GASPAR SALADINO at CONTINUITY

All images © Continuity Publishing. From THE REVENGERS FEATURING ARMOR AND SILVER STREAK #2, (ARMOR #2), June 1986

Art genius Neal Adams burst onto the comics scene in the late 1960s at DC Comics, creating a new dynamic and hyper-realistic style of covers and story art that readers and fans loved. He also did fine work for Marvel Comics, and was an important part of the turnaround at DC in the 1970s, helping new publisher Jenette Kahn bring fans and readers back to the company. Neal formed his own studio, Continuity Associates, that did all kinds of work, from comics to advertising, and from 1984 to 1994 Continuity published their own comics. They were beautiful to look at, but the stories were sometimes odd and violent, and issues were often late, discouraging return buyers and retailers alike. Neal and his associates, many top creators themselves, did fine artwork, and from 1986 to 1988, Gaspar Saladino lettered some of their comics. In the first example above, he did all the balloon lettering, but the balloon borders may have been made thicker by someone else. I’m not sure if he did any of the top title lettering, I don’t think so, but as with nearly all these examples, he lettered the entire story. Gaspar and Neal had worked together at DC, of course, most famously on SUPERMAN VS. MUHAMMAD ALI, but on plenty of other things before that as well as comics features for NATIONAL LAMPOON, and I see Neal turning to Gaspar for story lettering as a sign that he was going all-in on quality.

From THE REVENGERS FEATURING MEGALITH #3 (ARMOR #3), Feb 1987

Gaspar did all the lettering on this first story page and again the rest of the story, and some of these were longer than the standard comics of the time. This story was 27 pages.

From ARMOR #4, July 1988

Gaspar lettered all the balloons and captions on this page, but the title is mostly repeated from earlier issues, and probably not by him. I think the captions have double outlines, but the color is so dark it’s hard to be sure. I like the burst in the first balloon.

From ARMOR #5, Dec 1988

The burst balloons on this page are great, full of drama and energy. Gaspar didn’t receive lettering credits, but that was probably okay with him, he didn’t seem to care about that, and perhaps preferred not to have it at companies other than DC, his main employer.

From THE REVENGERS FEATURING MEGALITH #3, Nov 1986

On the other hand, Saladino did get a lettering credit on this issue, so it may have just been overlooked on others. I’m not sure if Gaspar did this CAPTAIN LAW logo, he might have, or maybe not. I like the final burst balloon on this page.

From THE REVENGERS FEATURING MEGALITH #4, March 1988

Another issue with a Saladino credit. You can see from the long time between these issues how erratic and haphazard the Continuity titles could be, which didn’t help sales. They looked great, though. I think the coloring was done using the blueline method: the art was printed in light blue on watercolor-friendly paper and in black on acetate, which the colorist used to check the work. Here the black plate is a little out of register, so there are color areas intruding into some of the lettering.

From TOYBOY FEATURING TORGEN AND MEGALITH #1 (TOYBOY #1), Oct 1986

Here again Gaspar is not credited, though the balloon lettering is typical for him. Someone else might have thickened the balloon borders, and Gaspar did not do the logo.

From TOYBOY #4, Feb 1988

Saladino is credited here, so that seems somewhat random. The very rectangular balloon near the bottom shows how he adapted to fit the space and the words in some cases.

From TOYBOY #5, June 1988

Here Gaspar lettered the story title under the existing logo. A circle behind a larger initial letter is a familiar style for him in some captions.

From TOYBOY #6, Nov 1988

This story is incorrectly credited to Ken Bruzenak, who was doing lettering work for Continuity at the time, but his style is different from Gaspar’s.

From CAPTAIN POWER AND THE SOLDIERS OF THE FUTURE #1, Aug 1988

This 24-page story is lettered by Bruzenak except for pages 2-6, which are by Saladino. Perhaps he started it and couldn’t continue. I don’t know why Gaspar didn’t letter more stories for Continuity after 1988.

To sum up, here are the details of Saladino’s story lettering.

ARMOR #2: 25pp, #3: 27pp, #4: 25pp, #5: 19pp

CAPTAIN POWER #1: 5pp

REVENGERS #3: 25pp, #4: 25pp

TOYBOY #1: 24pp, #4: 24pp, #5: 25pp, #6: 23pp

That’s a total of 247 pages, a good amount of work at this small publisher. More articles about Gaspar’s lettering are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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