GASPAR SALADINO in ECLIPSO

All images © DC Comics. From ECLIPSO: THE DARKNESS WITHIN #1, July 1992

By 1992, Gaspar Saladino was rarely being asked by DC Comics to design logos, or letter house ads or covers, but he was still a busy story letterer. This series was two annual-sized issues followed by an Eclipso monthly series that ran 18 issues, and Gaspar lettered nearly all of them. Eclipso was created as a villain in 1966, the dark Hyde personality of the Jekyll and Hyde character Bruce Gordon. With this series, writers Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming made him into a super-villain with much greater powers. On this opening page of the first issue, Saladino has credited himself in his favorite way, just his first name in upper and lower case letters similar to his signature.

From ECLIPSO: THE DARKNESS WITHIN #2, Oct 1992

On this page from the second issue, you can see the style Gaspar developed for the character with double-bordered balloons, normal inside and flame-like on the outside. The colorist has added violet between the two shapes, making the tails a bit hard to see on this page, but the large display lettering in the first burst is terrific.

From ECLIPSO #1, Nov 1992

The first issue of the monthly series came out the following month, so clearly this was the plan all along, DC wasn’t waiting for sales results on the miniseries. The violent and bloody actions of the character go far beyond his original concept, as Giffen brought in a horror movie approach. I can only wonder what Saladino thought about this, but it was a job and he did it.

From ECLIPSO #2, Dec 1992

I’ve shown some first pages, but Gaspar often also did some fine display lettering on final pages, as here, where there was room.

From ECLIPSO #4, Feb 1993

Giffen also brought in other dark DC characters like Steve Ditko’s The Creeper and his characteristic laugh, which Gaspar always did well.

From ECLIPSO #6, April 1993

Here Eclipso speaks in large open letters that are effectively creepy. I haven’t read these, but apparently his alter ego Bruce Gordon is now a separate character.

From ECLIPSO #9, July 1993

More fun with Creeper’s laughter and a great sound effect in the last panel. Notice that it has perspective drawing the eye down toward the character.

From ECLIPSO #12, Oct 1993

Lots of other DC characters are present on this page under a dynamic story title. I don’t care for the art, but I do admire the lettering.

From ECLIPSO #16, Feb 1994

This was Saladino’s final issue as letterer, the last two were by someone else. His sound effects and display lettering in the balloons are great on this page.

Here are the stories lettered by Gaspar, he didn’t letter any of the covers.

ECLIPSO: THE DARKNESS WITHIN

#1 July 1992: 56pp

#2 Oct 1992: 56pp

ECLIPSO

#1 Nov 1992: 22pp

#2 Dec 1992: 22pp

#3 Jan 1993: 22pp

#4 Feb 1993: 22pp

#5 March 1993: 23pp

#6 April 1993: 21pp

#7 May 1993: 22pp

#8 June 1993: 22pp

#9 July 1993: 22pp

#10 Aug 1993: 22pp

#11 Sept 1993: 22pp

#12 Oct 1993: 22pp

#13 Nov 1993: 23pp

#14 Dec 1993: 21pp

#15 Jan 1994: 22pp

#16 Feb 1994: 22pp

Annual #1 1993: 48pp

That’s 512 pages in all, a good amount of work. Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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