GASPAR SALADINO in FANTASTIC FOUR Part 2

All images © Marvel. From FANTASTIC FOUR #196, July 1978

In Part 1 we looked at the covers and story lettering of Gaspar Saladino for this important Marvel series from 1973 to 1977. Part 2 covers his work from 1978 to 1982, late for him at this company, at least from what I’ve found so far. Gaspar’s main employer was always DC Comics, but he was good enough and fast enough to do a fair amount of work for others too. The cover above is a rare multiple panel one for this series, and Saladino’s balloon lettering is about what he would do on inside pages with the addition of some open display lettering.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #198, Sept 1978

The only story lettering for this issue is a single page, above. Gaspar was often asked to do that at Marvel I think because they thought his work would be a good selling point to buyers opening the book for a look inside, but that’s my guess. He always credited the letterer on the rest of the pages and not himself. His wide, angular lettering and strong title are good indications of his contribution.

From FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #13, 1978

Another first page only by Saladino for the Annual with a strong vertical title.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #200, Nov 1978

Here the blurbs below the logo are by Saladino, the ones above use type. For a company known for short runs in the 1940s and 1950s, reaching 200 issues was unusual and worth celebrating.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #203, Feb 1979

Many letterers did arrow captions, but few added perspective, as seen in the second one here.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #207, June 1979

I’m not absolutely sure all of this cover is lettered by Saladino, the style of MONOCLE is not typical for him, but the rest looks right.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #208, July 1979

The blue color makes these balloons stand out, but Saladino’s rough borders help.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #209, Aug 1979

I was not reading FF at this time, so I missed Herbie the Robot. Just as well.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #211, Oct 1979

A combination of loose and standard styles give these blurbs contrast.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #217, April 1980

Well, easy come, easy go for Herbie I guess. Gaspar’s rough, angular letters on DESTROY and BETRAYED work well.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #218, May 1980

As we enter the 1980s, Saladino’s lettering disappears from most Marvel titles, but continues on this one, or so I see it. Jim Novak was now lettering some of these stories, and he became the best Saladino imitator of all of us, but comparing his story lettering to the covers, I feel sure that Gaspar was still doing many of those. I might be wrong on a few, and there are also a few where I didn’t call it for Saladino because I thought it could be Novak.

From FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #15, 1980

I’m not positive about this one, but the lettering looks like that of Gaspar to me.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #223, Oct 1980

The rough, textured serif treatment of SALEM SEVEN here is pure Saladino.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #225, Dec 1980

The treatment of ENRAGED and the curved arrow point toward Gaspar.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #226, Jan 1981

Saladino added Asian style to the top arrow and GUEST STARS grabs attention.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #227, Feb 1981

The creativity of this bottom blurb is impressive.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #228, March 1981

EGO-SPAWN has a slight Art Deco feel, another creative touch.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #230, May 1981

Gaspar’s treatment of AVENGERS echoes his logo for them.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #231, June 1981

Great contrast in this bottom banner, and I like the way the N extends up and down.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #233, Aug 1981

These open display letters are strong but also organic thanks to the texture and subtle drop shadow.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #234, Sept 1981

Ask Gaspar for interesting large lettering to fill a large space, and he doesn’t disappoint.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #236, Nov 1981

Another celebration with fine Saladino lettering, though there’s barely room for it.

From FANTASTIC FOUR #238, Jan 1982

Gaspar’s final cover lettering for this book is also my favorite! Once again, given room, he went big and beautiful on the scary and display lettering in the sign, and the bottom caption is fine too.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 132, 135, 138, 140, 142, 145, 151, 156-157, 160, 165, 167-168, 170, 172-173, 175, 178-179, 185, 196, 200, 203, 207-209, 211, 217-218, 223, 225-228, 230-231, 233-234, 236, 238, Annual 10-11, 15. That’s 43 in all. Below are the details of his story lettering.

#183 June 1977: 17pp

#185 Aug 1977: 17pp

#198 Sept 1978: page 1 only

Annual #11 1976: page 1 only

Annual #13 1978: page 1 only

That’s 37 pages total. Other articles in this series and more you might like can be found 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.