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Gus Arriola passes at age 90

Several of you have written in to alert me to the passing of Gus Arriola, creator of Gordo, who died at age 90 in his home in Carmel California. Gus’ feature was launched in 1941 and appeared in over 220 newspapers and ran in The San Francisco Chronicle for 43 years and was one of the first comics to celebrate Mexican culture in the United States.

“My main goal was to maintain a positive awareness of Mexico through all the years, every day, without being political,” he said in 1989. “When I started, words like ‘burrito’ were unknown in the United States.”

The Chronicle has a good write up regarding Gus’ career and history. Of note is that UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library has acquired the Gordo collection and will have a reception in Gus’ honor next month.

Community Comments

#1 Gail Hall
May/18/2008
@ 12:32 am

I was saddened to hear about Mr. Arriola’s passing. I never met him, but was a good friend of his son, Carlin. I was even shown in a couple of strips when Gordo was visiting State parks in his R.V. Carlin would bring ones he was sent from his father and we would read them at work. Well, they are both at peace now, and together again, something I am sure delighted them both. I would love to get ahold of the strips I was in. It would be 1979, about June or July I think. It showed a female park ranger named Gayla, I believe, with a smokey bear hat and long braids.

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