This article is for DC Comics titles beginning with R that I thought didn’t have enough material for a separate article. On RAGMAN, for instance, Gaspar did cover lettering for just this one cover. He also did the letter shapes in the logo design, working with Joe Kubert and Jack Adler, but that was his only involvement with the book.
This four-issue miniseries had three covers lettered by Saladino. I did the logo, Gaspar’s balloon and burst lettering adds to the drama.
The blurb at lower right on this issue not only does a fine job of echoing the logo style, I think it’s better! I particularly like the splat of the period in the exclamation point.
There are many ways to approach balloon lettering on covers. Some letterers do it the same as interior balloons, but Gaspar often added drama by using specialized display lettering that had more energy and emphasis than typical interior balloon lettering.
Asian martial arts had long been a popular genre of action films, but the “Kung Fu” TV show of 1972-75 brought that style to public awareness, and inspired this series. Like the logo, Saladino’s bottom caption here used a traditional style of letters that American and European designers thought represented Asian writing. It’s not liked today by Asian-Americans, but Saladino did it well.
Lots of Saladino lettering on this cover, including on the right side of the top banner. The most common type of burst balloon has straight points in a zig-zag pattern. The next most common has inward scoops that also form points, the reverse of a thought balloon, and that’s what Gaspar used here. I’m not sure why the tail has zig-zags, that’s usually reserved for a radio or robot, but it does add energy.
The burst at lower right on this cover is the other kind, with straight angles. Gaspar gives the E in VIPER a rounded shape to add interest. The banner caption at the top is also nice.
Saladino’s final cover lettering for the title includes a fine jagged-edged caption at lower right using several styles that work well together.
To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers:
RED TORNADO #1-3
RICHARD DRAGON #1, 3, 11, 13-15
That’s ten in all. Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.