In this article I’ve combined several titles that have no common element except cover lettering by Gaspar Saladino. THE SANDMAN, above, was a short-lived title from Joe Simon and Jack Kirby based loosely on a character they’d worked on together in the 1940s at DC. Gaspar did the logo, the top blurb, and the balloon. I like his style on HORRIBLE DREAMS. It was used again on issue #2.
For issues 2 and 3 the interior art was not by Jack Kirby, but he returned for this and the remaining two issues, as noted in Saladino’s blurb, which I think is meant to be an artist’s palette, but the shape is wrong for that.
In the final issue, Gaspar’s word balloon declares him dead, and this version of the character was, except for a brief return in the later Neil Gaiman series of the same name.
Around the same time, DC gained the rights to publish comics about the popular radio and pulp magazine character The Shadow with some issues having great art by Michael W. Kaluta, as above. Gaspar did the caption in fine pulp style.
Only the first line of the bottom caption is by Saladino on this cover, the second line is headline type, as is the blurb over the logo.
The scary blurb on this cover is also by Gaspar, I like the creative nesting of the two L’s in KILLER. That’s the extent of his work on this twelve-issue book.
A later series featuring the character had just one cover lettered by Saladino, and he did a fine job on it, with impressive choices on the title and the creator credits.
I’m sneaking in one more “shadow” title, this was a five issue series reprinting fan favorite Batman stories from the 1970s. Each had a wraparound cover with lettering on the front and back by Saladino. This is the only one for which I found a good image of the full cover, which unfortunately makes the lettering too small to see well.
Here’s just the front cover of issue #5, giving a better look at the fine scroll caption.
In the 1990s, DC published a new title featuring the Golden Age Sandman, Wesley Dodds. Gaspar lettered the stories for six issues, the first is above. Here he uses upper and lower case for variety in these character captions.
Another sample page. The book’s art style was sketchy, and the lettering works fine.
To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers:
THE SANDMAN (1974): 1, 4, 6
THE SHADOW: 2-3, 10
THE SHADOW STRIKES: 20
SHADOW OF THE BATMAN: 1-5
That’s 12 in all. Below are the details of his story lettering.
SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE #21 Dec 1994: 24pp
SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE #22 Jan 1995: 24pp
SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE #23 Feb 1995: 24pp
SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE #24 March 1995: 24pp
SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE #56 Nov 1997: 23pp
SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE #63 July 1998: 22pp
That’s a total of 141 pages. More articles in this series and others you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.