All images © Marvel. From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #4, July 1974

Continuing this look at Gaspar Saladino’s lettering for the 100 issues of this Thing team-up title, Part 1 dealt with covers, here we look at page lettering, which is nearly all for the first page of stories otherwise lettered by others. Marvel hired Gaspar for this I think because they felt his superior skills might sell comics to browsers. It helped give the line a more cohesive look, too. In the first example above the scary style choice for the title is kind of odd, but the balloon and caption lettering is definitely by Saladino. As usual, he put the name of the letterer of the rest of the pages in the credits, and their work was often clearly different from his.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #8, March 1975

Appropriate contrasting styles in this story title, and a great sound effect.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #9, May 1975

Great dynamic title here, but perhaps it shouldn’t have gone over the figure.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #13, Jan 1976

The main title word here is well done and perhaps unintentionally amusing. The balloons have horizontal top and bottom edges to save space.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #14, March 1976

Dramatic scary letters for GHOST make this otherwise static page exciting.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #15, May 1976

I forgot to point out that Gaspar also often did the top line with the character credits for these issues, as here.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #16, June 1976

Not only a fine Saladino title, but I love the burst balloon.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #17, July 1976

No one did flaming letters as well as Gaspar.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #19, Sept 1976

The books most often chosen for Gaspar’s page one treatment were those with new, less dynamic or less skilled letterers, but that wasn’t always the case. Sometimes I think it was just a matter of what was available when Gaspar came into the Marvel offices, which was probably once a week.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #21, Nov 1976

The unique look and creativity of BLACK SUN here was something many other Marvel letterers couldn’t match.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #22, Dec 1976

This title has four different styles that all work well together, not easy to do.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #24, Feb 1977

Gaspar’s style of block letter R had the notch on the right side below the center of the middle horizontal, as if the right leg had been added to a letter P. Sometimes the notch was so small the letter didn’t read well, as here.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #25, March 1977

Gaspar liked to use a serif I where that letter begins a word, like INKER and IRV in the credits here. I don’t like that myself, but he makes it work.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #28, June 1977

Here a burst balloon adds drama.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #30, Aug 1977

Ben Grimm on Big Ben in London? A story that can’t miss! Great title by Saladino.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #32, Oct 1977

Gaspar had been using this style for the word INVISIBLE since the early 1950s, representing the letters fading away.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #33, Nov 1977

For once the word DEATH doesn’t dominate in this story title. That kiss looks a bit painful.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #34, Dec 1977

Masterful dry-brush lettering here on MONSTER.


Oddly, Gaspar’s single lettering page in this book is on page 28 of the story.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #39, May 1978

Small creative touches make Gaspar’s title work more interesting, like the tiny THE and the lower case I here.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #45, Nov 1978

Saladino liked more rounded Art Deco block letters for science fiction themes, as ANDROMEDA would suggest.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #46, Dec 1978

Adding bounce and round elements was another way to make titles interesting.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #47, Jan 1979

And here we have even more bounce and roundness for a very effective title.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #48, Feb 1979

The double-bordered frame helps this long title word read better.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #49, March 1979

The brush lettering in this title is creepy and impressive, too bad the dark coloring almost obscures OF.

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #52, June 1979

The title word KNIGHT isn’t thought out very well, but I love Gaspar’s newspaper lettering. If only real newspapers were that interesting!

From MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #53, July 1979

While he continued on covers for some time, this is the last page one lettering by Saladino on the series. Perhaps Marvel felt that they no longer needed it to attract readers.

To sum up, Gaspar lettered one page in each of these issues: 4, 8-9, 13-17, 19, 21-22, 24-25, 28, 30, 32-34, 39, 45-49, 52-53, Annual 3. That’s 27 in all. More articles in this series and others you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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