GASPAR SALADINO at ATLAS/SEABOARD Part 2

All images © Nemesis Group. From SAVAGE COMBAT TALES #1, Feb 1975

As I explained in Part 1, this company is referred to as Atlas/Seaboard to set it apart from the Atlas Comics name used by Marvel in the 1950s. It was a large but short-lived line from former Marvel publisher Martin Goodman, with all titles having a 1975 cover date, and none later than October of that year. Continuing to look at the cover and story lettering by Gaspar Saladino, this war title shows that Goodman was trying to compete in many then-current comics genres, but perhaps spreading resources too thin. Gaspar’s excellent war comics lettering was perfect for this cover, but the war comics audience was already dwindling and I think not likely to pick up new titles.

From SAVAGE COMBAT TALES #2, April 1975

It always amuses me when thought balloons have such strong emphasis. Those are mighty strong thoughts! But, of course, it adds to the drama, as Saladino knew well.

From THE SCORPION #2, May 1975

Here the dialogue verges into melodrama, but it does explain the scene perfectly.

From TALES OF EVIL #1, Feb 1975

You can’t get more dramatic than this cover logo, who could resist it, or that dynamic scream?

From TALES OF EVIL #2, April 1975

Goodman wanted his comics to compete with Marvel and DC and look very much like them, and they did, partly due to Gaspar’s logos and lettering. Here the concept is similar to DC’s Swamp Thing, but Saladino wisely didn’t go in quite the same direction.

From TALES OF EVIL #2, April 1975

Saladino also lettered two stories for the horror anthology, here’s one. Letterer and colorist credits were not included, which was probably okay with Gaspar. WEREWOLF in the title is fine brush lettering.

From TALES OF EVIL #3, July 1975

More brush lettering in this story title, and great contrast between the two parts of it.

From TARGITT #1, March 1975

The bottom section of the caption here is oddly shaped, I suspect THE BOSTON originally sat on top of TEA PARTY, and that whole title was larger, but it was changed and rearranged after Saladino did it.

From THRILLING ADVENTURE STORIES #1, Feb 1975

In addition to color comics, Atlas/Seaboard also put out a line of magazine-size black-and-white titles meant to compete with Marvel’s similar line and those from Warren. Gaspar’s story title is bursting with energy.

From THRILLING ADVENTURE STORIES #2, Aug 1975

The story title on this fine page by Walter Simonson is probably by the artist, who also did the balloon and caption shapes, but Saladino’s lettering works well with it.

From TIGER-MAN #1, April 1975

Most of the Atlas/Seaboard so-called superheroes had a horror feel to them. In this lettering, Saladino pushed the superhero aspect, while the art by Ernie Colon goes more toward horror, I’d say.

From VICKI #1, Feb 1975

The company also imitated Marvel’s teen humor books, which in turn imitated those from Archie Comics, so no new ideas here.

From VICKI #3, June 1975

I like Saladino’s sound effects, especially the way one of them goes over the word balloon.

From WEIRD SUSPENSE #1, Feb 1975

Atlas/Seaboard got as close to Spider-Man as they could without copying it exactly, though here the approach is toward horror, and a face few readers could love.

From WEIRD SUSPENSE #2, April 1975

Lots of fine Saladino lettering on this cover, and I like the ragged caption border.

From WESTERN ACTION #1, Feb 1975

If Marvel was selling them, Atlas/Seaboard wanted to do the same, as with this western title, but the ones at Marvel had been running for over a decade, and had the edge. At DC, westerns were fading.

From WULF THE BARBARIAN #2, April 1975

Finally we have the Atlas/Seaboard version of Conan. I liked this one at the time. The caption is by Gaspar, I think the word balloons are by someone else.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers:

THE BRUTE #1-3

THE COUGAR #1

THE DESTRUCTOR #2-3

THE GRIM GHOST #2

IRONJAW #2-3

MORLOCK 2001 #2

PHOENIX #2

PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES #1-2

POLICE ACTION #2

SAVAGE COMBAT TALES #1-2

THE SCORPION #2

TALES OF EVIL #1-2

TARGITT #1

TIGER-MAN #1

VICKI #1, #3

WEIRD SUSPENSE #1-2

WESTERN ACTION #1

WULF THE BARBARIAN #2

Thats a total of 27. Below are the details of his story lettering.

THE COUGAR #1: 20pp

PHOENIX #2: 20pp, #3: 11pp

PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES #2: 20pp

POLICE ACTION #1: 10pp, #2: 10pp

TALES OF EVIL #2: 9pp, #3: 12pp

THRILLING ADVENTURE STORIES #1: 8pp, #2: 11pp

That’s 131 pages in all. More articles about the lettering work of Gaspar Saladino can be found on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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