Gus Arriola

Gustavo “Gus” Arriola
Mexican-American 1917-2008

Joined Carmel Art Association in 1986.
“Throughout my career I have tried to maintain a daily awareness of the culture of our Southern neighbor, creating an interest in its art and history through humorous, human interest situations.”

Gus Arriola was born July 1917, in the Northern part of Mexico, now known as Arizona. At the age of eight, followed la Familia Arriola on the well-beaten path of the Conquistadores to La Cuidad de Nuestra Senora, La Reina de Los Angeles.

Gus graduated from high school directly into the cartoon animation business. A year at Screen Gems, on Krazy Kat, then to MGM cartoon department doing story-sketch for cat and mouse series, Tom and Jerry.

After three years, left MGM to produce GORDO, which United Features Syndicate bought in 1941. In 1942, Mary Frances Sevier and Uncle Sam pointed their fingers at him. Married the first and was hustled off by the second for three and a half years of animating training films for the Air Force.

Resumed production of strip in 1946, living in La Jolla, Phoenix, and finally settling on the Monterey Peninsula, a beautiful place to hang their sombreros while plotting their next trip to Mexico.

Awards: Received distinguished artist citation from Artists Club of San Francisco, 1957, in recognition of his pioneering in bringing design and color to a new high in the field of comic strips.

Two National Cartoonists Society awards for Best Humor Strip, 1957 and 1965. “Inkpot Award” for “Outstanding Achievement” from San Diego Comic Convention (1981).

Hobby: cooking and losing weight

Secret dream: “to someday have time for art without that *$!!@* daily deadline.” (Gus Arriola – Now have it! Retired March 2, 1985).

Group Exhibitions:
Carmel (California) Art Association, Phoenix (Arizona) Art Center, Richmond (California) Art Center. Special Folk Art Exhibition, Museum of Man, San Diego, and Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art (1983).

8 Gordo paperbacks – Nitty Gritty Press
Gordo’s Cat – Oak Tree Productions, San Diego

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