GASPAR SALADINO in DOOM PATROL

All images © DC Comics. From DOOM PATROL #93, Feb 1965

The Doom Patrol first appeared in MY GREATEST ADVENTURE #80 dated June 1963. They were popular, and with issue #86 in 1964, that title became THE DOOM PATROL, running to issue #121 in 1968 before being cancelled. There were three more issues in the numbering in 1973, all reprints. In 1988, the characters were brought back in a new series that was also popular and lasted for many years. Some call them DC’s X-Men, and the teams do have similarities. The regular cover letterer was Ira Schnapp when the series began, but Gaspar Saladino sometimes filled in when Ira wasn’t available, and that happened on this cover. The logo and burst are by Schnapp, the top lettering and balloon are by Saladino. Both his balloon lettering and open block lettering are markedly different from Schnapp’s, more angular and wide for the balloon lettering, more square for the block lettering.

From DOOM PATROL #112, June 1967

This cover is another fill-in for Schnapp, though at this time Saladino was beginning to get more cover lettering assignments, gradually taking over that job from Ira. The caption is full of energy, and I like the unusual shape of The Brain’s word balloon.

From DOOM PATROL #118, March-April 1968

By this time, Gaspar had taken over as the regular cover letterer for this and nearly all DC titles, and his open lettering here shows more confidence and creativity as he rises to the mandate from DC’s Carmine Infantino to give the company a fresh look. The subtle bounce and variety adds interest and perhaps is meant to suggest mental instability from the villain.

From DOOM PATROL #120, July-Aug 1968

Multiple balloons growing larger and more frantic was an idea making the rounds at DC at this time, and Gaspar’s lettering makes it more exciting. His caption works well, though the W in WRECKER is cramped to avoid going off the page.

From DOOM PATROL #121, Sept-Oct 1968

As you can see from Saladino’s lettering, this was the last new issue of the series. I’m not sure why the burst seems to be a voice coming from above, but the idea presented inside was to encourage readers to write in with support for the team. If they did, it wasn’t enough to save it, but they had several popular revivals later.

From THE DOOM PATROL #11, Aug 1988

In 1987 a new series began, and had a long and successful run to 1995. Gaspar lettered four of the many covers, this is the first. His top lettering takes advantage of the word DOUBLE by doubling it with an open drop shadow.

From THE DOOM PATROL #12, Sept 1988

The cover lettering around the logo (designed by me) by Saladino makes it a giant word balloon that grabs attention and adds excitement. Too bad it covers part of the figure, but avoiding it would probably have made it too small.

From THE DOOM PATROL #13, Oct 1988

Three of Saladino’s regular styles are on display on this cover. The top line is rough letters with square ends on the character names, and a wonkier approach to SHOWDOWN, while the round caption features his block lettering. POWER GIRL is a logo he designed around this time, and I think the logo is pasted onto his round shape.

From THE DOOM PATROL #111, May 1967

In addition to covers, Gaspar lettered the two stories inside this issue of the original run. I find the titles and sound effect exciting and effective on this opening page. Gaspar had come a long way on title design from his tentative and sometimes pedestrian efforts in the early 1950s.

From THE DOOM PATROL #46, Aug 1991

Gaspar also lettered one issue of the second series, probably filling in for John Workman, who did most of the Grant Morrison run. The story title is creative and the texture in it adds interest.

To sum up, Saladino lettered these covers in the first series: 93, 112, 118-121, and these on the second series: 11-14, a total of 10. Below are the credits for the stories he lettered.

#111 May 1967: Doom Patrol 15pp, Negative Man 8pp

#46 Aug 1991: Doom Patrol 24pp

That’s 47 pages in all. More articles in this series and others you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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