GASPAR SALADINO in IRON MAN Part 2

All images © Marvel. From IRON MAN #75, June 1975

In part 1 of this article I discussed Gaspar Saladino’s early cover lettering, here I’ll look at his story lettering, which is all only the first page of stories lettered by others. Marvel hired him to do this in the 1970s I think because they thought his dynamic titles and strong style might convince browsers to buy the comics. This title certainly fills that order. As always, Gaspar puts in the name of the letterer of the rest of the story, and their work often looked quite different.

From IRON MAN ANNUAL #3, 1976

The creative overlaps and extensions in this story title point toward Saladino.

From IRON MAN #85, April 1976

This story title grabs the eye with energy and personality. It’s a long title, but Gaspar knew just what to emphasize.

From IRON MAN #90, Sept 1976

The contrast between the first two words and the rest of this title make it more interesting.

From IRON MAN #94, Jan 1977

Another energetic title, FRENZY reminds me of Artie Simek’s work, and Gaspar sometimes used a rounded Art Deco style for the credits that I like, as here.

From IRON MAN #95, Feb 1977

These sound effects are classic Saladino, and I like the arrow in the balloon before the title.

From IRON MAN #98, May 1977

Gaspar loved to draw flames, and the ones around this story title work well and add interest.

From IRON MAN #101, Aug 1977

Gaspar’s classic MONSTER lettering works well here. The nickname for editor Archie Goodwin, “asseverative,” is a word I didn’t know until I just looked it up.

From IRON MAN #103, Oct 1977.

Lots of fine Gaspar lettering here, distinctive sound effects, and notice the script signature at bottom left.

From IRON MAN #106, Jan 1978

In effect, Saladino was creating a house style for Marvel on these first story pages in way that he never did at DC, though he lettered plenty of stories there, but always full stories. Gaspar would soon be, or already was, working with penciller George Tuska on “The World’s Greatest Superheroes” newspaper strip for DC too.

From IRON MAN #110, May 1978

Another great title, and its energy is matched by the art.

From IRON MAN #111, June 1978

Look at the creative styles in this title, with a burst around it to add to the excitement. What casual reader could pass this issue by?

From IRON MAN #113, Aug 1978

They just keep coming. I love the RN’s in this title, and STARK never looked so good.

From IRON MAN #114, Sept 1978

A non-typical style for Saladino in ARSENAL, but everything else looks like his work, so just trying something different.

From IRON MAN #115, Oct 1978

Another atypical title, perhaps pencilled in by new artist John Romita Jr., but Gaspar did add his usual R style with the right side indent below the center of the middle stroke, though here it’s just a little below.

From IRON MAN #116, Nov 1978

Gaspar was an expert at dry-brush lettering, used here on ANGUISH.

From IRON MAN #119, Feb 1979

While he continued to letter covers for a while, this was the last page 1 lettering by Saladino for the title. S.H.I.E.L.D. might be pulled from a logo, it looks like the work of Sam Rosen to me. I’ll continue with Gaspar’s later covers in Part 3.

To sum up, I found page one only lettering by Saladino on these issues: 75, 85, 90, 94-95, 98, 101, 103, 106, 110-111, 113-116, 119 and Annual 3. That’s 17 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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