GASPAR SALADINO in WEIRD WESTERN TALES

All images © DC Comics. From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #13, Aug-Sept 1972

DC Comics had had success with westerns in the 1950s, but they had faded in appeal in the 1960s. They tried a revival of ALL-STAR WESTERN in 1970, but it didn’t go so well until they introduced the disfigured bounty hunter Jonah Hex, who was a surprising hit. That pointed out a new direction, and with issue #12 the title was changed to WEIRD WESTERN TALES. Jonah continued to be the star until getting his own series in 1977, when Scalphunter took the lead. That character did fine, but not as well as Jonah, and the series lasted to issue 70 in 1980. Gaspar Saladino lettered some of the covers and two stories for the book. The cover above has his logo that splits the two genres neatly, and his banner below.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #15, Dec 1972-Jan 1973

At first other features vied for attention and cover space. Gaspar lettered the wanted sign here, though the word WANTED looks like type.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #17, April-May 1973

Another El Diablo cover with a brushed sign by Gaspar.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #24, Sept-Oct 1974

By this time, Jonah Hex’s stories filled the book, and the covers had a new Saladino logo for him. The large balloon is also by him.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #34, May-June 1976

The trade dress (all the stuff at the top) had gotten crazy at this point. Why did the logos have to be there twice? Gaspar’s caption should have been the focus, but it gets lost.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #38, Jan-Feb 1977

The trade dress is better on this issue, and Gaspar’s balloons get the attention they deserve, helped by red color holds.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #48, Sept-Oct 1978

Scalphunter takes over at this point with another Saladino logo, and there’s a new backup feature too, with Gaspar’s captions. He also did the blurb over the logos.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #57, July 1979

The dilemma is in the art, but Saladino’s caption makes it clearer.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #67, May 1980

Two appealing styles of display lettering in a notched caption make this blurb a winner.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #33, March-April 1976

Saladino lettered just one Jonah Hex story in the series, I like the pottery stripe in the story title.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #43, Nov-Dec 1977

He also lettered one Scalphunter story, and the title is even better, with the initial F made of feathers and a dynamic SAVAGE.

To sum up, these covers have Saladino lettering: 13, 15, 17, 24, 31, 34, 37-38, 41, 46-48, 57, 67, 70. That’s 15 in all. Below are the details of his story lettering.

#33 March-April 1976: Jonah Hex 18pp

#43 Nov-Dec 1977: Scalphunter 17pp

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

One thought on “GASPAR SALADINO in WEIRD WESTERN TALES

  1. Eric Gimlin

    I could be wrong, but I think the WANTED! on the #15 is actually freehand doing a very good job of trying to look like type. The T is the letter that looks off to me, up to and including the kerning. The bottoms of the letters look a bit irregular to me, as well.

    It’s possible some of this is the limitations of the scan, I should dig out my copy if I can remember where I put it.

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