From THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #85, Aug-Sept 1969

Finishing up Gaspar’s very busy ad year of 1969, we begin with this ad for yet another Giant reprint issue. You’d think they’d all have been used by now, but not so. Saladino’s script lettering was never as well done as that of Ira Schnapp, but it does have a nice bounce here, and works fine. Giant arrows are always effective, and the angled boxes for the women’s names adds interest. Can the ad copy get any more sexist?

From ACTION COMICS #379, Aug 1969

While the Superman family of titles often featured static and motionless characters on the covers, the Batman titles were more interesting and active. The villain here has a long name, but Gaspar makes it work in the lettering.

From THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #85, Aug-Sept 1969

DC continued to push their teen humor characters in reprint titles like this. I don’t know who was buying them. The lettering is appealing.

From DC SPECIAL #4, July-Sept 1969

I’m counting this as an August cover date, averaging the three month span. This ad shows the final evolution of ANGEL to the lead character in her series, which was being played as teen humor, and did not last much longer. Saladino’s lettering is certainly fun in my opinion.

From OUR ARMY AT WAR #209, Aug 1969

With the success of Joe Orlando’s relaunch of HOUSE OF MYSTERY, he did the same for HOUSE OF SECRETS. One of the best things about them was the hosts of each, brothers Cain and Abel. You might have heard of them before. The lettering here is all story lettering with some nice balloon borders.

From ACTION COMICS #380, Sept 1969

These two half-page ads represent DC’s ideas about their female lead characters, and not in a way that looks very good today. DC thought they were mainly interested in romance and glamor, or in the case of Lois here, glamor gone wrong. At least Gaspar does a fine job on the lettering. I like the shaky outlines of ELECTRONIC.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #384, Sept 1969

Those Giants, they kept coming. It’s actually good to see this one for Sugar and Spike, characters who were often overlooked by DC fans. Gaspar’s giant GIANT is effective.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #384, Sept 1969

Two more half-page ads with large, attention-getting display lettering. The burst and the oval are done with a dry brush on the second one. For those not familiar, it’s an inking technique using a brush that has been dipped in ink and then partially wiped off to create those rough textures when used. I was never any good at it.

From OUR ARMY AT WAR #210, Sept 1969

A full page version of the Lois Lane Giant seen earlier with all new Saladino display lettering, though a few words are type. This didn’t happen often, half-page ads converted from full pages or vice-versa were usually cobbled together in the DC production department using the same lettering.

From OUR ARMY AT WAR #210, Sept 1969

Perhaps whoever wrote the ad copy for this one couldn’t think of anything better to say about this cryptic but intriguing cover. I like the lettering of KRYPTON.

From ACTION COMICS #381, Oct 1969

For decades, DC did not promote or even name the artists on many of their books for fear that it would lead to them asking for more money or otherwise asserting themselves. The company line was that artists were interchangeable, and if one left or was unavailable, another would do just as well. Once artist Carmine Infantino joined management, that began to change, and this Joe Kubert issue of DC SPECIAL is an example. Note that the ad still did not name Kubert in the ad copy, he’s simply “an artist,” but he is named on the cover. Great display lettering by Saladino.

From ACTION COMICS #381, Oct 1969

Again we see a Batman cover with action, and even a three-panel story tease, very different from many of the Superman-related ones. Gaspar’s large display lettering is possible due to the small amount of ad copy, mainly two short sentences that work well to intrigue buyers.

From ACTION COMICS #381, Oct 1969

Here’s a good example of a mostly static group of scenes except for the top one on this cover. As usual, DC was turning to the past to generate sales. Gaspar’s lettering helps make it sound interesting.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #385, Oct 1969

Another static scene and a defeated, devastated hero. Marvel’s covers usually had more to appeal for readers, in my opinion.

From FALLING IN LOVE #110, Oct 1969

Another example of DC’s romance line promoting their superheroic female leads. Nothing very romantic about that Wonder Woman cover, but perhaps there’s some inside. Saladino’s lettering and background attempt to add some energy.

From OUR ARMY AT WAR #211, Oct 1969

The display lettering on this ad is great, and the idea is more interesting than usual for Superman. Note that Gaspar lettered two different versions of each hero’s name.

Frin ACTION COMICS #382, Nov 1969

Two more half-page ads. The top one promotes another Giant with attention-getting lettering and arrow, the bottom one tries some hip language in “What’s your thing?” I wonder if the person writing ad copy and using this kind of slang was looking at the TV show “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in” for ideas? They used similar hippie and youth culture slang, but usually in a somewhat mocking way. The show began airing in 1968. DC’s ideas about youth culture seemed pretty clueless to this teenager at the time.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #386, Nov 1969

Now here’s a house ad I completely approve of, and it falls into the “public service” category which DC had not been producing since 1967. There’s little to be gained by DC here other than the good will of readers and families who steered younger siblings to Sesame Street, or even enjoyed it themselves, though having DC characters on the show in some way was a promotional tool. Well done, DC!

From AQUAMAN #48, Nov 1969

Different and Daring were two words DC liked to promote with at this time. I think Firehair qualifies, I’m not sure about the other one. Gaspar’s display lettering certainly added excitement. That arrow in the center is really packed.

From GIRLS’ LOVE STORIES #147, Nov 1969

Here’s a generic romance ad by Gaspar that was used in different titles with different pairs of logos. It worked well for all of them. I don’t think Gaspar did the figure art, but he might have done the flowers, or at least the ones on the bottom half.


This looks like it was designed as a full page ad to run sideways, but I found it as a half-pager. There’s that hep language again, but the display lettering is lovely.

From OUR ARMY AT WAR #212, Nov 1969

Two covers showing heroes acting heroic, what a great idea! And Saladino’s display lettering in the center makes them more intriguing.

From DETECTIVE COMICS #393, Nov 1969

These covers, on the other hand, have no heroism in sight, only heroes being mocked. Blockbuster was another word DC was liking at this time, but I’m not sure it applies to these comics.

From ACTION COMICS #383, Dec 1969

That BRAVE AND BOLD cover is more like it, but ADVENTURE features an “evil super-tot.” Not for me, that one.

From ACTION COMICS #383, Dec 1969

This Superman Giant seems to have a very soap opera-ish theme, one I don’t think I would have bought. Gaspar’s display lettering is great, and sells the idea well. I was also resistant to characters telling me to “STOP! You MUST read these stories…” though that had worked for DC elsewhere.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #387, Dec 1969

Promoting clever babies Sugar and Spike as “tomorrow’s teenagers” is an interesting approach. This book had to be finding an audience to survive so long, fifteen years and almost 100 issues. The genius of creator Sheldon Mayer is the reason, but Gaspar’s display lettering helped too in this ad.

From ADVENTURE COMICS #387, Dec 1969

DC’s “mystery” titles weren’t getting much attention, but pairing one with the popular Justice League in this ad is not a bad idea. It might have caught the interest of a few new readers.

To sum up, I found 30 new ads lettered by Saladino in this final part of 1969. Adding the ones from the rest of the year, that’s an amazing 86 new ads for books with 1969 cover dates. I don’t know how he did it along with all his other work, and so much of it is excellent! Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog. On to the 1970s next.

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