All images © DC Comics. From CAPTAIN CARROT #1, March 1982

By the 1980s, DC’s funny animal comics were mostly a distant memory, but Roy Thomas and animator Scott Shaw decided to try a superhero version with this new title, and it did okay, running to twenty issues. Gaspar Saladino lettered all the covers, many with lots of copy, and he seemed to be having a great time doing it. Gaspar had designed a logo for the book, but the creators weren’t happy with it and I was asked to do a revised version, as covered in THIS article. It’s a very long title, and all those telescoping lines were not a great idea, but it read fine. As was typical for Saladino, rather than using the logo for ZOO CREW in the balloon, he just did a new version.

From CAPTAIN CARROT #2, April 1982

Much of the humor in the book came from puns, which some people love and some hate. ARMORDILLO is a good example, and most of the character names used them. One thing Gaspar and I did not agree on is whether the I in a word like PIG-IRON should have serifs. Gaspar thought it should, I don’t. Of course he made it look completely correct and natural.

From CAPTAIN CARROT #3, May 1982

I particularly love Gaspar’s treatment of FROGZILLA here, picking up the spots from the character and making the letters uneven in an appealing way. So creative and clever!

From CAPTAIN CARROT #4, June 1982

The top lines on this cover are headline type created in the DC production department, the rest is by Saladino. His dry-brush texture on the word MUDD is amazing.

From CAPTAIN CARROT #5, July 1982

Not content to parody superheroes, this issue also takes on a popular adventure movie franchise with an appealing logo parody by Saladino.

From CAPTAIN CARROT #7, Sept 1982

Thomas was not afraid to make fun of himself, as in this parody of his own Conan comics. Both captions by Gaspar are perfectly appropriate and well done.

From CAPTAIN CARROT #14, April 1983

This issue covers a lot of bases as a parody of DC’s JLA crossover issues, even including funny animal versions of the creators at the bottom. Gaspar’s JLA logo parody is excellent.

From CAPTAIN CARROT #16, June 1983

I could show all the covers in this series, but I will restrain myself. Great lettering by Gaspar on each.

From CAPTAIN CARROT #18, Aug 1983

I was commissioned to design all those character logos for the Zoo Crew cast, the balloons and top caption are by Gaspar, and way better than my efforts.

From CAPTAIN CARROT #20, Nov 1983

The final issue shows the creators trying to gain readers by including other DC animal-related characters, but it was too little too late, I guess. Perhaps DC comics were just too serious at the time to interest readers in this kind of humor.

To sum up, Saladino lettered all twenty covers of this book. Other articles in this series are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog with more you might like.


  1. David Goldfarb

    One thing I learned quite recently, is that the character “Pig-Iron” was the same character as Peter Porkchops, seen many times in your Schnapp articles — now in a suit of powered armor.

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