GASPAR SALADINO in OTHER L TITLES

All images © DC Comics. From LEADING SCREEN COMICS #72, Dec 1954

There are quite a few DC Comics titles beginning with L that Gaspar Saladino did only a small amount of work for, and they cover almost his entire career. The earliest is the lettering on the cover above, where Gaspar was filling in for regular cover letterer Ira Schnapp. Gaspar’s wider letters and angular style stand out from Ira’s work. I’m not sure why the red letters in the caption are so faded, but I’ve seen it on other old covers. Something unstable in the ink one would guess, but the red on the character looks fine. Perhaps water damage. This was Gaspar’s only work on the title.

From LEAVE IT TO BINKY #61, June-July 1968

When Ira Schnapp left DC in early 1968 or so, Saladino took over as the company’s main cover letterer and logo designer, and he did both for this cover and many later ones on this title until it ended. I think Gaspar’s work gives them a fresher and more modern look, but the genre of teen humor was gradually fading.

From LEAVE IT TO BINKY #62, Aug-Sept 1968

The main draw was the cute girl art by Bob Oksner and others, at least on the covers. The humor was labored.

From LEAVE IT TO BINKY #63, Oct-Nov 1968

Cover lettering on such comics usually meant one or two word balloons, so they were at least an easy assignment for Saladino, and perhaps made up for copy-heavy titles like the Superman ones.

From LEAVE IT TO BINKY #67, June-July 1969

Occasionally a different style was needed, as with the shaky letters here, but still easy work.

From BINKY #72, April-May 1970

With this issue the title became simply BINKY with a dynamic new Saladino logo, and his word balloon works fine too, but the book was almost done.

From BINKY #78, April-May 1971

At the end, larger issues were adding teen TV and music stars in a desperate attempt to draw in readers, but it didn’t work for long.

From LEGENDS #1, Nov 1986

Jumping ahead to 1986, this mini-series had fine Saladino lettering on three of its covers. I like the caption shapes here.

From LEGENDS #4, Feb 1987

This Saladino caption follows a layout he often used, a longer word that arcs up at each end around a smaller word above it. I find it more effective than just making both words the same. I also like the joined CR.

From LEGENDS #6, April 1987

I like this blurb the best, great contrast between CONCLUSION and the rest, which is full of energy.

From LORDS OF THE ULTRA-REALM #2, July 1986

Another mini-series with most covers lettered by Gaspar. The word MADNESS on this one is amazing, and is clearly planned to read well behind the character.

From LORDS OF THE ULTRA-REALM #3, Aug 1986

Gaspar’s burst balloon could have gone below the other one, but this way it draws attention to what’s happening in the art.

From LORDS OF THE ULTRA-REALM #6, Nov 1986

On the final issue, the blurb is cleverly divided by a large ampersand, a fine idea. Gaspar was always thinking.

From THE LOSERS SPECIAL #1, Sept 1985

The Saladino logo on this one-shot is not new, but SPECIAL is, and the blurb to the left of the logo. I’m not sure he did the story title, he might have, but it’s in a style I haven’t seen him use elsewhere.

From THE LOSERS SPECIAL #1, Sept 1985

Gaspar also lettered the story inside revealing the final fate of these long-running DC war comics characters that he had often lettered stories for. As always, his sound effects were dynamic.

From LOBO ANNUAL #1, June 1993

Both Saladino and I lettered stories featuring Lobo, but strangely, Gaspar did none for Lobo’s regular series except this Annual.

From LOBO PARAMILITARY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL #1, Feb 1992

He did letter this one-shot, which is full of great work by him including a wonderful splash page.

From LOBO: I QUIT #1, Dec 1995

Gaspar also lettered this Lobo one-shot on the perils of tobacco use among other things. I like the title and the credit box is amusing.

From LOONEY TUNES #3, June 1994

Finally we have this short story for the long-running Warner Brothers funny animal series from DC, the only work he did for it. Isn’t that icing title great?

To sum up, I found Saladino cover lettering on these comics:

LEADING SCREEN COMICS: 72

LEAVE IT TO BINKY: 61-67, 69-71

BINKY: 72, 74-76, 78

LEGENDS: 1, 4, 6

LORDS OF THE ULTRA-REALM: 2-6

THE LOSERS SPECIAL: 1

That’s 25 in all. Below are details on the story lettering described here:

THE LOSERS SPECIAL Sept 1985: 40pp

LOBO ANNUAL 1 June 1993: 56pp

LOBO PARAMILITARY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 1 Feb 1992: 46pp

LOBO: I QUIT 24pp

LOONEY TUNES 3 June 1994: Pepé Le Pew 6pp

That’s 172 pages in all. More articles in this series and others you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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