GASPAR SALADINO in OMAC

All images © DC Comics. From OMAC #1, Sept-Oct 1974

In 1974, toward the end of his 70s time at DC Comics, Jack Kirby created this science fiction – superhero title that lasted eight issues. Gaspar Saladino lettered all the covers, some of which also included type, like this first one. The large logo is by Gaspar, as is the bottom blurb THE WORLD THAT’S COMING, but type is used above that and above the logo. I don’t know whose choice that was, and the type was probably all produced on a phototypeset headline machine that DC had in their production department. It set a line of large type on a roll of photo paper one letter at a time, and was slow and tedious, but certainly quicker and cheaper than sending out to a type house for it. Saladino may have set some or all of that himself, but that’s only my guess. I prefer Gaspar’s hand lettering, but the combination works okay. He did no story lettering for the series. I have room, so I’ll show all the covers.

From OMAC #2, Nov-Dec 1974

This is all Saladino except for the repeating type over the logo, and I think there’s too much cover copy. Kirby has drawn enough art for about half the cover, and the rest is filled with blurbs, but they don’t fill the space well. The round blurb is kind of a mess with lots of extra space.

From OMAC #3, Jan-Feb 1975

Gaspar’s lettering works much better on this cover, and the art also works better without a frame around it so the lettering can float. Again nearly all hand-lettered.

From OMAC #4, March-April 1975

The blurb at the bottom of this cover is more typical of Saladino’s work at the time, especially the small banner around READ. It’s a bit odd to have it behind the character’s foot as if he’s about to step on the story title, but most readers wouldn’t notice that.

From OMAC #5, May-June 1975

This compelling image is enough to sell the comic on its own, but Gaspar’s blurb tells us it’s some kind of cheat, which is even more intriguing.

From OMAC #6, July-Aug 1975

The art is back to a nearly square size here with Saladino’s work above the logo. His scary lettering is put to good use.

From OMAC #7, Sept-Oct 1975

The trade dress has changed from two circles to a central circle on a banner, with room for lettering on the right. This is only the second cover with a word balloon, which helps explain the image. Red color holds for cover lettering were popular at the time and help attract the eye.

From OMAC #8, Nov-Dec 1975

The final issue has a cover by Joe Kubert that works fine and another word balloon. When Jack Kirby went back to Marvel around this time, some of his current books were continued with other creators, but this one was not except for this one cover.

To sum up, Saladino lettered all eight covers on this title. Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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