Immediately after the demise of the original long-running JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA series, a new version was launched with a new creative team and a somewhat more humorous take on some of the characters and situations. It proved very popular and became a franchise branching out into several titles running through the 1990s. At first the new title was simply JUSTICE LEAGUE, but it became JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL with issue #7. Gaspar did not letter any of the stories in these new series, his only involvement was lettering covers, and not many of those. I’ll show some of them here. Gaspar did the handsome top blurb on the first issue over a new logo by Alex Jay. I did the single word balloon, which I think was a last-minute addition.
Gaspar’s creativity is evident in the speed lines on the word ROCKET in this issue’s top blurb.
Saladino’s top blurb on this cover is full of energy, adding to the anger of Guy Gardner in the art.
As DC moved into the late 1980s, though, Saladino’s cover lettering dwindled. Many covers used only type instead of hand lettering, and on those that did, I was often given the assignments. I moved from working on staff full time to freelancing in 1987, and I was grateful for the work, and not really aware that I was kind of replacing Gaspar in some ways. It wasn’t something I thought about, to be honest, and I did still see plenty of his work on story pages. Here the word MANHUNTERS has a trademark TM, suggesting DC wanted to use it in other places, and I think they did.
I had to study the blurb on this cover, as I thought it might be my work, but the brush lettering on VS is not something I would have done that way, and there are other subtle style points that convince me this is by Gaspar, like the way the bottom leg of the E in THE sticks out beyond the other two horizontal strokes. Also the shape of the S in INJUSTICE is more Gaspar than Klein, so I’m sure it’s by him. Gaspar was my favorite letterer, and I certainly copied his styles in my own cover lettering at times.
JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE was spun off from the main title and lasted a while. The blurb on this cover is definitely by Saladino, and works well.
When Gaspar did rough display lettering in balloons, there was something unique about his approach that I can spot in a second, so this cover is also lettered by him, but there were only two on this series.
With issue #26, JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL became JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA, and soon JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE became JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL. Talk about confusing! On this cover, Saladino lettered the balloons, the burst at upper left, and also the larger lettering on the paper at the bottom. In fact, the word GREETINGS looks a bit like his signature.
The blurb on this cover is another one I had to think about, as it uses display lettering styles that both Gaspar and I utilized, but the shape of the burst is distinctively Saladino’s, so this one is by him. It’s a late cover blurb for Gaspar, and the last one I could find on any of the Justice League titles.
To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers:
JUSTICE LEAGUE (1987): 1, 3-5, Annual 1
JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL (1988): 8-9, 23
JUSTICE LEAGUE EUROPE (1989): 12,19
JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA (1989): 42, 61
That’s twelve in all. Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.