All images © the respective copyright holders. From T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1, Nov 1965

This article features a small amount of Gaspar Saladino lettering at two publishers. Tower was a paperback book publisher who got into comics from 1965-69 with two lines of books: Wally Wood’s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS and spinoffs, superheroic action, and TIPPY TEEN and spinoffs, Archie-like teen humor. Wood co-edited his books, and did wonderful art on some of them, but many other artists were also brought in. Gaspar lettered two full stories and half of a third for the line. His first story, above has a typical caption and story title on the first page, and he might also have done the character logo. The pencils are by Gil Kane on some pages, George Tuska on others. It seems like a first issue should have been planned with time enough to have one artist do all the pencilling, but apparently not.

From T.HU.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1, Nov 1965

Here’s the last page of the story, also with Kane art, and a great sound effect from Gaspar. He has said Kane was his favorite artist, and they worked together often.

From T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #14, July 1967

This story in issue #14 has script and art credited to Gil Kane, and he probably asked to have Gaspar letter it. Letterers rarely received credit at this time anywhere except Marvel (thanks largely to demands from Artie Simek), but Gaspar’s style of wide, angular lettering is here, though Gil added his own signature in the bottom caption.

From T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #14, July 1967

The last page of the story has a fine sound effect and several different balloon styles, as well as a typical THE END from Gaspar.

From T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #16, Oct 1967

This story ran ten pages, but Saladino lettered only the first five. I don’t know why, but the likely reason is the story was a rush job to meet a printing deadline. The pencils are again by Gil Kane, and Gaspar’s large story title commands attention. The NO-MAN logo is by Wally Wood.

From T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #16, Oct 1967

Saladino’s last page of lettering for Tower, page 5 of the story.

From THE PHANTOM #19, Nov 1966

King Features was and remains the largest newspaper comic strip syndicate, and generally they licensed the right to publish comics about their features and characters to comics publishers, but for about a year in 1966-67, they tried publishing their own comics. THE PHANTOM had been licensed to Western Publishing before King began their own series, and they kept that numbering. Gaspar lettered two five-page Flash Gordon stories that ran as backups in THE PHANTOM with art by Gil Kane, so it’s likely he brought in Gaspar as part of his deal. A page from the first one is above. Saladino lettered everything but the character logo.

From THE PHANTOM #20, Jan 1967

Here’s the first page of the second story. I don’t know if Gaspar lettered the story title. I like his scroll caption at the top.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering in these issues:

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS #1: 12pp, #14: 10pp, #16: 5pp

THE PHANTOM #19: 5pp, #20: 5pp

That’s 37 pages in all. More articles about Gaspar’s lettering can be found on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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