAR SALADINO in GHOST RIDER

All images © Marvel. From GHOST RIDER #3, Dec 1973

This title about a demonic biker ran 81 issues from 1973 to 1983. Gaspar Saladino designed the logo and lettered a few covers as well as many first pages inside the book. I’ll look at covers first. On the first one above, the curved arrow caption is something Gaspar liked to do. Marvel’s preference for reversing the lettering and/or filling in around open lettering makes that harder to identify here, but the balloon borders and lettering certainly look like Saladino to me.

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