All images © DC Comics. From JEMM SON OF SATURN #2, Oct 1984

This article is for DC Comics titles beginning with J that didn’t have enough Gaspar Saladino work to warrant a separate article. All the entries are for cover lettering. First up is JEMM, SON OF SATURN, a twelve-issue series of 1984-85, which had Saladino lettering on eight of its covers. The blurb on the one above uses several appealing display lettering styles with the emphasis on DEATH, as it often is in comics.

From JEMM SON OF SATURN #5, Jan 1985

If the word DEATH didn’t appear, the word DIE or DIES often did, as here. Love and Death are the classic themes of literature, and for most comics the second of those is by far the most common.

From JEMM SON OF SATURN #9, May 1985

The Saladino caption on this cover tells the story that the art only vaguely suggests, that of the hero taking great risks. I don’t know that the magenta color hold on the lettering adds anything, but at least it’s still clear and readable.

From JEMM SON OF SATURN #12, Aug 1985

The final issue has an almost literary single word blurb, and the cover suggests the theme of Love has triumphed in the end.

From JOHNNY THUNDER #1, Feb-March 1973

The western gunfighter Johnny Thunder had been a popular feature of DC’s western titles from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s, and in 1973, some of them were reprinted in this three issue series. Even the cover is a reprint here, with only Gaspar’s dry-brush blurb at the bottom a new addition.

From JOHNNY THUNDER #2, April-May 1973

The second issue has a fine new banner caption by Saladino, and a tiny one at the bottom over typeset.

From THE JOKER #2, July 1975

I think this was the first DC series to feature a super-villain, and it ran nine issues from 1975-76. Gaspar lettered four of the covers and none of the stories inside. This one has two balloons and a well-designed banner caption.

From THE JOKER #3, Sept-Oct 1975

With the advent of this new trade dress, lettering was usually added in the top bar, as here, and this cover also has a small word balloon and a billboard lettered by Saladino.

From THE JOKER #7, May-June 1976

Gaspar knew how to build drama with escalating balloon emphasis, and the final one on this cover is a beauty.

From THE JOKER #8, July-Aug 1976

There’s too much trade dress on this cover, but at least it includes a Saladino blurb, and I like the thought balloons.

From JONNI THUNDER #1, Feb 1985

For this miniseries, DC gave the golden age Thunderbolt character a new female alter ego, and made her a detective. Interesting idea, but it didn’t go any further. Gaspar lettered all four covers. Here he did the blurb above the logo and the SHOCKING ORIGIN ISSUE one, which is partially covered but still reads fine.

From JONNI THUNDER #2, April 1985

The blurb on this cover is classic Saladino rough block lettering with texture in the second line.

From JONNI THUNDER #4, Aug 1985

The final issue has a nice scroll caption. The word FAREWELL is hard to read because of the color choice, but that’s something Saladino wasn’t involved in. I love the dramatic burst balloon.

From JUSTICE, INC. #2, July-Aug 1975

The second to fourth issues of this short-lived 1975 series had Jack Kirby work on the covers and inside, and Gaspar Saladino lettering on the covers of issues 2 and 3. They featured pulp character The Avenger, as described in Gaspar’s scroll caption, though the book couldn’t use that name as a title for obvious reasons.

From JUSTICE INC. #3, Sept-Oct 1975

Gaspar also designed the excellent logo for this book, and on this cover, his caption makes good use of one of his scary styles.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers:


JOHNNY THUNDER (1973): 1-2

THE JOKER 2-3, 7-8



That’s 20 in all. Other articles in this series and more you might like can be found on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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