This and all images © Marvel.

Continuing my ongoing series about the cover lettering of Danny Crespi at Marvel Comics, mostly from 1974-1979. Photocopies of saved cover lettering from Danny’s files were compiled into a collection by letterer and friend Phil Felix during the 1980s when he worked with Danny on staff at Marvel, and Phil sent me copies. This time I’ll look at pages 49 (above) through 52. Several of these are by Gaspar Saladino: “Brain Parasites,” “Raid on Samisdat’s Island” and “150th Anniversary Issue.” Possibly also “Danger Room Operational.” The rest are by Danny Crespi. Sources follow.

“Man-Ogre” from KULL THE DESTROYER #14, June 1974.

“Sandman” from NOVA #14, Oct. 1977. The dot texture in Sandman is a cool idea, but it makes the name hard to read, especially when colored this way. I would have held those dots in a light brown.

“Nebulon” from THE DEFENDERS #34, April 1976. This one, on the other hand, really pops in red and yellow, which also matches the logo.

“Danger Room Operational” from UNCANNY X-MEN 122, June 1979. I strongly suspect Gaspar Saladino lettered this cover, though it could have been Jim Novak. Tle letters are too tall for Crespi.

“Special double-sized 150th” from IRON MAN #150, Sept. 1981. This one is definitely by Gaspar Saladino I think.

“To The Death” from TARZAN #23, April 1979. Note the two lines have been spread apart, as there’s lots of room.

“Brain Parasites” from FANTASTIC FOUR #227, Feb. 1981. This one has the flair and creativity that says Gaspar Saladino to me, and would be very late for Crespi.

“Kingpin Must Die” from DAREDEVIL #170, May 1981. I wasn’t sure about who did this at first, but Nel Yomtov says it’s by Danny Crespi, and the more I look at it, the more I agree. Interesting to see how much of DIE! can be covered without making it hard to read.

“Raid on Samisdat’s Island” from MASTER OF KUNG FU #95, Dec. 1980. Again, the styles of this one indicate Saladino to me.

Page 50. These are all by Danny Crespi except possibly “Doc Ock.” Sources below.

“Triumph and Tragedy” from WARLOCK #12, April 1976.

“Thunder” from IRON MAN #103, Oct. 1977.

“Menace” from IRON MAN #109, April 1978. The texture in MENACE works well here.

“Demons on the Moon” from SHOGUN WARRIORS #13, Feb. 1980. Note that the original lettering seems to have been done by outlining and filling around the letters in black. Possibly it’s a reversed photostat, hard to tell. That makes it easy to see how it will print, if so.

“Doc Ock” from CAPTAIN AMERICA #259, July 1981. This would be late for Crespi, and the letter shapes and burst don’t look like his work to me. I don’t know who did do it, though.

“Guardians Last Stand” from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #12, Aug. 1977.

Page 51. All by Danny Crespi except probably “Living Demons.”  Sources below, except for “Black Panther,” which I can’t find.

“Molten Man” from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #173, Oct. 1977. The texture in the letters and the drips under it are kind of overkill, but it reads fine.

“Call her Hecate” from MS. MARVEL #12, Dec. 1977.

“A Grave Honeymoon” from VAULT OF EVIL #16, Dec. 1974. The placement of the blurb over the open grave is unfortunate, but that’s not Crespi’s fault.

“Peril of the Apes” from IRON MAN #82, Jan. 1976. Dark green is not a color I would use to fill open letters, but it does still read okay here thanks to Danny’s heavy outlines.

“Isle of the Living Demons” from GODZILLA #5, Dec. 1977. This blurb is not typical of Danny’s work. Nel Yomtov suggests it might be by Jim Novak. I would have removed the outer box, I don’t think it’s needed.

Page 52. I think the top one is lettered by Jim Novak, the rest are by Danny Crespi. Sources below.

“Nomad” from CAPTAIN AMERICA #261, Sept. 1981. This is much like the work of Gaspar Saladino, but I think it’s by Jim Novak, whose work is very similar. The balloon shape decides it for me. I would not have used such a dark fill color in the tagline.

“Starjammers” from X-MEN #107, Oct. 1977. Red and yellow almost always work, and here match the logo as well.

“The Dead Don’t Sleep” from UNCANNY TALES #11, Aug. 1975. While I don’t like the green color, this is handsome lettering.

“Unliving” from AVENGERS #131, Jan. 1975.

More when I have time to research it, previous posts in this series can be found on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog.

7 thoughts on “THE DANNY CRESPI FILES Part 13

  1. joecab

    I had a good chuckle noticing that someone in the art department added a little extra word spacing to “DOC OCK”

  2. Phil Felix

    I agree with all your attributions, but take issue with your criticism of the color choices [ though I agree they are poor]. The letterer never got to choose colors on cover copy [or title page copy for that matter] even if he was the production manager…many times I did elaborate color studies for my titles, only to have them completely ignored by the colorist!

  3. Todd Post author

    I didn’t mean to imply Danny was making any color choices, I doubt he was able to, so thanks for making that point.

  4. Kurt Busiek

    From page 50 – the “Trollish Tale” caption is from WARLOCK #12, and “Thunder Over Long Island” is from IRON MAN #103.

    Page 51 – I don’t have a copy to check, but the place I’d look for that “Black Panther!” would be the next-issue blurb of MARVEL TEAM-UP #86.

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