GASPAR SALADINO in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY and JUNGLE ACTION

All images © Marvel. From JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #5, June 1973

Marvel’s first book with this title began as a horror/science fiction anthology, and later became the first home of Thor, who inherited the book and its numbering. From 1972 to 1975, Marvel relaunched it as a mostly reprint horror anthology again, and this version lasted 19 issues. Gaspar Saladino lettered several covers, but did no inside page lettering. This post includes JUNGLE ACTION, connected only by the letter J, and that will follow. The cover above has fine Saladino scary lettering, and a scroll touting one of the few new stories in the series. He also designed this version of the word MYSTERY in the logo.

From JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #6, Aug 1973

The first balloon on this cover has Gaspar’s wide, angular lettering and his style of question mark, while the burst has his display lettering. There’s more in the banner caption at the bottom.

From JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #10, April 1974

More Saladino display lettering on this cover. The lower case OF in the burst is typical of him, and if you look closely at the burst border you’ll see his rough edges around the outside to add energy, though they’re hard to see against the dark color.

From JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #13, Oct 1974

This bottom banner is pure Saladino, with a variety of scary styles. He also did the caption at upper left, the type at upper right was added by someone else I think.

From JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #19, Oct 1975

By the end of the run the logo had reverted to the old Artie Simek one. The banner at the bottom of this cover is very Gaspar, he liked to use these kinds of angular letters for Egyptian subjects, as this seems to be.

From JUNGLE ACTION #7, Nov 1973

This title began as a reprint book for old jungle features, but with issue #5, it became the home of Black Panther, featured in new stories from issue #6 on. It ran 24 issues from 1972 to 1976. Saladino lettered several covers for the series. The one above is full of his exciting, energetic work. (The Grand Comics Database credits Gaspar as the letterer of issue #5, but I think that’s by Danny Crespi or perhaps someone else, not Saladino.)

From JUNGLE ACTION #8, Jan 1974

This one is harder to call, but I see more Saladino style here than anyone else who was lettering covers at Marvel at the time. The reversed lettering on the bottom caption makes it harder to identify.

From JUNGLE ACTION #9, May 1974

The uneven style of the open letters in the caption on the right here is very much in Saladino’s playbook.

From JUNGLE ACTION #10, July 1974

The rounded look of the open letters on this blurb suggest Danny Crespi as letterer, but a closer look shows they actually have lots of square corners, and are outlined in the way Gaspar liked to do them, first with a small pen point (still visible in the center openings) then outlined again around the outside to add more weight. The small letters above also look like Gaspar’s work to me, it’s too bad the entire blurb is so small.

From JUNGLE ACTION #17, Sept 1975

I hate the way Marvel kept making Gaspar’s banners solid black, it ruins the design, as here. His style is most obvious in the word DIE in the burst.

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

JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY: 5-6, 10, 13, 19

JUNGLE ACTION: 7-10, 17

That’s 10 covers in all. Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are 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.