All images © DC Comics. From THE FLASH #1, June 1987

After a long run of 104 issues in the 1940s for the Golden Age Flash and a longer run from 1959 to 1985 for the Silver Age Flash, a new title was launched in 1987 with Wally West, the former Kid Flash, in the lead. It also had a long run ending in 2006. Gaspar Saladino lettered many of the covers for a few years, and starting in 1993 he became the regular story letterer, returning to a position he’d had for several years in the 1960s on the Silver Age Flash’s book. That’s covered in a separate article, here I’ll look at the covers and then the stories he lettered for this title. I designed the logo, but the word PRESENTING is by Saladino in the example above. The triangular shape above the logo made it more difficult to add lettering there, but Gaspar always made it work.

From THE FLASH #10, March 1988

Another good example is on this cover, where Gaspar also plays up the word SAVAGE with rough outlines and texture.

From THE FLASH #29, Aug 1989

The top cover copy is fine here too, but I particularly like the creative story title below.

From THE FLASH #38, May 1990

A new logo removed that open triangle at the top of the cover, and here Saladino’s radio burst balloon is filled with energetic display lettering that fairly crackles with excitement.

From THE FLASH #67, Aug 1992

Cover lettering by Saladino declined in the 1990s. Many covers used type instead, and of those with lettering, a lot of them were by me, usually done digitally after 1994. This example shows that Gaspar had lost none of his cover lettering skill, it was simply a matter of changing tastes on the part of DC’s art directors and cover editors. Saladino’s biggest impact on this book was years of story lettering, which I will cover next.

From THE FLASH #82, Oct 1993

Starting with this issue, Gaspar became the regular story letterer until he was pushed out when DC went to an all-digital workflow in 2002. While his years of work on many of DC’s war titles are still being inventoried, this may be his longest run on a non-anthology title. Look at the variety of styles employed on the page above, all of them appealing and full of energy. Even the titles are tilted slightly to add interest and perhaps tie into the door kick in the art. As usual, Gaspar uses just his first name in script in the credits.

From THE FLASH #84, Nov 1993

One thing that had changed since Saladino was lettering most of the Flash stories in the 1960s is the amount of lettering on each page. Styles had changed there too, writers were less wordy and more willing to let the art carry the story. I’d say this is about a third of the work Gaspar was doing on story pages in 1964, and there’s room for creative sound effects and display lettering, too. Not all the pages were this light on text, but the average was much lower.

From THE FLASH #87, Feb 1994

Instead of going the usual Old English holiday route on the word CHRISTMAS here, Gaspar does something more original and more appropriate for the story. He was always thinking. He probably did the signs here, too.

From THE FLASH #98, Feb 1995

And no one did more exciting explosion sound effects. Larger, perhaps, but not more exciting.

From THE FLASH #104, Aug 1995

If you wanted a scary title, Saladino was the best at that, too. There was little he couldn’t do, really.

From THE FLASH #116, Aug 1996

Many DC writers had moved away from traditional thought balloons, but Mark Waid was still using them, and Saladino did them well. I also like the angular sound effects and burst balloon in the third panel.

From THE FLASH ANNUAL #9, Sept 1996

In addition to the monthly series, Gaspar also lettered the 1996 Annual, giving the title a fabulous tall treatment, and going more organic with the sound effect for contrast.

From THE FLASH #125, Aug 1997

Again, this amount of lettering per page must have seemed easy to Saladino after the heavy copy pages of his early years.

From THE FLASH #138, June 1998

As we get into the late 1990s, Gaspar’s balloon lettering gradually gets more angular, and some of the letter forms change. This may be the effects of age and declining motor skills, as he turned 71 in 1998, or it may simply be the way he wanted the lettering to look at this point.

From THE FLASH #150, July 1999

There was certainly no decline in overall creativity and skill, as seen on this page, with dynamic sound effects and display lettering.

From THE FLASH #164, Sept 2000

As we enter a new century, Saladino is still doing fine work, though it’s getting a little harder to read. The reverse white on black here (done in the DC production department) doesn’t help. Great title, though.

From THE FLASH #190, Nov 2002

Gaspar’s final story lettering on the series was for this issue. As I said, the lettering may be a bit harder to read than a decade earlier, but it’s still exciting and appealing to my eye. Times were changing, and DC decided to move to an all digital workflow, so hand lettering was something they no longer wanted, and Gaspar had no interest in learning to letter digitally. Saladino turned 75 in this year, he’d been a hard-working letterer at DC since late 1949, so perhaps he was ready to retire. I know that when I talked to him some years later, he seemed happy with his life, and did not speak of this change with bitterness, he accepted it. DC did occasionally bring him back for cover lettering, as on BATMAN ’66, and he sometimes did work for others, but his lettering work life was much diminished after this.

From FLASH 80-PAGE GIANT #1, Aug 1998

In addition to his large amount of work on regular Flash titles, Gaspar was also asked to letter stories for several one-shots and very short series like this one. I’ve decided to include those here.


He had new work in the first two issues of this three-issue series.

From FLASH PLUS #1, Jan 1997

This was one of several one-shots teaming characters, all with the word PLUS in the title. I’m not sure if Gaspar recreated John Workman’s DOORWAY TO NIGHTMARE logo here, or if it’s pasted in, but it looks cool.


This graphic novel was presented as if written by Barry Allen’s wife Iris. Gaspar lettered all the comics sequences.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 1-4, 6-11, 13, 15-20, 22, 24-25, 27-35, 37-39, 41, 43-46, 67, Annual 1, a total of 39. Below are the stories lettered by Gaspar, all feature The Flash.

#82 Oct 1993: 22pp

#83 Oct 1993: 22pp

#84 Nov 1993: 22pp

#85 Dec 1993: 22pp

#86 Jan 1994: 22pp

#87 Feb 1994: 22pp

#88 March 1994: 22pp

#90 May 1994: 22pp

#91 June 1994: 22pp

#92 July 1994: 22pp

#93 Aug 1994: 22pp

#0 Oct 1994: 22pp

#95 Nov 1994: 22pp

#96 Dec 1994: 22pp

#97 Jan 1995: 22pp

#98 Feb 1995 23pp

#100 April 1995: 38pp

#101 May 1995: 22pp

#102 June 1995: 22pp

#103 July 1995: 22pp

#104 Aug 1995: 22pp

#106 Oct 1995: 22pp

#107 Nov 1995: 22pp

#108 Dec 1995: 22pp

#109 Jan 1996: 22pp

#110 Feb 1996: 22pp

#111 March 1996: 22pp

#112 April 1996: 1-14 of 22pp (14pp)

#113 May 1996: 22pp

#114 June 1996: 22pp

#115 July 1996: 22pp

#116 Aug 1996: 22pp

#117 Sept 1996: 22pp

#118 Oct 1996: 22pp

#119 Nov 1996: 22pp

#120 Dec 1996: 22pp

#122 Feb 1997: 22pp

#123 March 1997: 22pp

#124 April 1997: 22pp

#125 Aug 1997: 22pp

#126 June 1997: 22pp

#127 July 1997: 22pp

#128 Aug 1997: 22pp

#129 Sept 1997: 22pp

#130 Oct 1997: 22pp

#131 Nov 1997: 22pp

#132 Dec 1997: 22pp

#133 Jan 1998: 22pp

#134 Feb 1998: 22pp

#135 March 1998: 22pp

#136 April 1998: 22pp

#137 May 1998: 22pp

#138 June 1998: 22pp

#139 July 1998: 22pp

#140 Aug 1998: 22pp

#141 Sept 1998: 22pp

#142 Oct 1998: 23pp

#1,000,000 Nov 1998: 22pp

#143 Dec 1998: 22pp

#144 Jan 1999: 22pp

#145 Feb 1999: 22pp

#146 March 1999: 22pp

#147 April 1999: 22pp

#148 May 1999: 22pp

#149 June 1999: 22pp

#150 July 1999: 38pp

#151 Aug 1999: 22pp

#152 Sept 1999: 22pp

#153 Oct 1999: 22pp

#154 Nov 1999: 22pp

#155 Dec 1999: 1-19 of 22pp (19pp)

#156 Jan 2000: 22pp

#157 Feb 2000: 22pp

#158 March 2000: 1-11 of 22pp (11pp)

#159 April 2000: 22pp

#160 May 2000: 22pp

#161 June 2000: 22pp

#162 July 2000: 22pp

#163 Aug 2000: 22pp

#164 Sept 2000: 22pp

#165 Oct 2000: 22pp

#166 Nov 2000: 22pp

#167 Dec 2000: 22pp

#168 Jan 2001: 22pp

#169 Feb 2001: 22pp

#170 March 2001: 22pp

#171 April 2001: 22pp

#172 May 2001: 22pp

#173 June 2001: 22pp

#175 Aug 2001: 22pp

#176 Sept 2001: 22pp

#177 Oct 2001: 22pp

#178 Nov 2001: 22pp

#179 Dec 2001: 22pp

#180 Jan 2002: 22pp

#181 Feb 2002: 22pp

#182 March 2002: 22pp

#183 April 2002: 22pp

#184 May 2002: 22pp

#185 June 2002: 22pp

#186 July 2002: 22pp

#187 Aug 2002: 22pp

#188 Sept 2002: 30pp

#189 Oct 2002: 22pp

#190 Nov 2002: 22pp

Annual #9 1996: 38pp

FLASH 80-PAGE GIANT #1, Aug 1998: 30pp

FLASH SECRET FILES #1, Nov 1997: 24pp

FLASH SECRET FILES #2, Nov 1999: 4pp

FLASH PLUS #1, Jan 1997: 38pp


That’s a total of 2, 556 pages, an impressive volume of work, and about twice as many as he did on the 1959 series. More articles like this are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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