Thursday, January 25, 2018

Funny Stuff: John Costanza One-pagers

Dig it, Groove-ophiles! While John Costanza is best remembered as an ace comicbook letterer, he's also a dyn-o-mite cartoonist, to boot! He did tons of humor strips for Gold Key, lots of humor fillers for DC's war mags, and every once in a while he'd do a one-page filler in some other DC comics. In Aquaman #'s 49 and 51 (November 1969, February 1970), Costanza gave us Scuba-Man. Super-Goof appeared in Detective Comics #392 (August 1969), and in Teen Titans #27 (March 1970) and Tomahawk #140 (March 1972) his fillers sort of echoed the lead feature's setting (the moon for the Teen Titans issue and the great outdoors for Tomahawk). Rarely seen stuff here, Groove-ophiles! Hope ya dig it!


  1. I'm not into gag strips as a general rule, but I've always been a fan of Costanza's lettering. Lettering was an art form, as important to telling the story as any other element, and John was one of the best, along with John Workman, Tom Orzechowski, Gaspar Saladino. Good letterers had a distinctive style that really complemented the artwork as well as giving impact to the script. I first noticed John on books like Tomb of Dracula, and later appreciated his work with Frank Miller at DC.

    1. Gaspar Saladino was in a class all his own. Probably the best letterer ever. DC and Marvel mostly used him on covers, logos and splash pages. All sparkled with his brilliance. Todd Klein, Annette Kawecki (whose time in comics was brief but very impactful) and Jim Novak were also Groovy Age greats.

  2. Pretty sure the first two strips are the secret origin of Seaguy.

  3. Did one of those fan tours at DC ca. 1970, when DC was at 909 Third Avenue. As was the norm then, Mark Hanerfeld was my guide. Neal Adams was at work in a windowless room penciling a Batman story. And in the bullpen was John Costanza. And pinned near his board was a little pen + ink cartoon of a topless woman.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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