Category Archives: Creating Comics

GASPAR SALADINO in WARLORD

All images © DC Comics. From WARLORD #2, March-April 1976

The creation of writer/artist Mike Grell, WARLORD had a tryout in 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #8, then went right to its own series. This is a bit surprising, but Grell had been working at DC since 1973, and had become a fan favorite on titles like GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW. There was a gap of several months between issues 2 and 3 suggesting Grell had prepared the first two for a tryout and needed some time to get on schedule when it became a series. The book was popular and lasted to 1988 with 133 issues, though Grell had moved on by then. Gaspar Saladino lettered several stories, including the first one, and many of the covers. I’ll look at covers first. The logo and top line were designed by Grell. Though it reads THE WARLORD, the indicia used only the main word. On the cover above, Gaspar lettered the blurb on the right side of the top banner, imitating the logo style.

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GASPAR SALADINO in WANTED

All images © DC Comics. From WANTED #1, July-Aug 1972

This was a reprint series focused on villains that lasted nine issues, after two prototypes in DC SPECIAL. The full title was WANTED: THE WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS VILLAINS!, way too long, but Gaspar wisely made the first word the important one in his logo. He lettered all the covers, and as there are only nine, I’ll show them here. One clever design idea is that each cover is set up like a wanted poster, with the captions pinned to it along with the art.

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GASPAR SALADINO in OTHER U and V TITLES

All images © DC Comics. From THE UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BATMAN #1, July 1980

There are just three titles in this article that didn’t have enough material to make separate entries. The one above was a three issue miniseries for which Gaspar Saladino did different logo lettering on each issue and all the cover lettering. The Marvel-style text is surely the work of writer Len Wein.

From THE UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BATMAN #2, Aug 1980

Another blurb at the bottom of this cover with over-the-top text meant to grab readers, and it did.

From THE UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BATMAN #3, Sept 1980

Another fun blurb on this cover, and my favorite of the logo versions.

From V #1, Feb 1985

This series was based on a science fiction TV show of the time and ran 18 issues, many with Saladino cover lettering. The single letter title made for difficult cover layouts, but Gaspar did well with his cover lettering here.

From V #2, March 1985

Gaspar would use nearly rectangular balloons like this one occasionally, when the words fit best that way, or just to add interest.

From V #9, Oct 1985

Sometimes stretching open letters horizontally and vertically in the same blurb made it more interesting.

From V #10, Dec 1985

Sometimes just emphasizing one word was the best idea.

From V #15, April 1986

Here variety in size and style gives the caption more appeal.

From V #16, May 1986

When he needed to fill an odd shape, Gaspar always rose to the occasion with a creative solution.

From VERTIGO JAM #1 1993

This one-shot was a sampler of then current features from the DC Comics Vertigo imprint, and unusually, contained all new material. Gaspar lettered the Hellblazer story.

To sum up, these covers have Saladino lettering:

THE UNTOLD LEGEND OF THE BATMAN: 1-3

V: 1-2, 7, 9, 11-13, 15-18

That’s 14 in all. The story above was 13 pages. Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

GASPAR SALADINO in VIGILANTE

All images © DC Comics. From VIGILANTE #3, Feb 1984

This character was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez in THE NEW TEEN TITANS and starred in his own series that ran 50 issues from 1983 to 1988. Gaspar Saladino lettered many of the covers and one inside story. I did the series logo, and on this cover Saladino’s top blurb includes a tiny version of the Cyborg logo I designed, so Gaspar’s lettering is pretty basic. He would do more interesting work on other covers.

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GASPAR SALADINO in THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER

All images © DC Comics. From THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER #208, Oct 1977

This character, a World War Two intelligence agent with a badly disfigured face that he usually wraps in bandages (except when going in disguise) first appeared in OUR ARMY AT WAR in 1966. He moved to STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES, where he was popular and gradually took over the lead and cover. In 1977, with issue #205, that book was renamed for him, and went on for another 64 issues until 1982. Gaspar Saladino lettered many of the covers and a few stories inside. His first cover, above, has standard lettering and open display lettering that help tell the story.

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