GASPAR SALADINO in THE WITCHING HOUR

All images © DC Comics. From THE WITCHING HOUR #8, April-May 1970

This mild horror title ran 85 issues from 1969 to 1978. It was edited originally by Dick Giordano, then by Murray Boltinoff, and it followed the pattern of other similar DC titles like HOUSE OF MYSTERY, THE UNEXPECTED, and GHOSTS. At first it was full of short stories by DC veterans like Alex Toth, but over time it became dominated by art from The Phillippines, something DC did to keep costs down. Gaspar Saladino did the fine logo in the form of a giant word balloon, and he lettered many of the covers but just a few stories inside. His first cover above has a large balloon with large display lettering to add drama to this Neal Adams cover.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #12, Dec 1970-Jan 1971

Nick Cardy’s covers were equally impressive, and here Gaspar’s rough burst balloon enhances the creepiness.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #14, April-May 1971

Most stories involved the supernatural, with the hosts being three witches, but as with all DC anthologies, other genres like science fiction turned up too. I like Saladino’s treatment of HAUNTED HOUSE, and this is a cover I would have bought if I’d seen it.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #18, Dec 1971-Jan 1972

While there were few references to religious figures in DC Comics, I have to think Satan qualifies! Great bottom banner by Gaspar.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #21, June-July 1972

The treatment of the title in this caption is impressive, and ahead of its time. Gaspar’s use of dry brush was unequalled. I can imagine a logo in this style on a 1990s Vertigo comic.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #31, June 1973

Fine balloon and story title here by Saladino, and he also did the book lettering.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #43, June 1974

There’s another demon, and Gaspar’s bottom blurb pushes the evil theme well.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #50, Jan 1975

Over time the logo lost its word balloon, but the ideas were still creepy.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #62, Feb-March 1976

Unlike some DC anthologies, this one never had a continuing feature, it was always a collection of unrelated short stories, as Gaspar details here. The almost square word balloons are something he used occasionally.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #81, June 1978

These word balloons are about the same as what Saladino did on stories, but the stylish bottom blurb sells the concept.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #1, Feb-March 1969

Gaspar lettered two pages in the first issue of the series, imitating a style for the Three Witches pages set by Alex Toth, though this art is by Neal Adams.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #29, March 1973

Saladino’s story lettering was sporadic, and usually on art by veterans like Jerry Grandenetti here. His strong titles and wide, angular balloon lettering stand out.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #76, Jan 1978

The title on this story is huge and magnificent.

From THE WITCHING HOUR #81, June 1978

Another Grandenetti story with nice sound effects. The title was cancelled as part of the “DC Implosion” of 1978, but leftover inventory and even some new stories appeared in a sister title, THE UNEXPECTED, which became a larger book.

To sum up, these covers have Saladino lettering: 8, 12, 14-16, 18-26, 28, 30-32, 37, 40-41, 43, 45, 50-52, 54-55, 57, 59, 61-64, 66-69, 73-74, 77-79, 81, 83. That’s 44 in all. Below are the details of his story lettering.

#1 Feb-March 1969: Three Witches epilogue 2pp

#29 March 1973: A Time to Live–A Time to Die 8pp

#76 Jan 1978: The Man Who Bought Death 6pp

#79 April 1978: Beware the Killer Cactus 6pp

#81 June 1978: The Haunted Planet 6pp

#85 Oct 1978: Has Anybody Seen My Head? 6pp

That’s a total of 34 pages. Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

One thought on “GASPAR SALADINO in THE WITCHING HOUR

  1. Kelly

    Hello.
    I wish someone would put out a book on Gasper showing all the wonderful logos he created.

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