Gaspar Saladino continued to create logos for DC Comics regularly, but not nearly as often as in the past, from 1986 to 1988. Then his logo output nearly stopped, as far as I can tell, with just one for DC in 1991 and none after that. In a sense he had been replaced by younger designers, just as he had replaced Ira Schnapp beginning in 1967. I don’t know what he thought about this, but Gaspar continued to do story lettering and cover lettering for the company for some time. Digital desktop publishing was gradually making its way into comics, and newer companies like Image and Malibu were pioneers in establishing an all-digital workflow around 1994, including digital lettering by Comicraft and others. DC was much slower to adopt digital, but by the late 1990s, covers were being assembled that way, and I was doing a lot of DC’s cover lettering digitally on my first Apple computer. Gaspar had no interest in learning computer lettering, so he was gradually shut out of his first and best market, DC. He continued to hand-letter comics stories for the company until DC made the switch to an all-digital workflow in 2002. At that point, Gaspar was essentially retired as a DC letterer. He turned 75 that year, and I think he was content to enjoy his family and they spent a lot of time in Florida as well as Long Island. Gaspar was occasionally called on by DC for his unique hand lettering on covers, including for the BATMAN ’66 series beginning with issue #3 in 2013, something I think he enjoyed. That work extended Gaspar’s DC career to seven decades, an amazing feat in itself.
As I mentioned in the first article in this series, Saladino’s Wikipedia page credits him with logo designs for Neal Adams’ Continuity Associates and also Eclipse Comics in the 1980s, but I’ve looked at every cover by both publishers and I don’t see any work by Gaspar. The Wikipedia page also says he did product logos for Eclipse editor cat yronwode’s separate business Lucky Mojo Curio Company in the 1990s, and I do see some of those in online images, but as they’re not comics logos, I won’t attempt to cover them here. One final comics logo came from Gaspar late in his career, and I will include it at the end of this article.
DC editor Karen Berger was one of the few younger editors at the company who seemed to appreciate Gaspar’s logo work, and he did a fine one, above, for a Legion of Super-Heroes mini-series. The lightning bolt slash of the giant L lines up with the top of the large 3 to make it memorable.Continue reading