Images © Dark Horse Comics and Neil Gaiman.
Readers of DARK HORSE PRESENTS #21 will not only have a fine selection of stories to peruse, they’ll be able to view a historic moment in comics lettering history.
On pages 25 to 31 is a story with NEW lettering by The Master, Gaspar Saladino. The story itself is not completely new. Another version with different art was released by Neil as a limited edition print a few years ago. This version was produced in 2012, I believe, with great art by Paul Chadwick, and lettered by Gaspar, probably on vellum overlays. Last year I wrote about Gaspar’s first new lettering for comics in quite a while in THIS article, but that was for a proposal that is still unpublished, as far as I know. The story in DHP, then represents Gaspar’s first PUBLISHED lettering in a number of years.
Here’s the first page in full, looking quite good. The story has only captions, and Gaspar was asked to “float” them, in other words, not to put them in boxes, and using his standard style.
A closer look at the lettering. Gaspar is my favorite letterer of all time, and looking at this, my reaction is, “He’s still got it.”
Last year I wrote a series of blog posts revealing my research into Gaspar’s very first lettering for DC Comics. In the third part I identified that first work as appearing in ROMANCE TRAIL #5, cover-dated March-April, 1950. Because of the way comics are dated ahead of when they actually go on sale, that work had to be completed in 1949, and was probably on newsstands in January of 1950. Therefore, the new lettering by Gaspar represents an astounding career span of at least 63 years of published work! And who knows, perhaps there will be more! I hope so. Long live The Master!