GASPAR SALADINO in THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE

All images © DC Comics. From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #54, Dec 1958-Jan 1959

One of the most successful DC Comics featuring Hollywood stars, this series ran 109 issues from 1950 to 1968. As with most DC titles of the period, Ira Schnapp was the regular cover letterer and lettered many of the stories, but Gaspar Saladino filled in for him on a handful of covers, and also lettered several stories inside the book. Saladino’s balloon lettering in the cover above is a little more rounded and bouncy than usual, perhaps to go better with the subject, but it’s still distinct from Schnapp’s work: wider and more angular letters and a more obvious use of a wedge-tipped pen giving thick and thin line variations. Many letterers did that, but Schnapp rarely did.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #82, Aug-Sept 1963

This Saladino balloon is more typical and less bouncy.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #91, Feb-March 1965

Here Saladino uses an almost rectangular balloon shape that he was trying occasionally. I love the sound effects. The top blurb would not have been cut off on most or all covers, I think it’s just a poorly trimmed image I found.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #94, Aug-Sept 1965

Schnapp did all these logos except for the Bob Hope head in this one. I like the balloon by Gaspar going to it, and note the shape of the caption at the bottom.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #102, Dec 1966-Jan 1967

I like this top balloon too. Note that THE ADVENTURES OF is tiny, almost unreadable, to make room for it.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #109, Feb-March 1968

The final issue features art by Neal Adams on the cover and inside, he worked on the last few issues, and Gaspar’s balloon lettering and top blurb are more in his personal style. He would have been the regular cover letterer from this point on if the book had continued.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #97, Feb-March 1966

I find the credit block on this story particularly interesting. First, story credits, especially for coloring and lettering, were rare at DC at the time, but somehow were allowed for a while on this book. Second, the regular letterer was now Stan Starkman who at the time was using the name Stan Quill on these rare credits, but in this case Gaspar used it for himself, but added a clue below, “(alias THE GREAT GASP).” That’s as close as Saladino came to getting an actual lettering credit in a DC comic until 1977 when DC finally allowed them.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #103, Feb-March 1967

This page is full of lettering, but Gaspar makes it work, as he always did. Note the credits are gone again.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #108, Dec 1967-Jan 1968

Here’s Saladino working with Neal Adams, a great combination they both enjoyed. The title and sound effects are full of interest and energy.

From THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE #109 Feb-March 1968

Gaspar really went to town on the story title of this final issue, perhaps with input from Adams on the shields. Too bad that readers were more interested in superheroes by this time.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 54, 82, 91, 94, 102, 109, six in all. Below are the details of his story lettering.

#97 Feb-March 1966: 24pp

#103, Feb-March 1967: 24pp

#108 Dec 1967-Jan 1968: 23pp

#109 Feb-March 1968: 25pp

That’s 96 pages in all. More articles in this series and others you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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