Gus Arriola was born July 23,1917 in Florence, Arizona and was raised in Los Angeles, California. After
graduating high school, he worked for six years in cartoon animation until selling GORDO to United Features Syndicate in 1941. His awards include "Best Humor Strip" from the National Cartoonists Society in 1957 and 1965, "Distinguished Artist" from the Artist Club of San Francisco in 1957, and the San Diego Comic-Con Inkpot Award in 1981. He spent the last 52 years of his life in Carmel, California. The bulk of his estate was given to Bancroft Library in Berkeley, California before his passing.
The comic strip GORDO chronicled the life of Mexican bean farmer Perfecto Salazar "Gordo" Lopez ("Gordo" approximately translating as "Fatso"). Other characters in the strip included his nephew, Pepito; his pets, Señor Dog and Poosy Gato (a cat); a black cat named "PM" and her kitten "Bête Noire"; jazz-loving beatnik spider Bug Rogers, drawn with only six legs; Paris Juarez Keats Garcia, a poet; Artemisa Rosalinda Gonzalez, a widow determined to marry the bachelor farmer; and Tehuana Mama, Gordo's housekeeper.
In 1954, Gordo's landlord, Don Ramon, gave up farming and Gordo began his adventures with "Halley's Cometa," as a tour guide. The character's trips were a vehicle for the strip to introduce Mexico and its people to the wider world. At the height of its popularity the strip appeared in 270 newspapers. The strip was praised by the Mexican Government and the California State Legislature for its promotion of international understanding. One of Arriola's trademarks was to use a comic pseudonym for many of his Sunday comic strips, often a phonetic pun of a recognizable word or phrase. Examples include "Kant Wynn" (Can't Win), "Overa Cheever" (Over Achiever), "Anne Teak" (Antique), "Liv Anlern" (Live and Learn), "Bob N. Frapples" (Bobbing For Apples) and "E. Trink and Bea Meri" (Eat, Drink and Be Merry).
Thank you for visiting this website. Please take a cue from our amigo Gordo, as depicted above, relax and enjoy!
The above biographical information is liberally adapted from the Wikipedia entry for Gordo and other sources. You can read more on Gus Arriola and Gordo at the books listed in the section above or by visiting Toonopedia at http://www.toonopedia.com/gordo.htm.
This website is an homage to one of the greatest and most prolific comic strip creators in the industry. None of the images or works is owned by the publisher of this website. This is a labor of love, with no profit intended. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to add to this website.
The only website devoted to the comic strip character GORDO LOPEZ and his friends, created by Gus Arriola
The GORDO comic strip was the sole creation of Gus Arriola, who produced the strip originally from November 24, 1941 to his enlistment in the Air Force in 1942. The next year he produced a Sunday only strip and, upon his discharge in 1946, he resumed his dailies until March 2, 1985. That is over 40 years of work, amounting to over 15,000 strips.
A large part of this website includes as complete a collection of strips as possible. See GORDO BOOKS for other strip compilations. My deep gratitude goes to the many FOG - Friends Of Gordo - who contributed their strips for this website. Special appreciation to Brett Bydairk for his scans of the vast majority of strips not from my personal collection. You can tell which strips are Brett's - his are the nice clean copies.
Although published as a daily strip, many of these stories could be easily compiled into a graphic novel, each panel moving the story along nicely. Each panel is also a delight to the eye, as Gus Arriola was a master of the shading and black images on white backgrounds. It is a pleasure to be able to provide these strips in a much larger format, allowing us to enjoy the work in what is close to its original rendering size, if not publication.