GASPAR SALADINO in CAPTAIN AMERICA Part 2

All images © Marvel. From CAPTAIN AMERICA #163, July 1973

In Part 1 I showed and discussed Gaspar Saladino’s cover lettering for this title, here I’ll do the same for his story lettering. He did letter some entire stories, but in many cases he was just asked to letter the first page of stories lettered by others. Marvel seems to have felt his fine work was a good selling point, especially when used on stories lettered by those with less experience or less dynamic styles. When he did these page one jobs, Gaspar always credited the letterer of the rest of the book, here Charlotte Jetter, who had a long career in comics before beginning work at Marvel in the early 1970s. Saladino’s dynamic story title and sound effect stand out on this page, and his lettering is wide, angular and appealing.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #163, July 1973

The second page of the story is lettered by Jetter, and while it’s perfectly good work, it doesn’t have the same zing as Saladino’s lettering, at least to my eye. The letters are narrower, the sound effects are not as good, and the overall look is not as strong. Gaspar was probably paid more for these page one assignments, perhaps double his page rate, and he did a lot of them at Marvel in the 1970s.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #165, Sept 1973

This story title uses Saladino’s dry brush style for STRIKES, adding energy.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #167, Nov 1973

The story title here uses one of Saladino’s scary styles, kind of drippy, with texture suggested by the words themselves.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #174, June 1974

Another use of a scary style in this title, and I like GULP! in the bottom caption.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #187, July 1975

Here MADNESS is very large and enhanced with texture and a drop shadow, while THE is a style Gaspar learned from Ira Schnapp at DC Comics.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #191, Nov 1975

The treatment of FALCON in the title is odd, but certainly has energy. The R in TRIAL is typical of Saladino with the indent on the right side below the center of the middle stroke.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #192, Dec 1975

This is an odd one, Gaspar did only the last panel of this story, a sort of combined house ad and coming attractions for the next issue’s return of Jack Kirby. I’m not sure how to count this, but I will consider it one page of lettering even though it’s less.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #194, Feb 1976

Saladino lettered several full issues in the Jack Kirby run, I think his first time lettering Kirby story pages. When Kirby was at DC in the 1950s, his stories were lettered by others. When he came back to DC in 1970, his stories were initially lettered by John Costanza, then by Kirby’s own inkers like Mike Royer. I wonder if Kirby asked for Gaspar? I love this Greek letter-inspired title, and Saladino finally gets his name in the comic.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #195, March 1976

D. Bruce Berry was another Kirby inker/letterer, but Marvel had Gaspar do this page 1. The character names and title are great.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #198, June 1976

If Gaspar’s name is in the credits, he lettered the entire story. And at the time he wasn’t yet getting printed credit on his DC Comics work, that would begin about a year later. The treatment of LOVE STORY here is right out of Saladino’s romance comic work, and notice that he’s done his own new version of CAPTAIN AMERICA rather than having Marvel paste in the logo.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #199, July 1976

Another fine title. I’m not sure if there was some tug of war going on between Marvel and Kirby over who was inking and lettering these stories, as it seems to go back and forth between Kirby’s guys and Marvel regulars, but Gaspar seems to have enjoyed working on them judging by the fine work he did.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #203, Nov 1976

Who can fail to be drawn in by GET THIS!! And again, more new character names by Gaspar.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #204, Dec 1976

Lots of lettering here, but Kirby left room for it.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #222, June 1978

When Kirby moved on, Gaspar went back to lettering some of the Page 1’s. The title and sound effects here add drama and excitement.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #226, Oct 1978

No credits on this one, but Gaspar’s title and lettering style is clear.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #228, Dec 1978

I like the way Saladino made the first word small on this title so the others could be larger.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #232, April 1979

The style of the title here is pure Saladino, including his excellent flaming letters.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #233, May 1979

The title here is great dry brush work in perspective, reversed by the Marvel production department to make it white on black.

From CAPTAIN AMERICA #237, Sept 1979

On this final Page 1, dry brush is again used on ASHES effectively.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these stories:

#163 July 1973: page 1 only

#165 Sept 1973: page 1 only

#167 Nov 1973: page 1 only

#169 Jan 1974: page 1 only

#174 June 1974: page 1 only

#187 July 1975: page 1 only

#191 Nov 1975: page 1 only

#192 Dec 1975: page 18 only

#194 Feb 1976: 18pp

#195 March 1976: page 1 only

#198 June 1976: 17pp

#199 July 1976: 17pp

#203 Nov 1976: 17pp

#204 Dec 1976: 17pp

#222 June 1978: page 1 only

#226 Oct 1978: page 1 only

#228 Dec 1978: page 1 only

#232 April 1979: page 1 only

#233 May 1979: page 1 only

#237 Sept 1979: page 1 only

That’s a total of 101 pages. Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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