GASPAR SALADINO in SANDMAN & SHADOW

All images © DC Comics. From THE SANDMAN #1, Dec 1974

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.

From THE SANDMAN #4, Aug-Sept 1975

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.

From THE SANDMAN #6, Dec 1975-Jan 1976

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.

From THE SHADOW #2, Dec 1973-Jan 1974

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.

From THE SHADOW #3, Feb-March 1974

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.

From THE SHADOW #10, April-May 1975

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.

From THE SHADOW STRIKES #20, June 1991

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.

From SHADOW OF THE BATMAN #1, Dec 1985

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.

From SHADOW OF THE BATMAN #5, April 1986

Here’s just the front cover of issue #5, giving a better look at the fine scroll caption.

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 BAT: 1-5

That’s 12 in all. More articles in this series and others you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

2 thoughts on “GASPAR SALADINO in SANDMAN & SHADOW

  1. David Goldfarb

    The Simon/Kirby Sandman character did return in the pages of Infinity, Inc. — Neil’s use of the character in his Sandman series continued from the story there.

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