Here are a few biographical details about Danny from census records found by Alex Jay. In 1930 the family lived on Junius Street in Brooklyn. They were father Sam Crespi, mother Sarah Crespi, Daughter Rachel (age 9) and son Daniel (age about 4). Danny’s birth year is given as “about 1926.” His parents were born in Turkey. By the 1940 census, the family was living on Claremont Parkway in The Bronx. Rachel is now listed as Ray. Social Security records give Danny’s mother’s maiden name as Sarah Asher, and have a birth date for Danny of Feb. 13th, 1926. His date of death is given as May, 1985.
This time we’ll look at pages 13-16 of the collection of cover lettering assembled by Phil Felix.
I believe all this cover lettering is by Danny. There are several versions of BLACKOUT and MURDER, probably trying different things for the same cover. The wobbly border around “OUT OF YOUR MIND!” is a style we haven’t seen before. Note that all the balloon and caption borders are thick and a similar line weight. Below are the places these were used that I could identify.
“Real Captain America Lives!” from CAPTAIN AMERICA 219, March 1978.
“Nightmare” and “Out of your Mind” from NOVA #18, March 1978.
Top burst from HOWARD THE DUCK #22, March 1978. Red letters on yellow read well, but the inks used at the time did not give as much contrast as those used now.
“Doom” from MASTER OF KUNG FU #61, Feb. 1978.
“Over your dead body” from NOVA #14, Oct. 1977.
There are two versions of the words BLACKOUT and MURDER from the top blurb, the italic ones were used, the non-italic were not.. Nova #19, May 1978.
Wide balloon from THE DEFENDERS #34, April 1976.
“ZULA!” from CONAN THE BARBARIAN #84, March 1978.
“What’s this?” from IRON MAN #82, Jan. 1976.
“Trapped!” from NOVA #19, May 1978.
PAGE 14. The arrow at upper right is by Gaspar Saladino. Notice the O’s are less round and the S’s more angular. The arrow border is also thinner. I’m not sure who lettered the arrow below that with “LA OF OPAR” in it. Possibly Gaspar. The rest are by Danny Crespi, I believe. Here are the ones I can identify.
“Giant!” from DEVIL DINOSAUR #3, June 1978.
“Omega” from OMEGA THE UNKNOWN #1, March 1976. Lettering by Gaspar Saladino.
“Assassin” from POWER MAN #33, July 1976. A handsome round caption.
“Firelord” and “Thunder God” from THOR #247, May 1976. The burning letters are nicely done.
“La of Opar” from TARZAN #3, August 1977, but the version on the cover is different from the one on Page 14. The final version could be by Danny Crespi. Note that it was probably relettered to better fit the space available.
“KLAW!” from KA-ZAR #15, April 1976. Thanks to Kurt Busiek for finding this one.
“Frightful Villain” from POWER MAN #29, Feb. 1976.
The three character names are part of a large burst from WHAT IF #9, June 1978. The rest is also lettered by Crespi.
“Action” from JUNGLE ACTION #20, March 1976. This one might not be by Crespi, but if so I don’t know who lettered it.”Battle on a Busy Street!” from MACHINE MAN #4, July 1978. Dark green is not a great choice for open letters, but the light background helps it.
PAGE 15. “Man Into Monster” is by Gaspar Saladino. The rest looks like the work of Danny Crespi to me. With help from Kurt Busiek, we’ve found them all. Many are from 1974.
“OZAMM” from WHERE MONSTERS DWELL #29, July 1974.
“HELL!” from DEAD OF NIGHT #7, Dec. 1974.
“Man Into Monster” from THE MAN-THING #8, Aug. 1974. Lettering by Gaspar Saladino.
Avengers names from THE AVENGERS #137, July 1975. The black fill on the background ruins a nice scroll caption by Danny. No one caught the misspelling of “bludgeoning.”
“Martial Arts Action” from MARVEL PREMIERE #19, Nov. 1974.
“SHOOT ON SIGHT!” from WESTERN GUNFIGHTERS #30, July 1975.
“AGE OF BLOOD” from CONAN THE BARBARIAN #42, Sept. 1974.
PAGE 16. “Eternity Lives” does not look like Danny Crespi’s work, and Tom Orzechowski suggests Irv Watanabe. (It’s too late for Sam Rosen, who would be my first guess.) I believe the rest are by Danny. Here are what I’ve found:
“I Dream of Doom!” from DEAD OF NIGHT #10, June 1975.
“Eternity Lives!” from DOCTOR STRANGE #10, Oct. 1975. The burst does not look like Danny Crespi’s work either. The letters are too narrow, and “supreme” should have gone on the third line. Tom Orzechowski writes: “Irv Watanabe did the cover blurbs for Doc Strange #12. He did solid but unadorned title work. Well designed, but no focus on variety.”
“Dracula battles Doctor Strange” from TOMB OF DRACULA #44, May 1976. “Doctor Strange” is in the style of the then-current logo, but lettered to fit the space.
“AGE OF BLOOD” from CONAN THE BARBARIAN #42, Sept. 1974. The other lettering was on Page 15.
“Battle” from INCREDIBLE HULK #188, June 1975.
“Spawn of Satan” from MARVEL PREMIERE #27, Dec. 1975.”SCALPS!” from TWO-GUN KID #124, June 1975.
“BOOM!” from MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #10, July 1975.
That wraps up this post, previous parts of the Danny Crespi Files can be found on the COMICS CREATION page of my blog. More when I have time to research them.