GASPAR SALADINO in THE FOREVER PEOPLE

All images © DC Comics. From THE FOREVER PEOPLE #1, Feb-March 1971

Part of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, this title ran eleven issues in 1971-72, and Gaspar Saladino did cover lettering on each one. In 1988 a new Forever People miniseries ran six issues, and Gaspar lettered the first three covers. He did no interior lettering for either series. He also designed the logo seen above. There’s quite a bit of cover lettering on this first issue. The caption at upper right is an odd shape leading toward the round SUPER TOWN blurb, which is typeset. DC was excited about having Kirby, one of Marvel’s top artists, creating this new line of comics for them, but they were already hedging their bets by promoting Superman’s appearance in this issue.

From THE FOREVER PEOPLE #2, April-May 1971

Kirby’s characters and art are full of movement and energy, and I think Saladino’s lettering is a good match for it. The perfectly round balloon is practically unheard of for Gaspar, and it commands attention. All the lettering is large, perhaps a response to Kirby’s larger than life figures.

From THE FOREVER PEOPLE #3, June-July 1971

The drama is even more intense on this cover, helped by effective coloring. The lettering tells enough of the story to be intriguing, and also adds to the drama.

From THE FOREVER PEOPLE #4, Aug-Sept 1971

I wonder how many readers had heard the name Desaad (spelled differently) before seeing it here? Kirby was playing with powerful associations. I like the Kirbyesque energy of the bottom caption border.

From THE FOREVER PEOPLE #8, April-May 1972

Just one round blurb on this cover with the main story’s title and one for a Sandman reprint. The coloring separates them effectively.

From THE FOREVER PEOPLE #9, June-July 1972

This cover is throwing out all kinds of information in hopes of gaining readers. The main image is much like Frankenstein, and we have another DC character, Deadman, making an appearance with scary Saladino lettering. I like the sandy texture in SANDMAN. The roster on the left works well on the black background.

From THE FOREVER PEOPLE #11, Oct-Nov 1972

DC must have been disappointed with the sales of these Fourth World books, as none lasted much more than two years. I think if anything they were ahead of their time, and the characters and stories have remained popular and often reprinted since. Gaspar’s lettering is somewhat subdued here, and the caption reminds me of Sam Rosen’s work.

From FOREVER PEOPLE #1, Feb 1988.

Kirby was not involved in the 1988 mini-series, but the work clearly draws on his original series. I designed this logo, Gaspar did the bottom title.

From FOREVER PEOPLE #3, April 1988

Saladino’s creative, textured, scary lettering at the lower left of this cover is perhaps as effective as the art in convincing potential buyers to look inside. That exclamation point is way off model, but clear in context.

To sum up, Saladino lettered covers on issues 1-11 of THE FOREVER PEOPLE and issues 1-3 of FOREVER PEOPLE, a total of 14. Other articles in this series are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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