GASPAR SALADINO in MARVEL TEAM-UP Part 1

All images © Marvel. From MARVEL TEAM-UP #8, April 1973

This long-running title allowed Spider-Man to team up with a wide variety of other Marvel characters in new adventures. It ran 150 issues from 1972 to 1985. Gaspar Saladino lettered covers and first story pages from 1973 to 1979, but only a quarter of them were covers, so this time I’ll go through everything chronologically and not divide my two-part article into covers and story pages. The first example, above, has an impressive title with telescoping on the left half and a banner behind the rest. Marvel assigned these to Gaspar I think hoping his skill and energy might sell a few comics to browsers, and it helped give Marvel a more cohesive look, at least as far as the first story pages. (In a few cases there were other pages chosen for Saladino to letter, usually the ones with the title and credits.)

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #10, June 1973

The drama, creativity, and impact of titles like this one were beyond the skill of many Marvel letterers, so I think having Gaspar do them was a smart move. As always, he credited the letterer of the remaining pages, though comparing those to his shows that they were often quite different.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #12, Aug 1973

Here’s the first cover with Saladino lettering. Notice how angular the display lettering is with lots of sharp corners. The balloon lettering in the circle is wide and angular too.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #12, Aug 1973

Inside that issue is one more page of fine Gaspar lettering. The first word of the title seems to be straining to escape from the panel borders.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #14, Oct 1973

The lettering on this cover is harder to identify, but I think the shapes and very precise open letters of the bottom blurb are more like the work of Saladino than the other most frequent cover letterer, Danny Crespi, and unlike others lettering covers at the time.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #15, Nov1973

There are only balloons on this cover, no blurbs, but the style in them is pure Saladino.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #19, March 1974

The best clue to Gaspar’s work on this cover is the style of FEATURING above the bottom caption, but it’s all by Saladino. Marvel’s tendency to reverse or fill around the lettering makes it a bit harder to identify.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #20, April 1974

These blurbs are small, but clearly by Saladino, note the lower case AND in the bottom one for instance.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #23, July 1974

Saladino’s decorative approach to FIRE and ICE in the top blurb and his letter shapes for EQUINOX are good style pointers, and the balloon lettering is typical for him.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #23, July 1974

With more room inside, he goes further with creative styles on this title.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #34, June 1975

The rounded E’s in METEOR are something Gaspar did occasionally, and all the display lettering has his angular style.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #35, July 1975

In this title, BLOOD is effectively done with a brush for maximum drama. He’s also done the lettering in the top banner.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #36, Aug 1975

Gaspar had lots of styles in his repertoire to choose from, and sometimes he came up with new ones, as on CASTLE here, and more new lettering in the top banner.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #38, Oct 1975

When the words fit better, Saladino sometimes used more rectangular balloon shapes, as here. GRIFFIN is another example of his creative letter forms that added excitement.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #38, Oct 1975

Most letterers would have used the same style inside the book if given the chance, but Gaspar went in a completely different direction for this story title.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #39, Nov 1975

Here he chooses a scary style for SLAY, adding interest and variety to the title.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #40, Dec 1975

Again, many letterers would have looked for logos to drop onto some of these characters, but Saladino simply lettered everything anew, as if the characters had never been seen before, and he did it with style and variety.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #41, Jan 1976

Gaspar was a master of dry-brush lettering, and he used it here on WITCH. Lots of other fine work here too, look at those creepy credits in perspective.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #42, Feb 1976

Look at the contrast and creativity in this title, and VISIONS picks up the diamond symbol from the character’s chest and runs with it.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #43, March 1976

I love that scary balloon style near the top of this page, and it kind of echoes the treatment of MAD.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #44, April 1976

There are six words in this title, and Saladino knew just which ones to emphasize. The Y shapes in YESTERDAY are unusual and perhaps unique, and more great lettering in the top banner.

From MARVEL TEAM-UP #45, May 1976

Here’s another story title with an unusual style that makes it more interesting.

That completes Part 1, I’ll have totals in Part 2 after detailing the rest of Gaspar’s work on this title. Other articles you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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