GASPAR SALADINO in MS. MARVEL

All images © Marvel. From MS. MARVEL #3, March 1977

The first continuing series for Ms. Marvel ran 23 issues from 1977 to 1979. Gaspar Saladino lettered none of the covers, but a good number of first story pages beginning with the one above. Marvel seemed to think his talent and skills improved the look of their comics to potential buyers, and often hired him for such work, probably paying extra for it. Gaspar always put the name of the person lettering the rest of the story in his credits, and their work was often quite different. Not so in this case, John Costanza’s lettering was almost as strong and accomplished as Gaspar’s, but perhaps he hadn’t received this story yet and Gaspar was available, so they gave him the first page. His title has a strong combination of styles with the L in LADY’S similar to what he often did for the word Love and KILLING having a dramatic rough treatment.

From MS. MARVEL #5, May 1977

On this title, BRIDGE has rivets and NO RETURN has organic energy and rough outlines. It certainly seems like Gaspar was getting these regularly even though Costanza was the assigned letterer with strong title skills of his own.

From MS. MARVEL #6, June 1977

Perhaps Costanza was fine with that, as the title page was usually more work than the rest. Here Saladino not only did a fine title but created lettering for a magazine cover too.

From MS. MARVEL #8, Aug 1977

This title was easier, block letters, but Gaspar always added creative touches like the tucked A in LAST.

From MS. MARVEL #9, Sept 1977

Here the story title is in a large word balloon, not easy to do, and the other special style balloons for the character add interest and energy, as does the burst from Ms. Marvel.

From MS. MARVEL #13, Jan 1978

A short title could be larger if there was room, as here. Gaspar was trying to make it even larger by running the exclamation point under the panel border.

From MS. MARVEL #16, April 1978

Here Gaspar makes the first line of the title rough and the second line smooth, just mixing things up for variety.

From MS. MARVEL #20, Oct 1978

For a change there’s no story title on this first page. I’m not sure who designed the new character logo, it could have been Saladino.

From MS. MARVEL #23, April 1979

The final issue has a story title that plays off a 1976 science fiction film title (using WOMAN instead of Man), but this is a quiet start for a superhero comic.

To sum up, I found Saladino lettering on the first page of these issues: 3, 5-6, 8-9, 13, 16, 20, 23, nine in all. Other articles in this series and more you might like are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

2 thoughts on “GASPAR SALADINO in MS. MARVEL

  1. David Goldfarb

    I note that the new character logo in issue 20 has the “Saladino capital R”, albeit with serifs. That seems pretty diagnostic, I don’t think it’s a think I’ve ever seen another letterer do.

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