Monday, February 4, 2008

Last Laugh for Cartoonist Gus Arriola

Cartoonist Gus Arriola, whose comic strip about a Mexican bean farmer-turned-tour guide appeared in The Chronicle for 43 years and was syndicated in 220 newspapers, died Saturday at his home in Carmel, according to his publicist. He was 90 years old.

"Long ago, a friend asked me why Gordo only drove women tourists," Arriola said in 1989. "In the strip, Gordo says, 'Life is short. And I don't want my last sight on Earth to be some hairy-legged man with a cigar.' "

Arriola told The Chronicle that he identified with Gordo "not because he chases girls but because of the freedom he enjoys."
The cartoonist died with his wife of nearly 70 years by his side. If he was alive today, Gordo would be proud.

[San Francisco Chronicle]

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