The Danny Crespi Files Part 19

This and all images © Marvel.

Continuing my look through a set of photocopied cover lettering and related material from the files of Marvel letterer Danny Crespi compiled by his friend, work-mate and fellow letterer Phil Felix. This time covering pages 73-76. Page 73, above, is all by Danny except perhaps the “Subscribe” banner. Sources I could find are below.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is from DEFENDERS #26, Aug. 1975. The colors have been reversed from what was lettered, a common practice, done by making a negative photostat of the original lettering.

“Judgment Day” from KID COLT OUTLAW #204, March 1976. The added texture to the open letters works well to my eyes.

“Subscribe” appeared in a subscription house ad in mid 1975 titles, as supplied by Mike Adkins. Looking at the rest of the lettering on it, I now think it was probably all done by Danny Crespi, as the burst balloon shape is very much his style, and the lettering in it looks like his too.

“Battle of the Behemoths” from GODZILLA #11, June 1978.

Thanks to Kurt Busiek for finding “Buy War Bonds” on the cover of MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE ANNUAL #1, 1976. Neither Michael Styborski or I can find the other small blurbs on this page from Danny’s files.

The Crespi Files page 74. All by Danny Crespi except “Rocket Racers,” which is by Gaspar Saladino. Sources below.

“Flame and Hammer” from THOR #247, May 1976. Nice work on the flame effect.

“Garden of Evil” from DEFENDERS #36, June 1976. Here the black fill around the letters gives Evil a dirty look, but that works well.

“Tarzan Triumphs” and the balloon at lower right from TARZAN #11, April 1978. After pasting a photostat of the caption at lower right on the cover, someone has made the outline thicker. Not sure why, it was fine before.

“Rocket Racers” and the line above it, both by Gaspar Saladino, from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #182, July 1978. Note the upper and lower case THE, which Gaspar got from Ira Schnapp, and the thin outline on the open letters, plus the variable width of the caption border. Those parts are lost in the black fill of the caption box.

“Origin of Zula” from CONAN #85, April 1978.

Doomsday from THE HUMAN FLY #9 July 1978. Nearly all the lettering on this page has been reversed, white letters on black. Perhaps that idea was done too often at Marvel at the time.

Page 75, most by Crespi. Sources below, with help from Michael Styborski.

“The War Machine” is from the title page of SGT. FURY #118, March 1974. The story lettering credit is R.B. Ayers, meaning it was lettered by artist Dick Ayers himself, something I don’t recall seeing before, but then I wasn’t a regular reader of the book.

“Forbidden Zone” from ADVENTURES ON THE PLANET OF THE APES #5, April 1976.

“Murder Agency” from MASTER OF KUNG-FU #40, May 1976.

“Menace of Moose Morgan” from TWO-GUN KID #130, June 1976.

 ‘Fortress of Savage Fear’ is likely from MASTER OF KUNG-FU ANNUAL #1 April, 1976, but it wasn’t used either on the cover or the inside splash page. Michael Styborski reports, “On the cover we have Shang Chi, Iron Fist, and The Phantom Foes. Inside we have a fortress reference, plus a “popular demand” blurb arrow. All signs point to this issue as the target for the piece.

Page 76. This time, three by John Costanza, one by Danny Crespi. Details below.

“Kill-Derby” by Costanza from CAPTAIN AMERICA #196, April 1976, page one splash. The lettering on the rest of the story is by D. Bruce Berry, but page one is clearly by John Costanza. His rounded cartoony open letters are distinctive, as is his lettering style.

“A Final Battle Waged” by Costanza from TOMB OF DRACULA #42, March 1976, page one splash. this time Costanza lettered the entire story. BATTLE shows the influence of Gaspar Saladino to my eyes.

“The Rage of the Red Ghost” by Costanza from INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #83, Feb. 1976, page one splash. Again, John lettered the entire story. John’s title is very loose, picking up on the ghost theme. Why these story titles were saved in Danny’s files is a puzzle. For that to happen, they must have been lettered separately from the actual pages. Perhaps the story titles were not decided when the rest of the pages were lettered.

“Bloodlust for a Dying Vampire” by Danny Crespi from the cover of TOMB OF DRACULA #38, Nov. 1975. This title is rather weak for a cover, perhaps a rush job by Danny.

That’s all this time, more when I can get to them. Previous parts of this series can be found under the “Crespi Files” category in the right column of this page.

3 thoughts on “The Danny Crespi Files Part 19

  1. Jamie Hickson

    I always enjoy seeing how these were used in the actual comics.

    Pat Brosseau shared a bunch of the pages on his Tumblr and Twitter,
    a few months ago.

    I made some 11×17 printouts for future reference.

    Thanks for keeping this going.

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