GASPAR SALADINO at DISNEY COMICS

All images © Disney. From CHIP ‘N’ DALE RESCUE RANGERS #18, Nov 1991

Walt Disney Productions had been licensing their properties to comic book publishers for many years, Western Publishing for decades, then Gladstone starting in 1985, but from 1990 to 1992, Disney decided to publish their own comics. They brought in comics veteran Len Wein as editor-in-chief, and Len was soon hiring many creators he’d known from DC and Marvel, including his favorite letterer Gaspar Saladino. Gaspar lettered quite a few stories and this one cover for Disney Comics in those years, and later he returned to letter stories for the digest-size magazine DISNEY ADVENTURES in 1996-97. I’ll write about that last. First, the work he did in 90-92, taking the titles in alphabetical order (using the titles from the indicias). As the logo designer and letterer of DC’s SWAMP THING with Len Wein, Gaspar was the perfect choice for the cover blurb above!

From DISNEY’S DARKWING DUCK LIMITED SERIES #1, Nov 1991

Saladino lettered the entire 24-page story for the first issue of this cartoon tie-in series, though not the story title, which is type, and he didn’t do all of the sound effects, some are by artist John Blair Moore. The Grand Comics Database has him as the letterer for all four issues of the series, but I haven’t found examples online of the other issues. I will accept their credits on all this Disney work, though.

From DISNEY’S NEW ADVENTURES OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, 1992

This was a two-issue series, and Gaspar lettered all the stories in both issues, three eight-pagers in issue #1 and a 16 and 8-pager in issue #2, but as with many of these comics, it’s difficult to find images online. I imagine Disney polices that more that most companies. This is the final page of an eight-pager, but I’m not sure which issue it’s from.

From DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID LIMITED SERIES #2, March 1992

Another four-issue series for which Saladino did all the lettering, but I’ve found only one example online. The story title here is by Gaspar.

From DISNEY’S THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER, 1990

A 62-page adaptation of the Disney animated film, all lettered by Saladino. Again, I don’t think he did the sound effect. Of the work Gaspar did for Disney Comics, this has the earliest publication date, though the release date isn’t known.

From THE ROCKETEER: THE OFFICIAL MOVIE ADAPTATION #1, June 1991, original art courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Another adaptation, this time of a live-action film, and Gaspar was a fine choice for letterer over art by Russ Heath. I like the energy in the first balloon, and I think he did the photo inscription in panel 4.

From THE ROCKETEER: THE OFFICIAL MOVIE ADAPTATION #1, June 1991

Here’s a page from the printed comic. The story was 64 pages. Of course the film was adapted from a comics series by Dave Stevens, which is superior in my opinion, but I like this version too.

From ROGER RABBIT’S TOONTOWN #5, Dec 1991

This series was a five-issue spinoff from the main ROGER RABBIT comic, itself a spinoff from the live action/animated film. Gaspar lettered only one story for the final issue. I designed the WEASELS logo. I particularly like the small lettering in the comics art page in panel five.

From WALT DISNEY’S DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES #30, Nov 1992

Donald Duck comics had been around for decades, and were very popular around the world. Some countries created and published their own Donald stories, which were then available to whoever held the US Disney Comics license to reprint. That happened in this series when they weren’t reprinting Carl Barks classics from the Western Publishing era. Gaspar lettered this entire story, his only one for the book, and he also did the story title. The art is by Chilean artist Victor Arrigada Rios (Vicar) done for the Danish publisher Egmont.

From WALT DISNEY’S SPRING FEVER #1, April 1991

Disney Comics put out several seasonal anthologies. Gaspar lettered several stories for this one, but I could only find this one poor image from a Goofy single-page story. The story title and sound effects are by Saladino.

From WALT DISNEY’S SUMMER FUN #1, June 1991

Another seasonal anthology. Gaspar lettered a four page story inside, but I have no image of it, so I’m putting the cover here as a place-holder. Gaspar did no work on it.

From DISNEY ADVENTURES Volume 3 #1, Nov 1992

Now we come to this square-bound digest-size magazine full of all things Disney, with many issues including one or more short comics stories. I think it sold well at supermarket checkouts and by subscription if not in comics shops, and it lasted from 1990 to 2007, continuing to be produced by Disney itself after the comic book license returned to Gladstone and then went to Gemstone. Gaspar lettered one eight-page story for this issue, his only one in the 90-92 time period. (He did no work on this cover.)

From DISNEY ADVENTURES Volume 3 #1, Nov 1992

The story featured Darkwing Duck and was created with 3-D effects, so this image doesn’t reproduce well, but you can see some Saladino balloon lettering on it, and he also did the newspaper lettering.

From DISNEY ADVENTURES Volume 6 #5, March 1996

By 1996, Heidi MacDonald was the comics editor for the magazine, and she began using Saladino again on comics stories. This issue had a 12-page Aladdin story he lettered according to the Grand Comics Database, but I’ve found no images from it. Gaspar did no work on this cover.

From DISNEY ADVENTURES Volume 6 #6, April 1996

Gaspar lettered part two of the Aladdin story also, another twelve pages, which appeared in the next issue. I’ve found an image from that one, and it includes Saladino sound effects.

From DISNEY ADVENTURES Volume 7 #4, Jan 1997

I’m going to skip over Gaspar’s other story lettering for the magazine except for two examples, the only ones I can find images for, though Saladino’s fine title work at the top is clear enough on the one above. This is “Part 2,” but I have no record for Part 1, clearly it ran in some previous issue, but I don’t know which one. It’s not listed for the issue before this in the GCD, but that could be an error.

From DISNEY ADVENTURES Volume 8 #4 Feb 1998

Here’s a page from the last Saladino story I can find with my limited resources, I’ve probably missed some. Everything but the Hercules logo is by Gaspar on this page.

To sum up, Saladino lettered the cover of CHIP ‘N’ DALE RESCUE RANGERS #18 and the stories listed below

DISNEY’S DARKWING DUCK LIMITED SERIES 1991-92 #1: 24pp, #2: 26pp, #3: 25pp, #4: 25pp

DISNEY’S NEW ADVENTURES OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (MINI-SERIES) 1992 #1: 24pp, #2: 24pp

DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID LIMITED SERIES 1992 #1: 24pp, #2: 24pp, #3: 26pp, #4: 26pp

DISNEY’S THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER 1990: 62pp

THE ROCKETEER: THE OFFICIAL MOVIE ADAPTATION #1 1991: 64pp

ROGER RABBIT’S TOONTOWN #5 1991: 8pp

WALT DISNEY’S DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES #30 1992: 22pp

WALT DISNEY’S SPRING FEVER #1 1991: 1pp, 6pp, 1pp, 10pp

WALT DISNEY’S SUMMER FUN #1 1991: 4pp

DISNEY ADVENTURES Vol 3 #1 Nov 1992: Darkwing Duck 8pp

Vol 6 #5 March 1996: Aladdin 12pp

Vol 6 #6 April 1996: Aladdin 12pp

Vol 6 #13 Oct 1996: The Lion King’s Timon & Pumbaa 10pp

Vol 6 #14 Nov 1996: Mighty Ducks 16pp

Vol 7 #4 Jan 1997: Gargoyles 12pp (this is Part 2, which is puzzling, where is Part 1? It’s not listed in the previous issue, but is probably there. I have no way to check)

Vol 7 #5 Feb 1997: Goof Troop 1pp, Mighty Ducks 12pp

Vol 7 #8 May 1997: Aladdin 1pp, Timon & Pumbaa 2pp, Aladdin 4pp

Vol 7 #9 June 1997: Mighty Ducks 12pp

Vol 7 #10 June 1997: Timon & Pumbaa 1pp

Vol 7 #11 July 1997: Timon & Pumbaa 2pp

Vol 7 #12 Aug 1997: Mighty Ducks 12pp

Vol 7 #15 Oct 1997: Timon & Pumbaa 4pp

Vol 8 #2 Dec 1997: Mighty Ducks 1pp, Timon & Pumbaa 1pp

Vol 8 #4 Feb 1998: Hercules 8pp, Timon & Pumbaa 1pp

That’s a total of 558 pages, a good amount of lettering, and in the 1990s, when Saladino wasn’t getting as much work from DC and Marvel as he had been in previous decades. More articles on Saladino’s lettering are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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