GASPAR SALADINO in TALES OF THE (NEW) TEEN TITANS

All images © DC Comics. From TALES OF THE NEW TEEN TITANS #1, June 1982

This article covers two series about the New Teen Titans, first the four issue miniseries as seen above from 1982, then TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS, a spinoff book running from 1984 to 1988. Gaspar Saladino lettered no stories for either, but many of the covers. For the miniseries, Gaspar contributed the burst blurb on each cover, like the one here left of the logo. I did the logos for the characters and the Titans logo. The great George Pérez artwork takes up most of the cover space, so the blurb is small, but works fine.

From TALES OF THE NEW TEEN TITANS #2, July 1982

The same pattern is followed on all four covers, but Gaspar finds ways to make each of his bursts different by using subtle varieties of style.

From TALES OF THE NEW TEEN TITANS #3, Aug 1982

The blurbs should have been bigger, but there just isn’t room.

From TALES OF THE NEW TEEN TITANS #4, Sept 1982

The final Saladino blurb is more rectangular and not angled, the only real difference.

From TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #41, April 1984

THE NEW TEEN TITANS, begun in 1980 by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez, was a revival of the kid sidekick team from the 1960s, but with some appealing new characters added to the familiar ones. It was DC’s biggest hit of the early 1980s. In 1984 it became part of an experiment where a new higher priced title was launched on better paper with better quality printing, while the original title continued in the cheaper format under a revised name. That was TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS here, which picked up the numbering with issue #41 and continued to run new stories for about a year before becoming a reprint book for stories from the other title. It was a “hardcover/softcover” marketing idea. It worked for a while. The book lasted 51 issues, until 1988. The first cover has a fine arrow blurb and dramatic word balloon by Gaspar.

From TALES OF THE NEW TEEN TITANS #42, May 1984

This storyline, one of the most popular of the series, ran several issues and into an Annual, all with similar lettering by Saladino.

From TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #45, Aug 1984

A dramatic cover made moreso by Saladino’s balloons filled with effective display lettering.

From TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #48, Nov 1984

The series had this fun unofficial crossover, pitting the team against another team much like The DNAgents from Eclipse, which ran a similar storyline.

From TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #51, March 1985

Gaspar had begun experimenting with almost rectangular balloons in the late 1960s, and would go back to it occasionally, as here.

From TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #56, Aug 1985

Two effective blurbs using arrows on this cover, though the one on the left is subtle.

From TALES OF THE NEW TEEN TITANS #62, Feb 1986

Now we’re into the reprints from the other title. Gaspar’s bottom blurb adds appealing style choices to his block lettering: some lower case letters, joined letters, and extended strokes all add interest.

From TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #65, May 1986

On this cover, Gaspar also did the logo so it could follow the perspective of the balloon, not an easy task, but he makes it work well.

From TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #71, Nov 1986

Saladino’s blurb here has the same words as the one he did for issue #12 of the other title, and while the style is similar, it’s clearly different. The other blurb could have been reused, but DC chose to have him do a new version.

From TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #76, April 1987

Saladino’s scroll caption is elegant and effective, with serif open letters.

From TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #86, Feb 1988

Usually Gaspar’s burst balloons used straight-edged points, but this one uses rounded scoops for variety.

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

TALES OF THE NEW TEEN TITANS (1982): 1-4

TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS (1984): 41-45, 48-49, 51-58, 60-62, 64-80, 85-87, Annual 3-4

That’s 44 in all. Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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