Monday, May 28, 2018

Comics: Danny Crespi, Letterer

1975 Mighty Marvel Comic Convention Program

Daniel “Danny” Crespi was born on February 13, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York. His birthdate is from the Social Security Death Index and the birthplace is based on census records. Crespi’s parents were Turkish emigrants.

According to a passenger list at, Crespi’s father, “J. Nessem Crespie”, a shoemaker, sailed on the steamship Floride from Havre, France on July 1, 1911 and arrived at the port of New York on July 11. In the column “Race or People” was written “Hebrew.” Another column asked for the name and address of the “nearest relative or friend in country whence alien came”. Nessem named his father, Daniel, who lived in “Angora, Turkey”. Today the city is known as Ankara. Nessem’s passage was paid by his brother, “Jacques D. Crespie”, the oldest of five siblings, who resided at 1196 Second Avenue in Manhattan. Both brothers made minor changes to their names.

On June 5, 1917 Crespi’s father, Nissim Crespi, and uncle, Jacob Crespi, signed their World War I draft cards. Nissim was employed at a paper box manufacturer. Jacob, later known as Jack, was a porter at the Colonial Hotel. They resided in Manhattan at 75 East 110 Street. (A family tree at said Jack had a son named Daniel, 1918–2015).

Nissim has not yet been found in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census.

According to Crespi’s Social Security application, his mother was Sarah Asher. Crespi’s parents obtained a marriage license in Manhattan on September 30, 1920. They married in Brooklyn on October 4, 1920 according to the New York, New York, Marriage Certificate Index at At some point Nissim adopted the name Sam.

The 1925 New York state census recorded Sam, Sarah, Sam’s daughter and mother, both named Rachel. They lived in Brooklyn at 622 Junius Street.

The same address was in the 1930 census. The household included Crespi, his parents and sister. Crespi’s father owned a shoe repair store.

On August 4, 1928, Crespi’s father filed an naturalization application. His Petition for Citizenship was approved June 28, 1932 in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York at Brooklyn. At the time, the Crespi family resided at 668 Georgia Avenue.

A Journey Through Time”: Portraits of the American Jewish Family and the American Sephardic Jewish Family (1993) published the wedding photograph of Mary Asher and Israel Elias, who married on june 18, 1932. Young Crespi and his parents are in the picture.

According to the 1940 census, the family moved to the Bronx after 1935. The Crespi family’s address was 447 Claremont Parkway. That address was also on Crespi’s father’s World War II draft card which was signed on April 27, 1942.

During World War II, Crespi enlisted in the Army Air Corps, at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on April 17, 1944. According to Crespi’s veteran’s file, he was discharged May 2, 1946.

Crespi’s art training was at Burne Hogarth’s Cartoonists and Illustrators School. (I contacted Todd Klein, who contacted Nel Yomtov, a relative of Crespi, who said Crespi used the G.I. Bill to enroll in 1946 or 1947.)

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Crespi’s comic book lettering career began at Timely Comics in 1948. In 1957, most of the Timely staff was disbanded. In Comics Interview #9, March 1984, D. Jon Zimmerman asked Crespie what he did next.

Danny: I began doing freelance lettering.

Z: In comics?

Danny: No, in advertising. I told myself, “To Hell with comics—it must be dying if a big company like Timely can close up.” I went to art studios doing board work and paste ups, then went to the presentation department of BBD&O and did Speedball lettering for them for 12 years.
In John Romita and All That Jazz! (2007), Jim Amash interviewed Romita and asked about Crespi. Romita said
Danny Crespi goes back even before I got there. He was working at the Empire State Building as one of the letterers during the Timely days. And then he wasn’t working with Stan for years, and all of a sudden he was back in the Bullpen again….
Who’s Who said Crespie returned to comics in 1969. However, in Comics Interview, Crespie said, “Well, about twelve years ago [1972] I called up Morrie Kuramoto—I don’t talk to him that often and once every twelve years is enough. (Laughter.) I didn’t even know if he was still working at Marvel, but I heard he was. I asked if he had any work for me. He said, “Hey, man, I can use a hand. Come on down!’”

The New York City, Marriage License Indexes, at, said Crespi and Rosalyn R. Jaffe obtained a Bronx marriage license 1952. Their daughter, Susan, also worked for Marvel in the early 1990s and may still be there.

Crespi passed away May 30, 1985, according to his veteran’s file. The Social Security Death index said his last residence was the Bronx. Crespi’s father’s death was on September 3, 1992. His oral history was recorded March 13, 1991. Crespi’s mother died October 15, 2002. The death of Crespi’s wife was on October 14, 2013. All were laid to rest at New Montefiore Cemetery.

Marvel comic books dated December 1985 had Jim Shooter’s tribute to Crespi in the “Bullpen Bulletins”.

The Comics Journal #101, August 1985, said “Crespi came on staff at Marvel in 1972 as the head letterer, having been a freelance letterer since the 1950s. In 1978, he became the assistant production manager, working closely with John Verpoorten. When Verpoorten died, Crespi became the coordinator for the art and production departments. Since then, Crespi became the central figure responsible for day-to-day operations in the Bullpen.”

Further Reading and Viewing
Todd’s Blog, The Danny Crespi Files

Eliot R. Brown
April 18, 1982, The Marvel Wack-Offs!
Danny Crespi and Stu Schwarzberg, 1979
Danny Crespi and Lenny Grow, March 1979

Scott Edelman
Marie Severin’s ’70s Marvel Bullpen map: “As for The Turk, I can’t say 100% for sure, but I believe that referred to then assistant production manager Danny Crespi….”
Cook Danny Crespi’s ribs
Clem Robins

Related Posts

(Next post on Monday: Trademarks, September 8, 1935)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Lettering: Warren P. Lovett, Entrepreneur

June 1891
“Warren P. Lovett. His design speaks for itself. It is printed on the front of the envelope.”

October 7, 1891
“In the way of return envelopes the one gotten out by Mr. Warren P. Lovett, and shown on this page, is specially ingenious.”

I thought Lovett was a designer, he wasn’t, but Lovett was creative in other ways.

About Warren P. Lovett

Warren Parks Lovett was born on July 27, 1850, in Georgia. His parents were Napoleon Bonaparte Lovett and Miriam Ferrell, Napoleon’s second wife who died after Lovett’s birth. His father
remarried to Sarah S. Parham.
The 1860 US Federal Census recorded Lovett, his father, step-mother and older brother, Byrd, in Meriwether, Georgia. Lovett has not yet been found in the 1870 census.

I believe Lovett was mentioned in Poultry World, August 1874, “W. P. Lovett, Ogeechee, Ga.” and in The Pet-Stock, Pigeon, and Poultry Bulletin, July 1875.
The following we clip from the Poultry World, for June. We regret that we must confirm the statement, as the same parties, during last winter, swindled us out of a small amount:

“We alluded, last month, to W. P. Lovett, a poultry dealer of Ogeeche, Ga., in terms not complimentary. We have learned that “Burns & Co.” so designated, are their allies; or the latter firm is simply another name for Lovett. Look out for them, for they are reported to us, on the best of authority, as swindlers of the worst type.”
The Macon Telegraph, October 12, 1877, said Lovett arrived at the Brown House yesterday.

Lovett was listed in the Sholes’ Directory of the City of Atlanta for 1877, “Lovett Warren P, with G S Lowndes, bds 117 S Pryor”; and 1878, “Lovett Warren P., agt r Alabama, ne cor Pryor”.

Lovett was mentioned in the Atlanta Constitution (Georgia), July 31, 1878, “Mr. Warren P. Lovett, left on a trip to Louisville and Cincinnati yesterday and will be absent a few days.” and in a November 9, 1878 article on a wedding, “…Mr. Warren P Lovett, of Atlanta, was master of ceremonies, and was an invaluable acquisition to the party.”

The Atlanta Constitution society column mentioned Lovett on January 19, 1879, “Mr. Warren Lovett and family are in Jacksonville, Fla.”

The Evening Star, (Washington, D.C.), August 7, 1879, published this article. 

Shooting a Scandal-Monger.—A fatal shooting affair occurred in Meriweather county. Ga., Monday. Warren Lovett, a well-known whisky “drummer,” was recently made the subject of a social scandal, and his name coupled with that of a lady of one of the first Georgia families. Lovett denounced the report as an infamous lie. He traced it to W. B. Reynolds as the author. Monday afternoon Lovett and two friends, riding on a country road, met Reynolds. Lovett dismounted from his horse and said: “Reynolds, you have told an infamous lie about me, and you must retract it here, in the presence of these gentlemen.” Reynolds said: “It is no lie, and I won’t retract it.” Reynolds then drew a pistol and fired, missing Lovett. Lovett drew a revolver and shot Reynolds in the breast. He died Tuesday morning and in his dying statement declared that he bad no pistol, and that one of Lovett’s friends fired the pistol and laid it by his side in the road. The case has created great excitement. Reynolds was of bad reputation and sympathy is with Lovett.
Another account of the incident appeared in the National Police Gazette (New York), September 6, 1879.
The Reynolds Homicide.
Near Griffin, Ga., on Sunday, the 3rd inst., Warren P. Lovett, a well-known and esteemed citizen of Atlanta, while on his way to pay a social visit, in company with two friends, named Trammell and Thorne, encountered in the road one J. K. Reynolds, a farmer, residing in the vicinity, who, Lovett had been informed, had circulated a scandalous report concerning him and involving a respectable young lady of the neighborhood.

Lovett, upon seeing Reynolds, addressed him as follows:

“You have circulated a report of me which you know to be utterly untrue, and now I want you to correct it to Mr. Trammell and Mr. Thorne, which will be satisfactory to me.”

Reynolds replied, “Yes, I started the report, and God damn you, I’ll kill you too!”

Wherepon [sic] Reynolds proceeded to draw a pistol and Lovett jumped out of the buggy. Just as Lovett had gotten out on the ground Reynolds fired at but did not hit him. Lovett then returned the fire the ball from his pistol taking effect in Reynold’s left side.

As Reynolds fell he remarked that Lovett had got the best of the fight but that he would fix it so Lovett would suffer. Reynolds died the following day. He had repeatedly threatened Lovett’s life.

The killing was justified by general opinion as having been strictly in self-defense. An authentic portrait of Lovett is given on another page.

Warren P. Lovett, killed J. K. Reynolds, a slanderer,
in self-defense, near Griffin, Ga.
Lovett was recorded twice in the 1880 census. In Griffin, Georgia, Lovett was a commercial broker married to Sallie. The oldest of three children was born in Texas; the others in Georgia. The family had a servant. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, Georgia, Lovett was a liquor dealer. According to the census all of his children were born in Georgia and the family did not have a servant.

Lovett’s visits to Macon were noted in the local newspaper.

Macon Telegraph and Messenger, December 23, 1882, “Warren P. Lovett was in the city last night.”

Macon Telegraph and Messenger, April 16, 1884, “Mr. Warren P. Lovett, representing the house of W. Ferst & Co., Savannah, was in Macon yesterday. Warren has a large number of friends in Macon and feels a pride in Macon’s greatness as shown yesterday.”

Macon Telegraph and Messenger, August 2, 1884, “Mr. Warren P. Lovett, who divides his time between traveling on the road and writing poetry, was in town yesterday.”

Macon Telegraph and Messenger, January 21, 1885, “Warren P. Lovett, Esq., is in the city to-day.”

Macon Telegraph, October 13, 1887, “Arrivals at Brown’s Hotel Yesterday. Warren P. Lovett, Savannah”

Lovett’s whereabouts was noted in the People’s Journal, (Pickens, South Carolina), August 16, 1894: “Warren Lovett, of Sanderville [sic], Ga., is visiting his niece, Mrs. J.P. Carey.”.

Lovett ran an advertisement in the New York Daily Tribune, March 5, 1895, and Albany Evening Journal (New York), January 15, 1896.

The Best Thing In Its Place.
Gentlemen: "After a thorough trial, in more ways than one, I have found Pond’s Extract the very best thing in its place I ever saw and I make this assertion on my own free will and accord. If a party will use it according to directions in any of the troubles for which it is recommended in your circular, I will refund the amount to him if not benefited by its use. I write this hoping it may meet the eyes of some who need just such a medicine, if medicine it be called. I am a convert to its use and not until I thoroughly tried it. This is written without your knowledge or consent. I don’t know either of your firm nor am I the least interested in the sale, simply written for the benefit of some fellow creature who has yet to use Pond’s Extract. Wishing you every success and believing you have a good thing, which is honestly manufactured.”—Warren P. Lovett, 64 N. Forsyth Street, Atlanta, Ga.

In 1897 Lovett’s questionable business practices became news.

American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, April 26, 1897.

A Warning to Wholesalers.
Mail addressed to Warren P. Lovett, Sandersville, Ga., has been returned by the United States postal authorities stamped “fraudulent.” We are informed that several whole sale druggists have received orders from Lovett, and in at least one instance the goods were shipped, but have not been paid for.
Printers’ Ink, September 1897: “Warren P. Lovett, Sandisville [sic], Georgia, is a fraud.’

Lovett was a Sandersville, Georgia resident in the 1900 census. His occupation was assistant editor. In the household were Lovett’s wife, three children, son-in-law and granddaughter.

Lovett’s business dealings caught up with him and was reported in many newspapers including the Indianapolis Journal, Richmond TimesMaysville Evening Bulletin and Semi-Weekly Messenger
A long account was published in the Ilion Citizen (New York), June 21, 1901.

A Smooth Operator.
The Alleged Schemes of Warren P. Lovett, a Man with Several Aliases.
His Arrest on Charge of Using the Mails for Fraudulent Purposes—He Tried His Game in Ilion But It Failed to Work.

An Associated Press dispatch dated Macon (Ga.) June 3, stated that Warren P. Lovett, a prominent citizen of Sandersvilie, had been arraigned before the United States Commissioner charged with using the mails for fraudulent purposes. He was put under a $900 bond. It is claimed that he bought all sorts of goods from all parts of the country without any intention of paying for them, using various names. According to the government’s contention he secured goods in small quantities—mostly in sample lots— and sold them to his acquaintances at greatly reduced prices, whatever he received being profit.
The Macon News has the following concerning Lovett and his transactions:
If the affidavit under which Lovett was arrested be true, one of the slickest and smoothest swindlers that the state of Georgia has had within its borders was arrested in Sandersville yesterday and brought here this morning.

The names under which this smooth gentleman transacted his swindling business are very numerous and the following are just a few of them, but they will serve to show that he was an adept in selecting names, as well as merchandise and other articles which he succeeded in securing from his unsuspecting victims: Warren P . Lovett, alias Robert L. Jaxon, alias Jim Crow, alias Wm. Parker, alias Warren Parker, alias Seco Poultry Company, Sandersville, Ga.

The modus operandi of Lovett was to have struck letter heads and other stationery, in the latest and most approved style, lithographed, generally, and when he wanted a bill of goods of any kind, no matter what they were, he would write to the firm from whom he desired the goods, and by using his lithographed stationery and a most business-like tone, he generally succeeded in securing what he desired, and when time came for making payment on the goods, no such person could be found, and the consignor of the goods would have to suffer the loss, and Mr. W. P. Lovett would be the gainer by that much.

He has conducted this business for several years, and while several attempts have been made to locate him he has always worked his game so finely that not one of the many postoffice inspectors that have worked on the case has been able to fasten anything on him, until quite recently, when Inspector Peer dropped on to him.

From what could be learned of Lovett this morning he was at one time a traveling salesman, and during his career as a commercial traveler he represented many of the leading firms of this country, and by this means he was enabled to obtain all the goods he wanted, for he was perfectly familiar with ways and channels through which goods were obtained.

His mode of living and the grand style in which be lived kept suspicion diverted from him for a long time. He lived in a place in Sandersville in what is known as “The Elms,” and bis house is said to be most magnificently furnished. He is a regular Beau Brummell in appearance, and wears the finest clothes and jewelry that are to be had. He is sharp and shrewd, and no one not acquainted with his dealings would ever suspect him of being, what is charged, an expert and slick swindler. He is rather clerical looking about the face and has a most pleasant address, and is as polite as a Chesterfield.

When ordering goods Lovett always made it a rule to request that no goods be sent C.O.D., but that they be sent prepaid, and he would never under any circumstances receive goods that were sent any other way.

It is said that on one occasion a firm of lawyers in Sandersville had placed in their hands papers against Lovett with instructions to serve them on any goods that might come to him. Lovett heard of this and he quietly left Sandersville and went to Savannah, where he purchased two large trunks and filled them with brick, tin cans, and any kind of old rubbish he could get, and labelled them “jewelry,” and “glass,” had them sent by express C. O. D. to himself at Sandersville.

The unwary lawyers learning that the trunks were in the express office at once seized on to them and took them to the court house where they gave notice that the contents would be sold. On the day appointed there was a large crowd present, and Lovett was also present. He went among the crowd with a cast-down countenance and seemed to feel deeply what was going on, but when the trunks were opened and their contents became known, the lawyers were thrown into consternation, for among the rubbish was a note addressed to them and it stated that it was the compliments of W. P. Lovett to the lawyers, and it gave them the sage advice to. “Be sure you are right, then go ahead.”

It was claimed this morning that Inspector Peer had sufficient evidence against Lovett to convict him under the charge for which he was arrested, that of using the mail for fraudulent purposes, and that when the hearing comes off on the 24th there will be no trouble in producing all the documents necessary to send him up for a term of years.
The Gazette-News (Daytona, Florida), April 19, 1902, published news of Lovett’s conviction. 
At Augusta, Georgia, the ease [sic] of Warren P. Lovett, charged with using the mails for fraudulent purposes, was disposed of by the United States Court Monday morning. Lovett was sentenced to serve eighteen months in the Federal Prison at Atlanta, but Judge Speer stated that he would sign a recommendation to have him taken to the Federal asylum for the same at Washington, D.C. Lovett was well known to some of the older business man of Daytona, he at one time being in the employ of Price & Robbins, of Jacksonville, as a traveling representative.
Lovett’s condition was reported in the Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), December 2, 1903. 
In Unconscious Condition.
Warren P. Lovett, fifty-two years old, an inmate of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for the insane, was found in an unconscious condition at the Riggs House this afternoon, said to have been due to morphine poisoning. The ambulance was summoned, and he was removed to the Emergency Hospital. It is believed he will recover. The patient formerly lived in Georgia, and has been in the asylum for about one year. He left there yesterday for the purpose of visiting friends. He will be returned to the institution when he recovers.
At some point Lovett was released and returned home.

Guida Numismatica Universale (1903) had a listing for Lovett.
Landersville [sic] (Georg,)
5593. Lovett Warren P., Box 116. — Coll. num.
The Tampa Tribune (Florida), December 18, 1904, published “My Creed” which appeared to be credited to Lovett.
Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your love and tenderness sealed up until your friends are dead. Fill their lives with sweetness. Speak approving, cheering words while their ears can hear them, and while their hearts can be thrilled and made happier by them, the kind things you mean to say when they are gone, say before they go. The flowers you mean to send for their coffins, send to brighten and sweeten their homes before they leave them. If my friends have alabaster boxes laid away full of fragrant perfumes of sympathy and affection, which they intended to break over my dead body, I would rather they would bring them out in my weary and troubled hours, and open them, that I may be refreshed and cheered by them while I need them. I would rather have a plain coffin without a flower, a funeral without an eulogy, than a life without the sweetness of love and sympathy. Let us learn to anoint our friends beforehand for their burial. Post-mortem kindnesses does not cheer the troubled spirit. Flowers on the coffin cast no fragrance backward over life’s weary way.
Lovett did not write the above which was published, with minor differences, in The London Journal, May 18, 1878; The British Friend, June 1878, as “Alabaster Boxes”; The Shaker Manifesto, July 1878; The Sunday Magazine, March 1881, as “The Alabaster Box”; The Crown of Life: From the Writings of Henry Ward Beecher (1890) and other publications. The author is unknown.

The Macon Telegraph, February 2, 1908, noted Lovett’s whereabouts, “Mr. Warren P. Lovett spent several days in Davisboro.”

In the 1910 census, Lovett was the head of the household, in Sandersville, which included his wife, son, daughter and her family, and two boarders. Lovett was a commercial traveler.

The Macon Telegraph, May 26, 1912, said “Warren P. Lovett was delegate from the Violet Rebekah lodge to the Rebekah assembly.”

Lovett passed away  October 6, 1913, in Georgia. The Macon Telegraph, October 7, 1913, noted his passing.

Sandersville, Oct. 6—Warren P. Lovett, a prominent Mason and Odd Fellow of this city, and most highly respected citizen, died at his residence here early this morning at the age of 65, after an illness of only a few days.

Mr. Lovett is survived by his wife, daughter, Mrs. E.B. West, and two sons, John J. and Byrd H., all of Sandersville. He was well known throughout the state.

The funeral services occurred here this afternoon from the Episcopal church at 3 o’clock.
Lovett was laid to rest at Old City Cemetery

(Next post on Monday: Penmen Signatures)