All images © Marvel. From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #166, Aug 1973

In Part 1 I looked at Gaspar Saladino’s cover lettering for this popular Marvel title, here I’ll examine his story lettering. Much of it was for just the first page of stories otherwise lettered by others, something Marvel often hired him for in the 1970s. I think they felt his skill and talent would help sell comics to browsers. On the first example above, the small words in the title are type, perhaps press-down letters, the open words are by Saladino. Gaspar has put in the name C. Jetter (Charlotte) as the letterer in the credits, she did the rest of the story, and her style is quite different.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #178, Aug 1974

Gaspar knew where and what to emphasize, look at the burst balloon at lower left, which extends into the next panel to allow it to be larger.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #183, Jan 1975

This story title is enhanced by a lightning bolt style for the final word, and notice how FURY has a heavier outline to add emphasis.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #199, May 1976

In addition to the appealing title, look at the double-bordered burst at upper left, and the script signature in the bottom left caption, both typical of Saladino.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #200, June 1976

All the lettering here except the open words in the top banner and “Stan Lee Presents” are by Saladino, those are carryovers from Artie Simek and Sam Rosen respectively. This is a crowded page, but the title commands attention, as does the burst balloon to the left of it.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #202, Aug 1976

There’s an art to knowing what to emphasize in a title, and Gaspar handles this one well, adding rough outlines to the first word to match the intent and create contrast. I also like the Art Deco credits he sometimes used, as here.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #203, Sept 1976

The letter S is perhaps the most variable in design, look at the interesting shape of the one here in PSYKLOP, which fills the void under the P perfectly.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #207, Jan 1977

Here the emphasis is achieved through making one word solid black while the others are outlined for contrast.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #211, May 1977

Gaspar went all out on this story title, adding lots of style and craft. The last burst balloon is also eye-grabbing.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #215, Sept 1977

For some reason, Gaspar was asked to letter the first three pages of this story, perhaps to help out Joe Rosen, who did the rest and got the credit. Saladino’s title is large and impressive.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #217, Nov 1977

John Costanza usually lettered his own first story pages, but I’ve compared his style on the rest to this one carefully, and I feel sure it’s by Gaspar. Perhaps he was in the office first the day this was ready.


Finally Saladino gets to give himself a credit on this story because he lettered the entire thing. His credit is just his first name in script, his preferred way to do it.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #219, Jan 1978

On this story title, ISLAND looks like it was outlined by Saladino, then filled in black either by a production person or by the colorist and the separator. The clue is how small the openings in the A and D are. It still reads okay.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #222, April 1978

Another story lettered entirely by Saladino. The credits are surprisingly small here, and Gaspar did his name to match that of Glynis Wein, the colorist. Nice open script on BILLY.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #225, July 1978

In this title, I like the creative style of HULK, and DEATH is done with a brush, as Gaspar often did it.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #228, Oct 1978

This story title is surprisingly small, perhaps it was reduced to keep it off the figure. What a great use of perspective on the art!

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #230, Dec 1978

In this title, notice how Gaspar allows more room for the first large word by tucking THE over it.

From THE INCREDIBLE HULK #237, July 1979

The final page 1 lettering by Gaspar has more impressive brush lettering on DIES, and the rest is given depth by a subtle drop shadow. If you have the opportunity, take a look at the story titles in this series not by Saladino and see if you can understand why his contributions were so valued. Below are the details of his story lettering.

#166 Aug 1973: page 1 only

#178 Aug 1974: page 1 only

#183 Jan 1975: page 1 only

#199 May 1976: page 1 only

#200 June 1976: page 1 only

#202 Aug 1976: page 1 only

#203 Sept 1976: page 1 only

#207 Jan 1977: page 1 only

#211 May 1977: page 1 only

#215 Sept 1977: pp 1-3

#217 Nov 1977: page 1 only

#219 Jan 1978: page 1 only

#222 April 1978: 18pp

#225 July 1978: page 1 only

#228 Oct 1978: page 1 only

#230 Dec 1978: page 1 only

#237 July 1979: page 1 only

Annual #6 Nov 1977: 34pp

That’s a total of 70 pages. More articles in this series and others you might enjoy are on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

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