GASPAR SALADINO in PLASTIC MAN & PLOP!

All images © DC Comics. From PLASTIC MAN #5, July-Aug 1967

These two titles both involve humor but are otherwise unrelated, I’ve just grouped them to get an article of the right length. Plastic Man, created by writer/artist Jack Cole, began at Quality Comics, and had a successful run of 64 issues from 1943 to 1956, and also appeared in their POLICE COMICS. When Quality got out of the comics business, DC bought some of their properties including this one, but they did nothing with it until 1966 when talk of a possible Plastic Man film prompted them to launch a new series. The film never happened, but the character was popular enough to last 20 issues, and often returned and appeared in other titles. Gaspar Saladino lettered the first DC issue. Ira Schnapp designed the logo and lettered many of the early covers, but Gaspar filled in on the one above, where his angular display lettering is quite different from Ira’s more rounded approach.

From PLASTIC MAN #8, Jan-Feb 1968

The same is true on this cover where the display lettering in the last balloon is almost a Saladino logo, and it has more energy than the actual logo. I like the way the balloon tails go behind the character and seem stretched out.

From PLASTIC MAN #10, May-June 1968

On this cover there was no room for the Schnapp logo, and Saladino did a new one used only once. Again, I like the energy and stretchiness of it. The balloons and captions work fine too. The initial run stopped here, but was revived for ten more issues in 1976-77.

From PLASTIC MAN #12, April-May 1976

Saladino lettered just three covers for the later run. This one features his large open display lettering in the balloons.

From PLASTIC MAN #14, Aug-Sept 1976

The blurbs on this cover add to the drama and use more traditional heroic styles even for the name of the creature.

From PLASTIC MAN #1, Nov-Dec 1966

Saladino lettered the first DC issue with his usual skill and panache, the rest were done by others. On this first page, the art and story credits were added by someone else.

From PLOP! #1, Sept-Oct 1973

In 1973 DC editor Joe Orlando launched a humor anthology with some horror elements somewhat in the style of MAD, but with its own unique flavor. It had a good run of 24 issues. The covers used only set type, but Gaspar lettered a few short stories inside. On this page, writer/artist Sergio Aragonés did his own story title, the rest of the lettering and sound effects are by Saladino.

From PLOP! #1, Sept-Oct 1973

Horror stories with a humorous twist were also part of the mix, and here Saladino worked with his SWAMP THING artist Bernie Wrightson, adding great sound effects.

From PLOP! #2, Nov-Dec 1973

Another Aragonés story where he did the title with TV burst balloons by Saladino.

From PLOP! #8, Nov-Dec 1974

On this Aragonés story, the title is by Saladino, and it has appropriate rounded letters.

From PLOP! #12, May 1975

For this story, Gaspar used an unusual upper and lower case slanted style for the children to set them apart from the rest of the characters.

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

PLASTIC MAN: 5, 8, 10, 12, 14-15, that’s six in all.

Below are the details on his story lettering for these titles.

PLASTIC MAN #1 Nov-Dec 1966: 24pp

PLOP! #1 Sept-Oct 1973: The Escape 5pp, The Gourmet 6pp

PLOP! #2 Nov-Dec 1973: The Demand 4pp, Hey, Skinny 4pp

PLOP! #8 Nov-Dec 1974: A Likely Story 6pp

PLOP! #12 May 1975: What Are Little Ghouls Made Of? 3pp

That’s 52 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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