GASPAR SALADINO in WEIRD WORLDS

All images © DC Comics. From WEIRD WORLDS #1, Aug-Sept 1972

In 1972 DC Comics licensed characters from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., and continued the existing titles TARZAN and KORAK (son of Tarzan) previously published by Western. They ran backups in each featuring John Carter, Warlord of Mars and David Innes in Pellucidar, and later in 1972 DC began this new title featuring those characters, each getting half of each issue. It must not have sold very well, because the last three issues dropped the Burroughs characters in favor of a new one, Iron Wolf, a sword and sorcery creation of writer/artist Howard Chaykin. That must not have caught on quickly either, but DC was not patient then, and the book ended essentially with issue #9 in early 1974, with the final issue in late 1974, probably to use the third Iron Wolf story already completed. I enjoyed this series, and was sorry there weren’t more. Gaspar Saladino lettered many of the covers and just one inside page. I’ll show all that here, beginning with the covers. On the first one, above, his WEIRD WORLDS logo is at the top, and his captions are at the bottom.

From WEIRD WORLDS #2, Oct-Nov 1972

This is an exciting cover, though all the characters tend to look like Tarzan. Gaspar’s captions work well.

From WEIRD WORLDS #4, Feb-March 1973

The scroll caption at upper left includes type, possibly done by Gaspar on DC’s headline machine. The rest of the captions are his lettering.

From WEIRD WORLDS #6, July-Aug 1973

Saladino changes it up here with a double-bordered burst caption that adds energy.

From WEIRD WORLDS #7, Sept-Oct 1973

I can’t explain the lack of success of this book, perhaps readers were more familiar with Tarzan than these other Burroughs creations. I loved the science fictional aspects.

From WEIRD WORLDS #8, Nov-Dec 1973

If readers weren’t buying for the Burroughs name, it was unlikely they would go for this unknown feature, but I admire DC for giving Chaykin a chance with it. Gaspar’s caption is his best of the series.

From WEIRD WORLDS #9, Jan-Feb 1974

Saladino’s caption on this cover explains the story beyond the obvious threat in the art, and makes readers want to know more, just what a cover caption should do.

From WEIRD WORLDS #1, Aug-Sept 1972

Gaspar’s only inside lettering was this introductory page for the first issue. Looking at it now, I wonder if the book title was the right direction. Perhaps EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS’ MARS AND PELLUCIDAR would have caught more attention, or just JOHN CARTER OF MARS with Pellucidar as the backup.

To sum up, Saladino lettered these covers: 1-2, 4, 6-9. Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

2 thoughts on “GASPAR SALADINO in WEIRD WORLDS

  1. Pat O'Neill

    Despite it being the primary inspiration for everything from Flash Gordon to Adam Strange to Star Wars, no one ever seems to know just how to successfully adapt John Carter to other media.

  2. Jon Babcock

    I’ve always felt that the balance of type to art on these Weird Worlds covers was perfect. I spent too much time in the 90s trying to convince my editors to get that same balance when they’d commission cover copy. Everything in the 90s came out printed too small. EXCEPT for Gaspar or Klein Lettered copy.

    Crazy but true stories from the front.

    Thanks Todd, for pointing these out!

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