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.
At first other features vied for attention and cover space. Gaspar lettered the wanted sign here, though the word WANTED looks like type.
Another El Diablo cover with a brushed sign by Gaspar.
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.
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.
The trade dress is better on this issue, and Gaspar’s balloons get the attention they deserve, helped by red color holds.
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.
The dilemma is in the art, but Saladino’s caption makes it clearer.
Two appealing styles of display lettering in a notched caption make this blurb a winner.
Saladino lettered just one Jonah Hex story in the series, I like the pottery stripe in the story title.
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.
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.