All images © DC Comics. From TALES OF GHOST CASTLE #3, Sept-Oct 1975

This article gathers all the titles beginning with T that didn’t have enough Gaspar Saladino material for a separate listing. I’ll look at covers first, then stories. The cover above is for a “mystery” book that lasted only three issues. Gaspar did the logo and all the other lettering on this final cover. DC was already publishing GHOSTS, so perhaps there wasn’t enough interest in another similar title.

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All images © DC Comics. From TOMAHAWK #111, July-Aug 1967

Western fighter Tom Hawkins first appeared as a backup feature in STAR SPANGLED COMICS in 1947, with his boy sidekick Dan Hunter. In 1950 they gained their own title that ran 140 issues until 1972, making it DC’s longest running western. Gaspar Saladino lettered just one story in the book, and did this one fill-in cover for regular cover letterer Ira Schnapp before taking over the cover lettering himself in 1968 when Ira left the company. His blurb has the jagged, amorphous shape he sometimes used then, and the open letters are clear even with a dark color around them, though the bottom strokes of each E in VENGEANCE seem too thin.

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All images © DC Comics. From TEEN TITANS #4, July-Aug 1966

Before the New Teen Titans, there were the original Teen Titans. After tryouts in both SHOWCASE and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, their title ran 43 issues from 1966 to 1973 and was revived for ten more issues from 1976 to 1978. This article also covers the unrelated (except by title) TEEN TITANS SPOTLIGHT, really about the New Teen Titans, but it seems to fit well here alphabetically. Gaspar Saladino lettered covers for both series, but no stories. His first cover, above, was a fill-in for regular cover letterer Ira Schnapp, and there were two more of those before Saladino became the regular cover letterer in 1968 when Ira left the company. On this cover, the peeled-back corners revealing the lower right blurb are clever, but they might have been done by cover artist Nick Cardy. The logo is by Schnapp, but I think Gaspar did the top line as well as the balloon and corner blurb.

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And Then I Read: THE DANGER BOX by Blue Balliett

Cover illustration by Bagram Ibatoulline

I’ve enjoyed several books for young readers by Balliett, including her award winner Chasing Vermeer, and the sequels The Wright 3 and The Calder Game. Each of those books had a famous artist and one of their works at the center of mysteries and suspense. This book has some similarities, but here the famous person is a scientist, Charles Darwin, and the mystery and suspense surrounds a stolen notebook that comes unexpectedly into the hands of a boy in a small Michigan town. The boy’s name is Zoomy, and he has many challenges in his life, including very poor eyesight that makes everything in the distance into blurry Deeps, as well as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that causes him to act strangely and sets him apart from other kids at school. Zoomy lives with his very understanding grandparents, and together they discover something that helps the boy: writing in notebooks, keeping lists and crossing things off when he’s done them. Zoomy has many such notebooks, and the mysterious old one is right up his alley. Despite the very difficult to read handwriting, it’s much like his own, full of lists and crossed-off items. A few key words like Galapagos put Zoomy and his friend Lorrol on the research trail toward tying the notebook to Darwin’s famous voyage that led to his groundbreaking discoveries about evolution. There’s a problem, though, the man who was carrying the stolen notebook before it was stolen from him by Zoomy’s father, has traced it to the small town of Three Oaks where Zoomy lives, and he will do anything to get that notebook back, no matter who it hurts or what it endangers.

I liked this book even more than some others by Balliett, partly because of the great characters, and partly because the story seemed to flow more naturally from the characters and situations, rather than being as plot-driven or even contrived as some of the others. I recommend it highly.

The Danger Box by Blue Balliett


All images © DC Comics. From TARZAN #208, May 1972

In 1972, DC Comics was granted a license to publish stories about all the Edgar Rice Burroughs characters. Previously that had been with Western Publishing, and when DC took over they continued the numbering on TARZAN and the book about Tarzan’s son, KORAK. The latter title was renamed TARZAN FAMILY for its last seven issues, and I’ve covered both versions HERE. Tarzan was handled by editor/artist Joe Kubert at DC, and many of the covers used type, but some also had Gaspar Saladino lettering. Gaspar did not letter any of the stories, just some contents pages. On the cover above, only the word VENGEANCE is by Gaspar, though he might have set the line above it on DC’s headline machine. Saladino might also have lettered the number 2.

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