GASPAR SALADINO in OTHER B TITLES

All images © DC Comics. From BEOWULF #3, Aug-Sept 1975

This article catalogs Gaspar Saladino cover lettering from six titles that did not have enough of his work to warrant a separate article in my opinion. There were no stories lettered by Gaspar in most of these titles. For instance, the cover above is the only Saladino lettering in the short-live series BEOWULF. Gaspar designed the logo and lettered this caption, and probably also the blurb at the top, which was also used on later issues. Even as the main cover letterer for DC at the time, Gaspar wasn’t assigned to do every issue. Some used only type, which is true for this series, some had no cover lettering, and some were lettered by production staffers like Joe Letterese, John Workman from 1975-77, and myself starting in late 1977.

From BEST OF THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #1, Oct 1988

Another short series that only had Saladino lettering on the first issue, in this case on the back of the wraparound cover. Without checking, I’d guess Gaspar lettered most of the original stories reprinted here from BRAVE AND BOLD’s early issues.

From BINKY #72, April-May 1970

BINKY is a bit complicated. It began as a long-running teen humor series called LEAVE IT TO BINKY in 1948. Most of the covers were lettered by Ira Schnapp, but after he was replaced by Saladino as the main cover letterer some time in 1967, Gaspar did some of them. I will index those when I get to the letter L in this article series. With issue #72, the title was changed to simply BINKY, but keeping the same numbering. Gaspar lettered that issue, above.

From BINKY #74, Aug-Sept 1970 and BINKY #76, Dec 1970-Jan 1971

Gaspar also lettered these two covers, and that was the sum of his involvement with this run, which ended with issue #82. (There are a few others he might have worked on, but there isn’t enough lettering for me to make a call on that.)

From BINKY’S BUDDIES #1, Jan-Feb 1969

Then there was this spinoff series of twelve issues in 1969-1970, for which Saladino lettered all the covers., as well as designing this and a later logo. Generally there wasn’t much lettering on teen humor titles, but DC did want their best letterer doing them all the same, and it must have been a welcome change for Gaspar from other genres that were often much wordier like war, superhero and mystery.

From BINKY’S BUDDIES #3, May-June 1969

Some of these covers are funny, and Saladino’s lettering is often crucial to the joke, as here.

From BINKY’S BUDDIES #5, Sept-Oct 1969

I like the way the big WOW! in this balloon has the rest of the dialogue running beside it, though I would have put HEAP on it’s own last like to make the oval balloon shape fit better. As usual, Gaspar’s solution works fine.

From BLITZKRIEG #1, Jan-Feb 1976

Another short-lived series of just five issues, one might expect to find Saladino story lettering in it, but I didn’t. He lettered this first cover, as well as doing the logo design. I’m not sure he lettered WE DARE TO BE DIFFERENT at the top, that looks more like the work of Joe Letterese, and may have been used on other titles. Note that the 1st Issue blurb is type, as is the subtitle under the logo.

From BLITZKRIEG #2, March-April 1976

Gaspar lettered both the top blurb and the balloons on this second issue cover. He also lettered the cover of issue #4, but not the others.

From BROTHER POWER THE GEEK #1, Sept-Oct 1968

Finally, we have Saladino’s cover lettering for one of DC’s strangest and shortest series, a mere two issues. This was the work of Joe Simon, his odd ideas about hippies that roped in the word GEEK at a time when its meaning was a circus sideshow performer who bit the head off chickens. Beware of the dangers of Hippie-land, kids!

From BROTHER POWER THE GEEK #2, Nov-Dec 1968

Even DC management must have had a hard time explaining how this book reached readers, but Saladino did his best on the covers, as always. I like the logo and the caption, but the title across the heads of children at the bottom was not a great idea.

From BLOOD: A TALE #1, Nov 1996

In 1996-97, DC’s Vertigo imprint published a painted four-issue series with lots of fine story lettering by Gaspar. This was late in his career when he was no longer doing covers or house ads, but still lettering lots of stories, and his work on this book, with excellent art and printing, is a fine showcase for his talent. The upper and lower case narrative captions are handsomely done, and the wavy balloon shapes add interest.

From BLOOD: A TALE #4, Feb 1997

The choice of styles and the dramatic emphasis in the second balloon on this page complement the painted art well, and I think this project was more successful for the company and for Saladino than the earlier ARKHAM ASYLUM graphic novel, also on painted art.

To sum up, here are the covers with Saladino lettering:

BEOWULF #3

BEST OF THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #1

BINKY #72, 74 & 76

BINKY’S BUDDIES #1-12

BLITZKRIEG #1-2, 4

BROTHER POWER THE GEEK #1-2

That’s 22 covers in all. Below are the details for his story lettering.

BLOOD: A TALE: #1-4, 45 pages each, totaling 180 pages.

Other articles in this series are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog along with more you might like.

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