GASPAR SALADINO in WONDER WOMAN (1987)

All images © DC Comics. From WONDER WOMAN #2, March 1987

In 1985-86, the crossover event CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS had shaken up the DC Comics universe and continuity in major ways. After that, some characters vanished at least for a while, and some had revamps and new launches. Superman’s relaunch was handled by writer-artist John Byrne, and Wonder Woman’s was the work of writer-artist George Pérez with help from writer Len Wein and others. The book did well, and though Perez was not the artist for long, he continued as co-writer or writer for some time. The series ran 226 issues to 2006. Gaspar Saladino didn’t have as much work in it as in the original series, but he lettered some of the covers until 1993, and one story. I’m also adding two related one-shots at the end of this post. Gaspar’s first cover, above, has one of those round captions he did occasionally. FACE-OFF is a squeeze, but still readable.

From WONDER WOMAN #3, April 1987

This caption is in a more typical shape, the upper and lower case letters make it more interesting.

From WONDER WOMAN #6, July 1987

This cover plays against expectations by making Ares (the God of War) and his lettering blue against a fiery red background. The texture in ARES adds interest.

From WONDER WOMAN #10, Nov 1987

There’s a lot to compete with in this cover art, but Saladino’s burst works fine.

From WONDER WOMAN #17, June 1988

A real test for cover letterers is what to do with a quiet single word that has no visual element. Gaspar handles this one beautifully, using joined serif letters of different heights to add interest.

From WONDER WOMAN #41, April 1990

This lower right blurb has text that floats amid wide margins from the notched border around it. This gives it a subtle quietness that works well with the art.

From WONDER WOMAN #42, May 1990

The next issue has appealing display lettering in two styles, the first part matching the art, the secont adding drama.

From WONDER WOMAN #69, Dec 1992

On this top blurb, the large words at each end are handled differently to created interesting contrast.

From WONDER WOMAN #79, Oct 1993

This is Saladino’s final cover lettering for the book. DC was moving away from the traditional styles he represented toward type, and toward lettering created digitally by myself and others, something Gaspar wasn’t interested in doing. It’s a shame, as his work was so memorable.

From WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL #4, Aug 1995

Gaspar was not done, though, he was still lettering plenty of story pages into the next decade. This was his only work on the second Wonder Woman series.

From WONDER WOMAN PLUS #1, Jan 1997

This was part of a series of team-up one-shots. Gaspar did a dynamic title and some cool credits for the page.

From WONDER WOMAN: THE ONCE AND FUTURE STORY, Aug 1998

This square-bound book written by Trina Robbins with art by Colleen Doran is full of Greek mythology and fine Gaspar lettering.

To sum up, these covers have Saladino lettering: 2-4, 6, 10-13, 17, 41-42, 69, 79. That’s 13 in all. Below are the details of his story lettering.

WONDER WOMAN ANNUAL #4, Aug 1995: 48pp

WONDER WOMAN PLUS #1, Jan 1997: 38pp

WONDER WOMAN: THE ONCE AND FUTURE STORY, Aug 1998: 48pp

That’s a total of 134 pages. More articles in this series and others you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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