GASPAR SALADINO in WEIRD WAR TALES

All images © DC Comics. From WEIRD WAR TALES #1, Sept-Oct 1971

This series began under editor Joe Kubert, and at first reprinted some of the stranger stories from DC’s war catalog alongside new material. Later, it was all new with many stories having art from the Phillippines, but there was always room for a smattering of efforts by young new artists and writers too. It ran to 1983 with 124 issues. Gaspar Saladino lettered many of the covers and a handful of stories. The first cover, above, has lots of type, but the Official Memo is by Gaspar. Incidentally, I think the soldiers in the logo are by Kubert, while Saladino did the letter shapes.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #4, March-April 1972

This Kubert cover follows the style of many of his war covers, with large, dramatic word balloons that he probably roughed in for Gaspar.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #5, May-June 1972

This is a clever idea with the ghost figure and lettering reversed white. It would have been done on a separate overlay. The soldier’s name is probably a nod to Neal Adams.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #9, Dec 1972

Gaspar’s scary lettering on the flag adds to the chills on this cover.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #20, Dec 1973

While most of DC’s war titles were struggling to keep readers, this one was popular, perhaps due to the supernatural element. The color on this cover sells it, and Gaspar’s balloon helps.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #41, Sept 1975

This caption has four display lettering styles that work well together, with DEAD taking the lead visually.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #48, Sept-Oct 1976

You’d think that soldier would notice something odd about the voice of his leader. Gaspar’s special balloon style is creepy.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #53, May 1977

This could be the same guy, except that his balloon is a different color. Another artist nod on the soldier’s name tag, but this time it’s cover artist Jim Aparo.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #61, March 1978

This seems like a good change of subject, and the strong burst by Saladino helps sell it.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #67, Sept 1978

More pages made room for more stories, as advertised in Gaspar’s captions. I don’t think I would have gotten away with hyphenating UNDEAD like that.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #82, Dec 1979

Saladino could always be counted on to deliver effective flaming letters, even small ones.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #90, Aug 1980

Saladino didn’t do round captions often, this one adds interest with four circle outlines and a spooky GRAVE.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #93, Nov 1980

When an anthology’s sales began to decline, a regular feature was often tried to gain new readers. This one seems like an idea they would like.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #100, June 1981

Any non superhero title at DC that reached 100 issues was something to celebrate, and why not add dinosaurs to the mix?

From WEIRD WAR TALES #112, June 1982

A dynamic cover and an equally dynamic bottom blurb by Gaspar. MEDUSA is emphasized with rougher letters, inside texture, and a heavy outline.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #123, May 1983

As the long run came to an end, Saladino continued to add exciting lettering to Joe Kubert covers.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #6, July-Aug 1972

Many of the stories were lettered by Phillippine letterers or DC regulars like Ben Oda and John Costanza, but Saladino did a few like this one. Letterers and colorists were not yet credited at DC. Wonder what happened to Marvin Wolfman?

From WEIRD WAR TALES #24, April 1974

There’s no mistaking Gaspar’s strong title lettering here, using a style he liked for letters turning invisible.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #49, Nov-Dec 1976

This story title is not typical of Saladino’s work, so perhaps he simply inked what the artist penciled.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #57, Nov 1977

On this story title, the word MADHOUSE is done with a dry brush, and no one did it better than Saladino. This must have been lettered a few months before it saw print, just before lettering credits were allowed.

From WEIRD WAR TALES #99, May 1981

Gaspar finally gets a credit line on this story, doing it his favorite way with just his first name in script.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 1-2, 4-7, 9, 11, 20, 41, 48-50, 52, 55, 57-58, 61, 63, 65, 67-68, 71, 77, 81-82, 87-88, 90, 92-104, 106-112, 114-118, 120, 122-124. That’s 58 in all. Below are the details on his story lettering.

#6 July-Aug 1972: Pawns 7pp

#24 April 1974: The Invisible Enemy 13pp

#49 Nov-Dec 1976: A Rite to Die 3pp

#57 Nov 1977: The Madhouse Bomb 8pp

#99 May 1981: A Match Made in Hell 6pp

#102 Aug 1981: Astral Attackers 5pp

That’s a total of 35 pages. Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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