In late 1986, DC Comics launched a new monthly Superman series for the first time in decades, a revamp created by writer/artist John Byrne. While Byrne moved on after a while, the series was popular and ran to 2006 with 226 issues. Gaspar Saladino lettered some of the covers until 1991, and two interior stories after that. On the first cover, above, his blurbs above and below the logo both promote the new series and make the situation more interesting.
In this storyline, Lex Luthor is clearly computer savvy, and while the art is quiet and static, Saladino’s blurb adds excitement.
Byrne was going for the big villains, and Darkseid is DC’s biggest. Gaspar’s bottom blurb adds creative style to the character and credits.
Gaspar was always thinking, and this strange, scary style works well for a mummy.
I love the cheerful bounce of this bottom blurb. I think Gaspar also did the laughter in the background.
Getting a three-dimensional logo to work in a large word balloon is tricky, and this one doesn’t work very well, but we get the idea. The bottom blurb is wonderfully wacky.
There were many options for the word WINGS, but this one plays on the menacing look of the winged creature’s hands, with great dry brush texture to add interest.
Many DC Annuals have no hand lettering, this one is an exception with a creative mix of upper and lower case letters.
Saladino’s display lettering for SUPERGIRL is great, and I also like the balloons, enhanced by color holds.
I think this cover lettering is by Saladino, though his style was often imitated, and it could be by someone else. I’ll count it for him in this case.
There’s no mistaking Gaspar’s touch on THE BLOODHOUNDS, and his style is also evident on the top blurb. There are a few more covers that might be lettered by Saladino on this series, but I’m not sure about them, so won’t count them.
Later, Gaspar filled in on this interior story.
And this one as well. By this time in his career, fifty years after he started, Saladino’s lettering has become more angular and a bit harder to read than previous work, but it’s still fine.
To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 1-6, 9, 11-12, 14-16, 21-22, 24-25, 28-29, 32-35, 41-42, 58, and Annual 2. That’s 26 in all. Here are the details on his story lettering.
#140 Dec 1998: 22pp
#147 Aug 1999: 22pp
That’s 44 pages total. More articles in this series and others you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.