GASPAR SALADINO in MARVEL SPOTLIGHT

All images © Marvel. From MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #11, Aug 1973

Another of the many Marvel Comics series that was home to several different features over time. There were two series, the first ran 33 issues from 1971 to 1977, the second had 11 issues from 1979 to 1981. Gaspar Saladino did cover lettering and page one lettering for both. His first cover, above, has what is essentially a character logo at the bottom, though I don’t think it was used again. THE SPELLS OF THE is type, probably press-down letters. Saladino also did the two balloons, the blurb next to the logo is by someone else, carried over from past issues.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #12, Oct 1973

The small lettering in these balloons has Saladino’s angular style, and HELL in the bottom blurb is some of his fine flaming letters.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #13, Jan 1974

Danny Crespi was also lettering many covers at this time, and they had similar styles in some ways, but Crespi’s regular lettering was a little rounder, and his open letters also tended to be rounder. This is all by Saladino.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #16, July 1974

This is the first page one lettering by Gaspar, he was asked to do this by Marvel on many stories in the 1970s, I think they felt his work might help sell comics to browsers. Though most of the newspaper is actual newspaper type, Gaspar did the title, and the REPENT sign is typical of his work.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #18, Oct 1974

The wide oval of the first balloon, and especially the shape of the second one here are styles that Saladino used often. Also notice how angular the open letters of MADHOUSE are.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #19, Dec 1974

More angular Saladino balloon lettering here, look for the letter S with a wide, almost horizontal center stroke.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #19, Dec 1974

When lettering these first pages, Gaspar credited the letterer of the remaining ones if he knew it, as here, but their work often looked quite different.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #21, April 1975

Two clues to Saladino lettering here are the unusual shapes of the letters in the second line of the top caption, and the rough, scary styles used in the bottom one. Not one else did them quite like that.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #21, April 1975

I like the calligraphic script in the credits here.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #23, Aug 1975

Lots of creative, energetic lettering here by Saladino.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #24, Oct 1975

The style of DOOM alone is enough to make me sure this cover lettering is by Gaspar.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #26, Feb 1976

Saladino’s scary lettering was terrific, making the use of type for the word SPECTACULAR all the more surprising, but he did that sometimes, perhaps for contrast.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #27, April 1976

More distinctive angular display lettering, particularly in SYMBIONIC MAN.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #27, April 1976

This title has three very different styles that somehow work well together. DEATH uses Gaspar’s dry brush style.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #30, Oct 1976

I think writer Len Wein loved Gaspar’s work more than most comics writers and vice versa, they’d had a great triumph with SWAMP THING at DC Comics, and Gaspar always seemed to do particularly fine work on Len’s credit blocks.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #1, July 1979

In the second series now, with Gaspar doing the same fine page one lettering.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #5, March 1980

Gaspar’s only cover lettering for the second series was the top blurb on this cover, the bottom one is by someone else.

MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #5, March 1980

Gaspar’s final page one lettering shows his talent for knowing what to emphasize in the title.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on these covers: 11-13, 18-19, 21, 23-24, 26-27 (first series) and 5 (second series), for a total of 11. These issues have his page one lettering: 16, 19, 21, 27, 30 (first series), 1, 5 (second series), seven in all. More articles like this 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.