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.
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.
“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.
“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 Note that “Scarlet” in the Crespi lettering has been replaced by headline type.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.
“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!
“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.
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.
“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.
More of these when I have time to research them!