GASPAR SALADINO in CHAMBER, CREATURES & CRYPT

All images © Marvel. From CHAMBER OF CHILLS #2, Jan 1973

In the 1970s, Marvel Comics began expanding their line to include many more titles, some new, some full of reprints. Horror anthologies had been a mainstay of the company in the 1950s, and the three titles included here: CHAMBER OF CHILLS, CREATURES ON THE LOOSE and CRYPT OF SHADOWS were just that. Gaspar Saladino lettered a few covers for each, but no stories. CHAMBER OF CHILLS began with mostly new stories, then shifted to mostly reprints after issue #7. Gaspar’s first cover, above, has some of his effective scary lettering in the bottom blurb.

From CHAMBER OF CHILLS #4, May 1973

Another fine blurb at lower right on this cover, and the scary balloon above it also well done.

From CHAMBER OF CHILLS #5, July 1973

Saladino’s spooky balloon shape and open lettering on this cover add interest. And that’s all he did for this series.

From CREATURES ON THE LOOSE #21, Jan 1973

This title began as TOWER OF SHADOWS for nine issues, then switched titles for 28 more issues. It was a mix of new and reprinted stories, sometimes straying far from the original horror story intent, as on this cover nicely lettered by Gaspar.

From CREATURES ON THE LOOSE #22, March 1973

After having success with Robert E. Howard pulp warriors Conan and Kull, Marvel tried other similar licensed characters like this one created by Lin Carter, but none were as popular as Conan. In the top blurb, do you think they wanted readers to know it was NEW?

From CREATURES ON THE LOOSE #30, July 1974

Here’s a clever variation on the Wolf-man idea, and note he was spun off from Spider-Man. Gaspar’s lettering is restrained for him, with the only scary style being the balloon shape.

From CREATURES ON THE LOOSE #36, July 1975

The rough style and contrast of MURDER on the top blurb here really grabs attention. And that’s all the Saladino work on this title.

From CRYPT OF SHADOWS #2, March 1973

This book ran 21 issues, and was mostly reprints from the 1950s. Gaspar’s logo works well with his scary burst balloon to add excitement.

From CRYPT OF SHADOWS #6, Oct 1973

These scary and burst balloons work fine, but I’m more impressed with the dry-brush treatment of the word DEEP! at the bottom. It was a tricky word to color, too, but it works well.

From CRYPT OF SHADOWS #7, Nov 1973

More great scary balloons here. The partial fill on BLUEBEARD is unusually deep for Gaspar, that might have been added by someone else.

From CRYPT OF SHADOWS #10, May 1974

Saladino sometimes used almost rectangular balloons like this when it worked best around the lettering.

From CRYPT OF SHADOWS #16, March 1975

The odd color treatment of the logo’s first line catches my eye here, but the balloons and caption work fine, and this is Gaspar’s last work on the title.

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

CHAMBER OF CHILLS: 2, 4-5

CREATURES ON THE LOOSE: 21-22, 30, 36

CRYPT OF SHADOWS: 2, 6-7, 10, 16

That’s 12 in all. More articles in this series and others you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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