THE DANNY CRESPI FILES Part 15

This and all images © Marvel.

Continuing my exploration of the cover lettering work of Danny Crespi at Marvel Comics from about 1974 to the early 1980s, with some examples from Gaspar Saladino and others. 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 57-60. Page 57, above, is by Danny except for the three on the right side, which are by Gaspar. Sources follow.

KISS from MARVEL COMICS SUPER SPECIAL #1, 1977. This is adapted from the band’s logo by Ace Frehley. I can’t really say who might have lettered it, but the timing is right for Crespi, and it could have been by him, so I think it probably was.

“Montsers of the Mind Machine” by Crespi from AMAZING ADVENTURES #32, Sept. 1975. The dark colors don’t help this, but it still reads okay. OF THE is type.

“A Vault Full of Fear” by Crespi from PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #25, Dec. 1978.

“Monumental Menace” by Crespi from CAPTAIN AMERICA #222, June 1978. The heavy letters work well reversed white on black.

“Versus Brother Voodoo” by Crespi from WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #39, July 1976.

I was unable to find the “GUEST STAR” arrow by Gaspar at the upper right corner of Page 57, but blog reader David Goldfarb did, on this MARVEL CHILLERS cover dated June 1975, near the top over part of the logo. Well done, David!

“Blade and Hannibal King” from TOMB OF DRACULA #48, Sept. 1976 by Saladino. Gaspar’s style is my favorite for cover lettering, it’s just a step above everyone else in energy, creativity and style. His scary lettering, as in “Minions of Hell” here, is the scariest!

“This is it!” from INCREDIBLE HULK #200, June 1976, by Saladino. Gaspar was also excellent at making large blocks of copy interesting and varied, and was still able to fit them in tight spaces. One reason his fans, such as myself, called him The Master.

Page 58. Seven of these are by Danny Crespi, four are by Gaspar Saladino. Sources follow.

“To Challenge a Dragon” from MASTER OF KUNG-FU #64, May 1978 by Crespi. The black fill around the lettering makes the letters look a bit too narrow, but it still works okay.

“A Child Dies Mourning” from TOMB OF DARKNESS #19, March 1976 by Crespi. I like this one a lot. Danny Crespi clearly followed Gaspar’s lead for scary lettering, and this one is great.

“Scarlet Witch” from MARVEL TEAM-UP #41, Jan. 1976. Note that “Scarlet” in the Crespi lettering has been replaced by headline type. On a book like this where a different guest star appeared in most issues, and each needed some kind of logo, that became part of the cover lettering when they didn’t have one that worked.

“Fury of the Night Creature” from FRANKENSTEIN #14, Jan. 1975 by Crespi.

“When Flies the Hellbird” and “World” from KA-ZAR #15, April 1976 by Saladino. Again, the dark color does not help the main cover lettering, but it still works okay.

“Carnival” from DEAD OF NIGHT #10, June 1975 by Crespi. It should be noted that even though I’m tagging one bit of cover lettering, it’s almost always all by the same person.

“Survive” from ASTONISHING TALES #35, May 1976 by Crespi.

“Trilogy of Fear” from TOMB OF DRACULA #48, Sept. 1976 by Saladino. The other blurb on this cover we’ve already looked at. A poor color choice for TRILOGY OF, as it blends in with the background and is hard to read, but great lettering.

“Avengers Assemble” from WHAT IF? #9, June 1978 by Crespi, found by Michael Styborski. That particular phrase has been on a lot of covers!

Page 59, all by Danny Crespi. Sources follow.

“Assault on an Angry Sea” from MASTER OF KUNG FU #32, Sept. 1975. The texture Danny used on ANGRY SEA looked fine on the original lettering, but once the letters were filled with red it became harder to read. Nice work, though.

“Blood-Stalkers” from TOMB OF DRACULA #25, Oct. 1974. This one pops well, white on red.

“Doom in the Desert” from MIGHTY MARVEL WESTERN #44, March 1976. Here the texture in DOOM works great. A very effective blurb.

“Exorcism” from TOMB OF DRACULA #23, Aug. 1974.

“The Night After You Saved…” from HOWARD THE DUCK #24, May 1978. I think Danny’s slightly softer approach here works very well.

“King Cadaver” from JUNGLE ACTION #10, July 1974. Unlike many of the covers from this era at Marvel, the color scheme on this one is very attractive.

“The Temple…” from THOR #245, March 1976.

“Doomed by Diablo” from FANTASTIC FOUR #194, May 1978. This cover blurb works well as colored.

Page 60. Six of these are by Danny, five are by Gaspar Saladino: ASSASSINS, BLADE, GHOULS, DESOLATION RUN and FLAMING GOD. Sources follow.

“Assassins” from OMEGA THE UNKNOWN #1, March 1976, by Gaspar. So many of these covers are crowded, and also have lots of cover copy. Smart move to put one on the cape here.

So, how can I tell this is lettered by Gaspar? The most important clue is the style of the word MEET in this blurb, definitely in his style, and not something Danny Crespi would do. The regular letters are generally not as wide as Danny’s either. There are other, more subtle clues.

“City of the Dead” from JOHN CARTER #12, May 1978 by Danny. White letters on red almost always work.

“Blade battles Hannibal King” from TOMB OF DRACULA #45, June 1976. Note “Hanibal” in original has been corrected to “Hannibal”. By Gaspar. Nice use of the sword blade behind the letters BLADE.

“Are they Vampires” from DEAD OF NIGHT #5, Aug. 1974 by Gaspar. GHOULS is so well done!

“The Kingdom of the Ants” from DEVIL DINOSAUR #5, Aug. 1978 by Danny.

“Desolation Run” from GHOST RIDER #11, April 1975 by Gaspar. Note part of lettering is missing on the original, the words JOIN THE.

“Rat Pack” from MARVEL CHILLERS #5, June 1976 by Danny. Note part of text is revised on the printed version.

“Flaming God” from TARZAN #3, Aug. 1977 by Gaspar. This blurb works great even with the banner behind it filled black.

“Wildfire” from POWER MAN #32, June 1976 by Danny. I love the flaming balloon on this one!

“The House of Ideas” is probably from MARVEL PREMIERE #31, Aug. 1976 by Danny. The final version is relettered, but I can’t find anything else that matches better. The original may have been rejected because it didn’t fit the space well.

“7 Spine-tingling Shockers” from GIANT-SIZE CHILLERS #3, Aug. 1975 by Danny.

More of these when I have time to research them!

3 thoughts on “THE DANNY CRESPI FILES Part 15

  1. David Goldfarb

    Hey Todd! That “most requested guest star of all”, on p.57 at the top, that you say you have no guess for? Look closely at MARVEL CHILLERS #5, near the bottom…
    (Did anyone REALLY request Red Wolf as a guest star? Sheesh.)

  2. Todd Post author

    You’ve found it, David, though it’s near the top, not near the bottom. Well done! I will add that to the post.

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