GASPAR SALADINO in ASTONISHING TALES

All images © Marvel. From ASTONISHING TALES #22, Feb 1974

This title ran 36 issues from 1970 to 1976. Gaspar Saladino’s involvement was minor, but just enough to call for a separate article in my opinion. He lettered two covers and four first story pages where the rest was by someone else, as he was being hired to do by Marvel in the 1970s, but on this book it’s a bit more complicated than that. His first cover, above, has three captions by him. Note the way the open letters in the first two are joined in places, a good clue, and the word GRANITOR in the third caption uses letter shapes he liked that few others used. It’s possible he also lettered the logo, but I’m not sure about that, so I haven’t counted it for him.

From ASTONISHING TALES #33, Jan 1976

His other cover has balloons in his style, the angular S in THIS is typical, and it’s hard to see but the burst in the second balloon has small gaps in the border, something few letterers were doing. The caption is very angular, and not like the usual work of Danny Crespi, the other main cover letterer at the time.

From ASTONISHING TALES #28, Feb 1975

I believe Marvel thought Gaspar’s title page lettering would help sell their comics, especially when the regular letterer’s work was not so accomplished, and I think that’s why he did some of that on this title. As part of the credits, he names Karen Pocock (later Karen Mantlo), who lettered the rest of the issue, but the style of her pages is quite different.

From ASTONISHING TALES #32, NOV 1975

Here’s where it gets complicated, though. Rich Buckler’s Deathlok carries on an internal narrative with his built-in computer, an early example of narrative captions, and the computer ones needed to look like some kind of digital readout. On this cover that was done with type, or perhaps an alternate font on an IBM Selectric typewriter, and most likely not by Saladino. He did the story title and the regular captions, but the credits are by someone else, possibly Charlotte Jetter, who lettered the rest of the story.

From ASTONISHING TALES #34, March 1976

Saladino’s involvement on this first page is even less, he did the story title, including the smaller parts of it lower on the page only. I think the balloon and computer-style lettering are by Karen Manto, as is the credits block. This speaks to how highly editor Marv Wolfman thought of Gaspar’s work, I would say, hiring him for just the story title.

From ASTONISHING TALES #35, May 1976

Gaspar’s final work on the title is another page 1, but this time he did all the lettering on it except for the recurring top caption.

To sum up, Saladino lettered two covers: 22 and 33, and worked on these four story pages:

#28 Feb 1975: page 1 only

#32 Nov 1975: page 1 only

#34 March 1976: page 1 only

#35 May 1976: page 1 only

Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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