Gaspar Saladino, Letter Man

Before the 21st Century’s enthusiastic embrace of computer fonts, letters had personality.


“A good lettering man is to a comic what a good umpire is to a baseball game: vital to the success of the finished product, but most effective when his contributions seamlessly blend into the background.” – Bruce Canwell

Letterers Todd Klein and Alex Jay have done much to educate the masses on The Art of the Letter in comics. Mostly they concentrate on comic books, but recently Todd devoted a column to the comic strip lettering art of Gaspar Saladino.

In addition to his vast amount of comic book work, Gaspar Saladino also lettered three newspaper strips that I know of. There could be others.

This [LANCELOT] Daily has some fine and distinctive Saladino sound effects.


© Los Angeles Times

The next strip that Saladino lettered, and this one is well documented, is THE VIRTUE OF VERA VALIANT by Stan Lee and Frank Springer, which ran from Oct 11, 1976 to Aug 28 1977, a total of 48 weeks…

It’s easy to imagine how Gaspar was recruited to work on this, he was already freelancing at Marvel, so familiar to Lee, and had worked with Frank Springer at DC.


© DC Comics

Gaspar’s other newspaper strip lasted much longer and had a higher profile. It was produced by DC Comics and distributed by the Chicago Tribune/New York News Syndicate. [THE WORLD’S GREATEST SUPERHEROES/SUPERMAN] ran Dailies and Sundays from April 3, 1978 to Feb 10, 1985.

[T]he amount of lettering work by Gaspar on this strip was massive, and always artful and entertaining.

I love the newspaper lettering by Gaspar.

Todd goes into much more detail that the above excerpts only hint at,
and then links to much more of Gaspar’s comic book and logo art.