GASPAR SALADINO in THE CHAMPIONS

All images © Marvel. From THE CHAMPIONS #3, Feb 1976

This was a superhero team book featuring Hercules, Ghost Rider, Black Widow, Angel and Iceman which ran 17 issues from 1975 to 1978. Gaspar Saladino lettered none of the covers, but was hired to letter the first story page on about half the issues, the rest of those stories were lettered by others. This was something Marvel did to help sell readers on the issues when they opened the book to take a quick look inside, and Saladino’s excellent work was often so used for letterers whose work was not as dynamic as his. As on the first one, above, Saladino added the credit for the letterer doing the rest of the issue, he went uncredited, but his page 1 style is usually quite different from the rest of the pages. On this page, Gaspar’s title is bold and exciting, and I like the little wings on the L and P of Olympus. He probably also did the team name at the top.

From THE CHAMPIONS #6, June 1976

Here dry brush is used on MAD DOGS, giving it nice contrast to the rest of the title.

From THE CHAMPIONS #7, Aug 1976

I love the treatment of THE BLACK WIDOW in this title, though the dark color works against readability, but that was not Gaspar’s choice. The variety of balloon styles adds interest.

From THE CHAMPIONS #8, Oct 1976

There’s little room on this cover for the title, Gaspar had to cover part of a head to get it in, which doesn’t look good.

From THE CHAMPIONS #9, Dec 1976

This open title works much better, and I like the dynamic sound effect. The sign lettering is also appealing.

From THE CHAMPIONS #11, Feb 1977

This story title uses thinner letters effectively, with lower case between the main words for contrast.

From THE CHAMPIONS #13, May 1977

Rough letters on DOOM and an open drop shadow on FOREVER make this title stand out.

From THE CHAMPIONS #14, July 1977

The final page 1 by Gaspar has effective monster lettering for SWARM.

Here are the details of Saladino’s lettering for the series:

#3 Feb 1976: page 1 only

#6 June 1976: page 1 only

#7 Aug 1976: page 1 only

#8 Oct 1976: page 1 only

#9 Dec 1976: page 1 only

#11 Feb 1977: page 1 only

#13 May 1977: page 1 only

#14 July 1977: page 1 only

That’s eight pages in all. Other articles in this series and more you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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