GASPAR SALADINO’S COMICS LOGOS July-Dec 1973

All images © DC Comics except as noted. From ADVENTURE COMICS #428, July-Aug 1973

Moving on through the rest of Saladino’s logos for both DC and Marvel Comics for 1973, we continue with this one, or actually this two. ADVENTURE is Gaspar’s redrawn version of the previous logo by Ira Schnapp. Ira’s was curved, and this straight version makes a better fit with the feature logo below it. BLACK ORCHID is all new and the two words follow the same flag-wave shape, but are in contrasting styles. BLACK is thicker and more square, and filled black with either dry brush or many large pen strokes, while ORCHID is more elegant. I like this logo, I would have suggested the right side of the O be the same width as the left side if anyone asked, but I think both logos work well and I will count them as two for Gaspar.

From JUNGLE ACTION #5, July 1973, image © Marvel.

I think Gaspar did this entire logo, the top line and the feature. The rough outlines and drop shadows seem right for him, and the squareness of JUNGLE ACTION does too. The drop shadow has some issues, it looks uneven because it fills gaps between letters in some places and not others, but generally I think this works fine.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #11, July 1975, image © Marvel.

As seen previously, the top two lines are by Saladino, and he added a new character logo for INHUMANS here. Very much in his horror style, so perhaps not a great choice for the characters, but it does provide good contrast to the rest.

From MONSTERS UNLEASHED #1, 1973, image © Marvel.

Another black and white magazine comic with a Saladino logo in his horror and block letter styles. The color does not help it here, but it works pretty well anyway.

From WEIRD WESTERN TALES #18, July-Aug 1973.

With this issue, Jonah Hex got a new character/feature logo by Saladino that would continue on his own long-running series. Gaspar has created an unusual A that works well to fill the space at the top with an extension toward the N, giving the entire logo a more even look. The subtle pointed serifs add interest, as does the drop shadow. This logo was used on Hex’s series until 1983.

From MARVEL SPECTACULAR #1, Aug 1973, image © Marvel.

Gaspar sticks with block letters for this reprint series, but ones of slightly different styles. The Saladino R shape of the final letter is diagnostic. It appeared on all 19 issues.

From THE PHANTOM STRANGER #26, Aug-Sept 1973

For one issue, The Spawn of Frankenstein got equal billing with the title character, but only the word FRANKENSTEIN gets a real logo treatment. I think it still counts.

From SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS #5, Aug 1973, image © Marvel.

With this issue, SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS found a feature with staying power. It appeared in all the remaining issues except for #6. Gaspar’s horror style is enhanced by almost matching extensions of the M and Y for a somewhat symmetrical look.

From VAMPIRE TALES #1, Aug 1973, image © Marvel

Another magazine-size horror book with a fine logo by Saldino. The large V and matching swoop of the M work well together.

From GHOST RIDER #1, Sept 1973, image © Marvel.

This one goes in some different directions, with nice contrast between the two words for the biker version of the character. GHOST has a heavy outline and interesting line textures that make it more three-dimensional, while RIDER has the slant and speed lines of a character like THE FLASH at DC. Gaspar also did the double-outline shape around both adding to the spookiness. I find it very effective.

From STRANGE SPORTS STORIES #1, Sept-Oct 1973

With this issue, DC editor Julius Schwartz finally got his chance to try a favorite idea in a series. It lasted only six issues. Gaspar, perhaps at Julie’s request, played it safe, not using anything unusual for STRANGE, just upper and lower case letters with a little bounce. SPORTS is thick block letters, and both are slanted to add a feeling of movement.

The original logo from the DC files is the same, with a little white correction paint on the first word, and it shows Gaspar drew in the banner lines. STORIES is Letraset adhesive type.

From STRANGE TALES #169, Sept 1973, image © Marvel.

This series has an odd history. In 1968, Marvel’s long-running STRANGE TALES became DOCTOR STRANGE with the same numbering. Later, in this year, they revived the title and continued the original numbering. I think the entire logo is by Saladino. STRANGE TALES is small but interesting and stylish. BROTHER is typical block letters, and VOODOO is in Gaspar’s horror style with multiple outlines and effects. The large V is memorable.

From SUB-MARINER #65, Sept 1973, image © Marvel.

Saladino gave this series a new logo with this issue. The title is too long, and the logo takes too much space, but Gaspar did what he could with it. SUB-MARINER goes back to the original stacked style of the first logo for the series probably by Sol Brodsky and Artie Simek, but with more square letters.

From FRANKENSTEIN #6, Sept 1973, image © Marvel.

Gaspar replaced his own logo from the first issue of the series with this one which fills the space better, and has words with are closer in style to each other. Rough outlines and texture add to the horror approach.

From MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #12, Oct 1973, image © Marvel.

One thing you have to credit Marvel for in this period, they were not afraid of religious connotations. This is not a typical Saladino style on SATAN, but the flames are very much his approach, and the rest is block letter styles he liked. Again, it fills the space well. Interesting R in MARVEL to fit well against the V.

From THE SHADOW #1, Oct-Nov 1973

The Shadow was a long-running successful property in pulp magazines and on radio. The pulps used a variety of logos, some very similar to this, but I think it’s again Gaspar’s interpretation rather than an actual pulp logo being used here. I could be mistaken, but unless I hear otherwise, I’m counting this for Saladino.

From SUPERBOY #198, Oct 1973

Gaspar’s SUPERBOY logo done previously worked okay on its own, but when he was asked to add the Legion in the same style, it made a logo that was too tall, way too long, and not very interesting. It persisted to the end of this series in 1977. The outline around SUPERBOY gives space for a second color, but would have looked better if it followed the letters inside more closely.

From SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS #6, Nov 1973, image © Marvel.

A final one-shot logo for this series by Saladino before it continued with The Living Mummy for the rest of its run. Again, way too long and takes up too much space, but the variety of styles makes it more interesting.

From WESTERN TEAM-UP #1, Nov 1973, image © Marvel.

A western reprint book that lasted only one issue. Another too long logo, but Gaspar had some fun with three different styles for the book title and the two character logos. This could be considered three logos, but since they all appeared only once, I will count it as one.

From UNCANNY TALES #1, Dec 1973, image © Marvel.

Marvel was filling the stands with reprint titles, and rather than go back to old logos by Artie Simek, they had Gaspar do new ones. This example works fine, though I don’t like the heavily bordered box around it.

From WEIRD WONDER TALES #1, Dec 1973, image © Marvel.

Another horror reprint title with a different approach from Gaspar that I like, first because it’s different from other recent horror logos by him, second because of the arc of WEIRD and the rough, textured block letters. Saladino R’s on both lines, and the S has a style he would use more later.

To sum up, I found 22 logos by Saladino in books cover-dated July-Dec 1973, and there were 24 in the first half of the year for a staggering total of 46 logos for all of 1973! That’s almost one a week on average, and we haven’t yet reached Gaspar’s busiest logo design year. Stay tuned. Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the LOGO LINKS page of my blog.

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