GASPAR SALADINO in JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS

All images © Marvel and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. From JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS #4, Sept 1977

After many years at Western Publishing and a few at DC Comics, Marvel acquired the license to comic book versions of Burroughs characters. Unlike DC, they made a series of this one, and it did well, lasting 28 issues from 1977 to 1979. Gaspar Saladino didn’t letter any of the covers, but he did letter the first page of several stories, something Marvel often asked him to do in the 1970s. I think they felt his skills might sell a few comics to newsstand browsers who opened a comic for a quick look inside. The first one, above, shows his ability to create exciting, dynamic story titles that made readers want to know more. I’m sure Gaspar enjoyed lettering over pencils by his friend Gil Kane.

From JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS #11, April 1978

While known for his strong titles, Gaspar was equally good at elegant ones, as seen here. His years of work on DC Comics romance stories was good training for this, and the credits are equally elegant. As always, Gaspar put in the name of the person lettering the rest of the pages if it was known, and their styles were often quite different.

From JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS #18, Nov 1978

Back to full-on action/adventure for this title, and the sound effect is very Saladino.

From JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS #19, Dec 1978

On this title, Gaspar makes the first word small to give more room to the rest. His banner caption for the credits is beautiful.

From JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS #24, May 1979

You can’t get much more dramatic and energetic than this title! Even the dark color inside can’t quell it.

From JOHN CARTER OF MARS #25, July 1979

This one’s quieter, but only a little. I wonder if the single quotes around the N were in the script he got, or if he added them? No way to know. They signal a contraction of AND, of course.

From JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS #26, Aug 1979

The black ink on this page is heavy, making the bottom left banner a bit hard to read, but it is readable, showing how strong the lettering is. Again, Saladino knows which words to emphasize in the title.

From JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS #28, Oct 1979

The final issue has another great Gaspar title, notice how he extends parts of some letters to add interest.

To sum up, these issues have page one only lettering by Saladino: 4, 11, 18-19, 24-26, 28, that’s eight in all. More articles in this series and others you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

One thought on “GASPAR SALADINO in JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS

  1. David Goldfarb

    Gosh. I had no idea that at the same time Chris Claremont was doing groundbreaking work on X-Men with John Byrne, he was also writing John Carter, Warlord of Mars of all things. (And Frank Miller as a guest penciller on one issue! There’s a deep-cut comics trivia question for you.)

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