All images © Marvel. From GHOST RIDER #3, Dec 1973

This title about a demonic biker ran 81 issues from 1973 to 1983. Gaspar Saladino designed the logo and lettered a few covers as well as many first pages inside the book. I’ll look at covers first. On the first one above, the curved arrow caption is something Gaspar liked to do. Marvel’s preference for reversing the lettering and/or filling in around open lettering makes that harder to identify here, but the balloon borders and lettering certainly look like Saladino to me.

From GHOST RIDER #4, Feb 1974

The display lettering in the last balloon here is in Gaspar’s style, the thought balloon shape with such large loops is not typical, but everything else here is.

From GHOST RIDER #7, Aug 1974

The other frequent cover letterer for Marvel at this time was Danny Crespi, but his work tended to be more rounded in general. These open display letters all have crisp, pointed corners, and the style of the I at the beginning of the first caption is also typical of Saladino.

From GHOST RIDER #11, April 1975

Again the reversed lettering on black makes this a bit harder to decide between Crespi and Saladino, but the styles in the bottom caption confirm it’s by Gaspar.

From GHOST RIDER #39, Dec 1979

The burst and blurb lettering on this cover is probably by Saladino, though Jim Novak is a possible guess. I’m leaning toward Gaspar. Novak was the best Saladino imitator, but he hadn’t quite gotten there yet by this time.

From GHOST RIDER #2, Oct 1973

Marvel often had Saladino letter just the first page of stories otherwise lettered by others in the 1970s, I think because they felt his superior skills and dynamic styles would help sell comics to browsers. Most often it was done for letterers whose work was less energetic, like Charlotte Jetter here. Gaspar always credits that other letterer, and their styles are usually quite different. The bold, exciting title here is the kind of thing Marvel wanted.

From GHOST RIDER #7, Aug 1974

There wasn’t always room for such a large title, but all of Saladino’s work projected confidence and energy, as here.

From GHOST RIDER #15, Dec 1975

The addition of a typeset intro at the top of many Marvel titles at this time took away some lettering space, but Saladino’s title at the bottom is full of motion, urging the reader on to the next page.

From GHOST RIDER #16, Feb 1976

Here there was room for a large top title, and Gaspar does the first word in rough brushwork to add contrast and interest.

From GHOST RIDER #18, June 1976

A brush was used again on THE in the title for contrast, and notice the style of the block letter R in RUN, where the indent on the right side is below the center of the middle bar, a Saladino style preference.

From GHOST RIDER #19, Aug 1976

These title letters are very Saladino, with a rough, heavy border to help them read against the art except in the center openings.

From GHOST RIDER #24, June 1977

Gaspar’s wide, angular balloon and caption lettering is always distinctive.

From GHOST RIDER #25, Aug 1977

This one’s a bit harder to be sure of, as the title is not typical for Gaspar, but the rest looks like his work, and he might have just inked in a penciled title on the art.

From GHOST RIDER #26, Oct 1977

In this title, the style of DOOM and the creative approach to DR. DRUID both signal the work of Saladino.

From GHOST RIDER #28, Feb 1978

The spooky style of ORB here is pure Saladino.

From GHOST RIDER #29, April 1978

Here’s one I’m not sure about. The title style is not one Gaspar generally used, but it does remind me of Jim Novak’s work. In the balloons, the letters are a little more rounded than what Saladino usually did, so I’m going to say this is by Novak, showing how similar his work could be to Gaspar’s at times. Nick Caputo agrees that the title is at least penciled by Don Perlin.

From GHOST RIDER #30, June 1978

On the other hand, this title is pure Saladino, and his more angular balloon and caption lettering is also here.

From GHOST RIDER #31, Aug 1978

The same is true for this page 1 lettering, with Gaspar’s brush work on DEMON’S to clinch the deal.

From GHOST RIDER #32, Oct 1978

The simple addition of top and bottom bars to make the C in PRICE into a cents sign is typical of Saladino’s creativity.

From GHOST RIDER #38, Oct 1979

This carved rock title was probably pencilled in the art, but Gaspar makes it work well.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 3-4, 7, 11, 39, five in all. These issues also have his page 1 lettering: 2, 7, 15-16, 18-19, 24-26, 28, 30-32, 38, fourteen in all. More articles in this series and others you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.


  1. David Goldfarb

    The art on that last cover (of issue #39) is interesting to me: I don’t think I’ve ever seen the character’s bodysuit get torn up before. The suit always seems to follow the outline of a normal human body, and I’d assumed that only the head turned into a skull: but on that cover, we see arm and leg bones through the tears in the cloth — even though the cloth is still seemingly covering a body. Perhaps the flesh is there but invisible.

  2. Nick Caputo


    I also think GR # 29 is the work of Novak.

    I’m also pretty sure Perlin penciled in the title lettering and Gaspar followed it. I believe I’ve seen other examples of Don’s pencils where he did the title.

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