Historian letterer Todd Klein has the essential obit for Gaspar Saladino, pointing out how influential he was in so many things. Maybe Gaspar will be the first letterer in the Eisner Hall of Fame.
When I started working at DC in 1977 I was blown away seeing and working with Gaspar’s lettering in person, such as the examples above. I learned a lot from the work of other letterers, but Gaspar was the one who constantly impressed me. At that time, Gaspar would come into the DC offices once a week to turn in work and pick up new assignments. He was doing lots of cover lettering and quite a bit of story page lettering regularly, and logo designs from time to time. Gaspar was always smiling and friendly, with a hearty laugh. Traces of Brooklyn remained in his voice, and he talked and joked with everyone. He was friendly and polite, a gentleman. I got to know him, and liked the person as much as the work. When he would sit down to do corrections or last minute cover lettering in the production room, I would sneak glances to see how he was doing what he did. I never actually asked him to show me how to do anything, but I absorbed what I could from those brief looks and the work itself. Gaspar was testy at times about the fact that so many letterers tried to copy his work, but he needn’t have worried. We could never copy his innate brilliance and talent. Many letterers at the time were trying to imitate Gaspar, with Jim Novak at Marvel perhaps getting the closest.
Speaking of Klein, he finished, his recollection of the 80s DC offices, a stunning look at the fashion, history and customs of the Bronze Age. Here’s the complete list:
If you dig through You’ll find some gems, like this photo fo Scott “Understanding Comis” MCCloud during his brief stint in the DC Bullpen. Also Mark Waid, the editor, forgotten women of comics history and much much more. Great stuff,
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.