DIAL B for BLOG
NEW ISSUE ARCHIVES BOARD FAQ LINKS CONTACT ADVERTISE
X
X

GasparTHE TREASURE KEEPER - PART EIGHT OF TWELVE
SAGA of the SWAMP THING

“A different comic mag is coming!” read the Gaspar Saladino-designed ad for Swamp Thing #1 (pictured above). And it wasn’t kidding.

What was so “different” about Swamp Thing? If you’ve never read Swampy’s original stories, then, well… what’s WRONG with you? How do you call yourself a comic book fan? Hey real fans -– can you IMAGINE living and never having read these stories? What is wrong with some people? So weird.

Anyway, if you HAVE read these masterpieces, you know all about the lush artwork and delightfully twisted stories. The whimsical cartoon below, by Fred Hembeck, comments on a noticeable difference in the LETTERING of the series:

X
"Len wanted a different kind of design," Gaspar says, "So I gave Swamp Thing’s balloons that shaky double-outline to give them a menacing emphasis. Len was also very, very particular about balloon placement."

"Welcome to the world of Swamp Thing,” said Joe Orlando on letters page of ST #1, “A different kind of book, a book that pierces through the vague shroud of the normal realm, and enters the world of the foreboding.”


BELOW: Gaspar Saladino's original, hand-lettered SWAMP THING logo, 1972. Courtesy of DC and Todd Klein.
X
X
SWAMP THING was created by editor/writer Len Wein, artist Berni Wrightson, and the winner of the 1973 Shazam Award for Best Letterer: our hero, GASPAR SALADINO!

GasparGasparWhere did Swamp Thing’s creators get their inspiration? Len Wein (pictured left) had been writing stories in the genre for years. The childhood home of Swamp Thing artist Berni Wrightson (self-portrait pictured right), in Baltimore, Maryland, was located directly opposite a graveyard!

Surprisingly, despite their ground-breaking collaboration on this series, Gaspar Saladino has never met Berni Wrightson in person!
X
Wrightson's Gaspar-lettered splash page for Swamp Thing #1:
X
Here’s the most unforgettable “STOP!” ever rendered in comics:
X
Below, Saladino’s lovely little DC house ad for ST #2:
X
The gorgeous splash page of “THE MAN WHO WANTED FOREVER”:
X
An interior page from Swamp Thing #3:



Gasparian ad for Swamp Thing #4 and Kamandi #5:
The splash page for ST #4, "MONSTER ON THE MOORS":



Here's a page from Swampy #5, “LAST OF THE RAVENWIND WITCHES”:
X


Here’s Saladino’s timeless work on “A CLOCKWORK HORROR!”
X
X
Though the Swamp Thing series would continue running for many years, in artistic terms, it would never again reach the heights it had seen under Wein, Wrightson and Saladino.

As Alan Moore put it, “The impact of Swamp Thing was staggering. So much so, in fact, that every attempt to do the character since the tenure of its original creators has been met with a disdain that is almost reflexive.” Below, a Gasparian house ad for Swampy #8, one of Wrightson and Saladino's final issues:
X
And of course, there was the obligatory team-up with Batman in Brave and Bold #122, lettering by Gaspar, cover art by the late, great Jim Aparo.
X

In 1982, when Swampy got his own movie, DC re-launched his comic book, and Saladino created this ad to announce Swampy's return:

X
The title frame from the Swamp Thing movie features the original ST logo, designed by Gaspar Saladino!
X
And here’s the film version of the famous car-stopping scene:
X
X
Here's a good look at our hero, played by a guy in a rubber suit:
X
BONUS! Swamp Thing movie poster!

X


NEXT: A promising new publisher recruits some of comics’ greatest talent and sees triumph and tragedy in a single year. See Gaspar Saladino delineate the rise and fall of a new universe in…


 Site Meter