GASPAR SALADINO in ARAK, SON OF THUNDER

All images © DC Comics. From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #1, Sept 1981

This creation of Roy Thomas and Ernie Colón was an interesting sort of historical fantasy taking place in pre-colonial America. Gaspar Saladino did not letter any of the stories, but he did letter most of the covers, and I’ll show some I like here. There are two bursts on this cover with his lettering, each has a different style of border, one is rounded scoops, the other is straight points. The story title is fanciful and creative. Gaspar also did the monumental logo.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #2, Oct 1981

I believe I did the story title at lower left, but Gaspar did the handsome burst near the logo. I was on staff at DC at the time, and the story title might have been a last-minute addition I was asked to provide, I don’t recall. A rare treat to share a cover with Gaspar!

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #3, Nov 1981

Here Saladino did the top line burst and the story title at left with deep telescoping. I’m not sure why he went in that direction, but it is similar to the logo.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #5, Jan 1982

That space above the RA in the logo seems tailor made for a small blurb, and here’s another one. The story title makes good use of block letters.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #7, March 1982

Two well-made captions on this cover, the first in a banner with great texture on BEHEMOTH, the second in a notched paper look.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #8, April 1982

The ragged scroll on this cover uses letters with a Celtic influence, which successfully steers clear of any religious connotations.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #12, Aug 1982

This cover blurb gives Saladino a chance to use his horror style on HELL, but I also like the tall lower case F in FERRYMAN, creative and unusual.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #13, Sept 1982

I like the Valda burst coming out of the inset art circle here, and the texture and creepy styles in the caption.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #17, Jan 1983

Both the scroll caption and circle are well done here, and the large size of the scroll, since there was room, makes it more effective. BYZANTIUM never seemed more exotic than with Gaspar’s creative letter shapes!

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #20, April 1983

Another impressive scroll caption, this one has lots of texture and appealing open letters.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #24, Aug 1983

Saladino’s additions to this burst-through scroll add excitement.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #29, Jan 1984

That space at the top is again well used, and the story title has well-crafted creepy letters.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #32, April 1984

This caption is short and to the point, but Gaspar’s contrasting styles add a lot to its appeal.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #33, May 1984

This scroll caption works well, but the white letters make the top and bottom lines recede and put the emphasis on the two center lines. It should have been the reverse, but that was not Saladino’s doing.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #37, Sept 1984

Valda had long been a popular character in this book, and here she gets the cover with a fine story title by Gaspar. I had been commissioned to do a Valda character logo, this one by Saladino would have worked perfectly.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #40, Jan 1985

I love the style of BAGHDAD in the burst at upper left, too bad it isn’t bigger, but that would have made the A in the logo even harder to read.

From ARAK, SON OF THUNDER #50, Nov 1985

The fiftieth issue was the last, as Gaspar’s lettering attests. It was a good run, I’d say, and I think the logo and cover lettering helped it succeed. Saladino lettered these covers: 1-33 (#2 partial), 35-47, and 50, for a total of 47 in all, a nearly unbroken run.

More articles in this series are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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