GASPAR SALADINO in MARVEL PREMIERE Part 2

All images © Marvel. From MARVEL PREMIERE #6, Jan 1973

In Part 1 I looked at all of Gaspar Saladino’s cover lettering for this title, here I’ll examine his story lettering, and there was a lot of it: several full stories and many first pages of stories lettered by others. The first example, above, is a full story, and surprisingly Gaspar used his full name in the credits instead of a pen name, as he usually did at this time. Not sure why. At DC Comics, his main client, he was not yet receiving printed credit for his story lettering, and wouldn’t until 1977. The title on this story would be a strong clue to his work even if there wasn’t a credit.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #15, May 1974

Gaspar lettered the full story on this issue too, but here he’s using his favorite pen name, L.P. Gregory (for his three children, Lisa, Peter and Greg). In the title, I think THE FURY OF is press-down type, IRON FIST is an interesting character logo.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #16, July 1974

He also lettered the entire story in the next issue, suggesting these two stories might have been given to him at the same time. It’s a surprising amount of story lettering by Saladino at Marvel for the time. His title is strong and creative, though the style of DRAGON is one now frowned on by some. It’s interesting to note that most of the creators on these stories were already working at DC Comics, or would be in a few years.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #22, June 1975

More often, Gaspar was asked to letter just the first page of stories otherwise lettered by others, this is the first one of those on the book. I think Marvel felt his dynamic style and creative skill might sell comics to browsers looking inside before deciding what to buy, and the Saladino look did give Marvel a more cohesive feel for a while.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #23, Aug 1975

Gaspar’s stylish title with some Art Deco elements and the energy of brushwork on WARHAWK certainly added a lot to this page. Gaspar always put in the name of the letterer of the remaining pages when it was known, but comparisons show those generally looked quite different.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #26, Nov 1975

On this issue, Gaspar lettered the first two pages, perhaps to help with a tight deadline, as the rest were split between two letterers. It sounds like a job that had to go out the door to the color separator that day. I think the title continues on the next page, so that’s another reason.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #28, Feb 1976

Usually at Marvel the title and credits were on the first story page, but not always. Here Gaspar was given page 3 to letter because of the story title, which he handled well, and the credits are here too.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #31m Aug 1976

Here the story title is short, but enhanced by a large balloon with display lettering and a handsome banner caption. While the title itself is not so interesting, Gaspar’s lettering is full of energy.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #40, Feb 1978

Another full story lettered by Saladino, and he uses just his first name as a credit. He was becoming known to fans by this time, and it was enough. Great sound effect, though it’s a bit hard to see because of the coloring.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #44, Oct 1978

The character logo/story title here is very similar to the one on the cover, but not the same. It’s hard to know which came first, and I’m not sure if the cover one is by Gaspar. I like the creative touch of having the credits on a playing card.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #46, Feb 1979

I suspect this story title was pencilled by George Pérez and just inked by Saladino, as the letter shapes don’t look like something he would do.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #48, June 1979

This story title, on the other hand, is very typical of Gaspar, note the shape of each R with the indent on the right side below the center of the middle horizontal bar.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #49, Aug 1979

On this story title, Gaspar adds drama by increasing the letter sizes from start to finish.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #51, Dec 1979

Creative contrast works well in this story title, with the last and the first word matching, and that extra swoop of the W adding interest.

From MARVEL PREMIERE #53, April 1980

As we get into the 1980s, letterer Jim Novak was sometimes doing first story pages, and his style is quite similar to Gaspar’s, but I think this one is still by Saladino.

Details on Gaspar’s story lettering are below.

#6 Jan 1973: 20pp

#15 May 1974: 19pp

#16 July 1974: 18pp

#22 June 1975: page 1 only

#23 Aug 1975: page 1 only

#26 Nov 1975 pages 1 & 2 only

#28 Feb 1976: page 3 only

#31 Aug 1976: page 1 only

#40 Feb 1978: 17pp

#44 Oct 1978: page 1 only

#46 Feb 1979: page 1 only

#48 June 1979: page 1 only

#49 Aug 1979: page 1 only

#51 Dec 1979: page 1 only

#53 April 1980: page 1 only

That’s a total of 86 pages. More articles in this series and others you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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