GASPAR SALADINO in CAPTAIN MARVEL

All images © Marvel. From CAPTAIN MARVEL #24, Jan 1973

The name Captain Marvel was first used on a character from Fawcett Publications in the 1940s, then fell out of copyright when that company stopped using it. In 1968, Marvel publisher Martin Goodman secured rights to the name and started a new space-born character who gradually gained his own title, which ran 62 issues to 1979. Gaspar Saladino lettered some of the covers and did page 1 lettering on a number of issues, but no full stories. I’ll begin with covers. The one above is his first. The upper caption is in his styles, at the bottom ANDROID MAN is artfully designed by Saladino, the words before it are type.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #25, March 1973

The burst at upper left on this cover is definitely in Gaspar’s style, the balloons probably are, I’m not sure about the bottom banner, but I think it’s Saladino trying to imitate the style of Sam Rosen, who had recently stopped lettering for Marvel Comics, and whose workload on covers was partially taken on by Gaspar.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #28, Sept 1973

All this lettering is pure Saladino, not trying to imitate anyone.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #30, Jan 1974

This is all Gaspar’s work, except for parts of the ACTION caption, which are type. Not sure why that was done, it doesn’t look good. Possibly wording was revised after Gaspar lettered, or it’s him mixing things up with some press-down type.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #33, July 1974

The other main cover letterer at this time was Danny Crespi, whose work is generally more rounded than Saladino’s, this has the crisp corners of Gaspar’s style.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #41, Nov 1975

Gaspar’s last cover lettering for the book was on this issue, where his rough style and inner texture can be seen on HAVOC (slightly), and the R in HOMEWORLD has his distinctive shape.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #39, July 1975

As on many 1970s Marvel books, Saladino was sometimes assigned just the first page of the story, with the rest lettered by the person whose name he added in the credits. Marvel thought his work was a strong enough selling point to pay him extra for this, and it most often happened when the main letterer was less experienced or whose work was less dynamic. Few could match Gaspar on that last point, look at this strong, compelling title!

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #47, Nov 1976

Marvel’s other main letterer for many years was Artie Simek, who died in 1975, sadly resulting in more cover work for Saladino and others. Gaspar seems to be imitating Simek a bit in this story title.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #48, Jan 1977

Some of these images are not as clear as I’d like. I looked at this one a long time before deciding it’s by Gaspar, as Denise Wohl’s lettering is pretty similar on the rest of the story. Again the R shape in CRUCIBLE is the best clue.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #49, March 1977

A title that’s more definitely in Saladino’s style.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #51, July 1977

Lots of fine Saladino lettering on this page, and Joe Rosen’s lettering on the rest is quite different.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #52, Sept 1977

John Costanza usually did his own page 1’s, but this one is by Saladino. I don’t know if that was the editor’s choice or just something that was available when Gaspar was there picking up work, so they gave it to him then.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #54, Jan 1978

Here’s Gaspar lettering a George Tuska page, they would soon be, or maybe already were, working together on “The World’s Greatest Superheroes” newspaper strip for DC Comics.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #55, March 1978

I’m not sure this is lettered by Gaspar, as Bruce Patterson’s lettering on the rest is quite similar, but I think it is.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #56, May 1978

Definite about this one, the title is very Saladino, and Rick Parker’s lettering on the rest is different.

From CAPTAIN MARVEL #60, Jan 1979

This is the last Page 1 by Gaspar on the series, all very much in Saladino’s creative wheelhouse.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 24-25, 28, 30, 33, and 41, six in all. Below are the details of his story lettering.

#39 July 1975: page 1 only

#47 Nov 1976: page 1 only

#48 Jan 1977: page 1 only

#49 March 1977: page 1 only

#51 July 1977: page 1 only

#52 Sept 1977: page 1 only

#54 Jan 1978: page 1 only

#55 March 1978: page 1 only

#56 May 1978: page 1 only

#60 Jan 1979: page 1 only

That’s 10 pages in all. Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.