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GasparTHE TREASURE KEEPER - PART NINE OF TWELVE
ATLAS SHRUGGED!

Marvel Comics changed ownership in 1968, and when it did, former Marvel publisher Martin Goodman left the company. Seven years later, Goodman, together with his son Chip and Stan Lee’s brother, Larry Lieber (picture right), launched an ambitious new publishing venture: ATLAS COMICS.

A bold editorial message in the first Atlas comics proclaimed, “Just as Atlas was a Titan in Greek mythology, we plan to be a titan of comic books.” It didn't quite work out that way.

One might expect a new publisher to feature the work of unknowns looking to break into the comic biz, but Atlas boasted a lineup of stellar creators who WERE the comic biz: Neal Adams, Dick Giordano, Archie Goodwin, Steve Ditko, Howard Chaykin, Frank Thorne, Alex Toth, and dozens of other well-known, superstar creators. And accordingly, Atlas also hired a superstar DESIGNER to Gasparcreate logos for their entire line. His name? Gaspar Saladino!

“Martin had to pay high freelance rates,” Atlas editor Larry Lieber told Alter Ego magazine, “because otherwise nobody would work for a new and unproven company.” New and unproven they were, but still, within just a few months of its 1975 start-up, Atlas comics was already publishing more than 20 titles.

An unprecedented amount of new characters and stories deluged comic fans, and they couldn’t keep up. Neither could newsstands, which were already jammed to the bursting point with a flood of new Marvel titles.

The haphazard way Atlas began didn’t take long to catch up with the company. Despite its impressive talent line-up and diverse array of titles, Atlas went out of business within a year of its inception. “In the end, it was just that Martin lost too much money” says Larry Leiber, “So they gave it all up.”

Pictured below are the main titles in the abortive ATLAS COMICS line, all sporting logos designed by Gaspar!


The Scorpion, cover art by Howard Chaykin
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IronJaw, cover art by Neal Adams
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The Destructor, cover art by Larry Lieber/Wally Wood.

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Wulf, cover art by Larry Hama and Klaus Janson

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The Brute, cover art by Dick Giordano
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Demon Hunter, cover art by Rich Buckler
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Fright featuring the Son of Dracula, cover art by Frank Thorne
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Vicki, cover art by Stan Goldberg
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Planet of Vampires, cover art by Pat Broderick
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Blazing Battle Tales featuring Sgt. Hawk, cover art by Frank Thorne

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BELOW: Tales of Evil original art by Larry Lieber. As you can see, a photostat of Gaspar's lettering was cut out by hand and glued over the cover art. The paper the art was drawn on yellowed with age, while the stronger photostat paper with Gaspar's lettering remained bright. Traces of White-Out correction fluid, indicating a re-drawn portion of the artwork, are visible on the werewolf's shoulder as well as his male victim's lips, eyes and hair.

"Back then," Saladino recalls, "The pencils were done, then I did the inking on the penciled pages. Sometimes the pencils I worked off of were tight, sometimes they were just very rough sketches. Sometimes all I got was a blank page, with a little piece of paper giving a general idea of where the balloons and captions should be placed. At first, I did the lettering directly on the original art. Later on, I used vellum overlays. " BELOW: The printed version of Tales of Evil #1:




Tales of Evil #2 featuring The Bog Beast, cover art by Larry Lieber



Savage Combat Tales featuring Sgt. Stryker, cover art by Al McWilliams



Movie monsters magazine, cover painting by Greg Theakston
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Weird Tales of the Macabre magazine #2, cover painting by Boris.

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Thrilling Adventure Stories magazine, cover painting by Neal Adams
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NEXT: GASPAR did plenty of work for Marvel Comics too -– but don’t look for his credit in their books! You won’t find it anywhere, and you won’t believe the reason why! BOO! It’s time to reveal the SCARY story of...


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