GASPAR SALADINO in NOVA

All images © Marvel. From NOVA #1, Sept 1976

NOVA was a superhero series that ran 25 issues from 1976 to 1979. Gaspar Saladino did a number of page one lettering jobs for it as well as two full issues and a few covers. For the first issue, oddly, he did not letter page one but did three later chapter heading pages, the first is above. Joe Rosen did the title page and the rest, perhaps he was ready to start and Gaspar wasn’t available, but then somehow turned up in time to do the chapter pages. Many of these decisions on when and where to use him are puzzling. I have room, so I’ll show the other chapter pages below.

From NOVA #1, Sept 1976

Gaspar’s work is dynamic and full of energy, as usual, with great chapter titles and sound effects. I didn’t see this issue when it came out, I know I would have been puzzled by the very different lettering styles.

From NOVA #3, NOV 1976

A story title in a burst balloon can be tricky, Saladino makes it work here.

From NOVA #4, Dec 1976

Often Gaspar redid character logos in his titles, here existing logos are used, perhaps by request. It makes a poor story title I think.

From NOVA #10, June 1977

This story title is more like it. I also like the NOVA balloon.

From NOVA #11, July 1977

Saladino lettered the entire issue here, so gets his name in the book for the first time. He uses just his first name in script, as he liked to do. Gaspar was not yet getting printed credit on his DC Comics work regularly, but would soon.

From NOVA #12, Aug 1977

More mis-matched character logos here, but the story title is fine.

From NOVA #14, Oct 1977

Another story title in a burst balloon, which looks good, but perhaps it should have been a bit smaller to avoid the character’s hand.

From NOVA #15, Nov 1977

The brush lettering on the black words in this story title adds interest and variety.

From NOVA #20, July 1978

This story title is creative and appealing, perhaps from a layout in the pencils by Carmine Infantino, Gaspar’s friend and former boss at DC.

From NOVA #22, Nov 1978

Here’s the other full story lettered by Saladino. I again suspect Infantino laid out the story title with THE COMET somewhat in the style of a DC hero. The sound effect is also cool.

From NOVA #24, March 1979

The last few issues are actually titled THE MAN CALLED NOVA in the indicia. Gaspar lettered the final two covers, again working with Infantino.

From NOVA #25, May 1979

The final issue has a revised type top line, changing HE’S HERE to HE’S GONE, evidence of Marv Wolfman’s humor I’d say. Gaspar’s burst balloon is strong.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 24-25, two in all. Below are the details of his story lettering.

#1 Sept 1976: 3 pp (chapters)

#3 Nov 1976: page 1 only

#4 Dec 1976: page 1 only

#10 June 1977: page 1 only

#11 July 1977: 17pp

#12 Aug 1977: page 1 only

#14 Oct 1977: page 1 only

#15 Nov 1977: page 1 only

#20 July 1977: page 1 only

#22 Nov 1978: 17pp

That’s a total 44 pages. Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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