GASPAR SALADINO in GODZILLA

All images © Marvel, from GODZILLA #21, April 1979

Marvel licensed and created this comics series in 1977 to 1979, and it ran 24 issues. Gaspar Saladino lettered two covers (if I have that right) and a number of first story pages. I’ll look at the covers first. The one above has lettering that might be either by Saladino or by Marvel staffer Danny Crespi, but the style of THE in the last line points toward Saladino.

From GODZILLA #22, May 1979

The caption on this page is definitely in Gaspar’s style, his rough, textured letters for DINOSAUR are diagnostic.

From GODZILLA #3, Oct 1977

In the 1970s, Saladino was often asked to letter just the first page of stories otherwise lettered by others, I think Marvel felt his skills would help sell comics to browsers. He or someone added the name or names in the credits of whoever lettered the rest of the story, but their style was often markedly different.

From GODZILLA #12, July 1978

This strong title and the rounded E in MEGA point to Gaspar.

From GODZILLA #14, Sept 1978

This title goes further toward Gaspar’s scary style. You might wonder why if he did parts 1 and 3 of this story, he didn’t do part 2, but I think the way this worked was, Saladino made regular visits to the Marvel offices to drop off and pick up work, probably once a week (he did the same thing at DC Comics). He’d take whatever was offered, perhaps even sit down and letter a rush cover or two, and then head home to work on the rest. So, if art wasn’t ready on a book, he didn’t get that first page.

From GODZILLA #16, Nov 1978

I confess I’ve never seen the appeal of Godzilla (at least not since seeing the first film as a child), but Saladino’s titles work hard to make the stories seem exciting.

From GODZILLA #17, Dec 1978

I think writer Doug Moench was having a bit of fun with this title, a takeoff on “All Creatures Great and Small.” Gaspar’s lettering promotes the size difference.

From GODZILLA #18, Jan 1979

Gaspar put extra work into the Art Deco word MANHATTAN in this title, showing his talent and skill.

From GODZILLA #19, Feb 1979

Making Godzilla small just points out how silly he looks in my opinion.

From GODZILLA #20, March 1979

Lots of energy in this title and in the sound effects.

From GODZILLA #23, June 1979

Saladino’s final page 1, and his fine title had nowhere to go on this busy page other than over the monster, but it looks okay to me.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on two covers: 21 and 22. His page 1 only lettering appeared in these issues: 3, 12, 14, 16-20, 23, nine in all. Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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