Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Knot It's Not

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

I have been collecting and scanning Gordo strips and pages over the last few years. This stylisticly clever and gentle strip appeared in quite a number of papers, especially the often strikingly designed Sunday. Nevertheless, the strip itself never made it into the big time. It was one of those strips that cold be found anywhere, while it appeared and all but disappeared after that. No major collections were made and alost nothing remains. There is quite a good book about the strip and it's artist Gus Arriola by R. C. Harvey, called Accidental Ambassador Gordo, but it didn't do a lot of bussiness outside of comic strip circles. It is still available on Amazon, where you can also find sellers for the out of print colection Gordo's Critters. Another reason why Gordo doens't get the attention he deserves, is the fact that for the 44 years it ran, the style didn't really change a lot. Like Hank Ketcham, Gus Arriola found his style pretty quickly and stuck to it. As you can see, the strips of the late forties and late fifties (and indeed ito the eighties) don't look very much different. His style may have been modern for it's day in the forties, but is was not quite modern enough for the sixties and probably a bit old hat for the later years. By then, the clever Sunday pages with their colorful design and whisical humor had started to dominate the strip. In such a way, that it was an eyeopener for me to see, how good a continuety strip the daily version was. Like a sort of thematical precursor of the work of the Hernandez Brothers, Arriola tells the gently funny tales of the citizens of a Mexican village in admirable way. With no collections concentrating on that aspect of his work, I fear he will remain an artists artist.

Jan 18 1948:

Jan 25 1948:

March 16 1958:

March 23 1958:

April 8 1958:

April 13 1958:

April 20 1958:

May 18 1958:

JUNE 22 1958:

JUNE 29 1958:

JULY 15 1958:

AUG 3 1958:

Sept 14 1958:

An almost complete run from Sept/Oct 1951 (a bit spotty in the beginning). This an early daily run, but it surprised me to see that this sort of realistic storylines were going on well into the sixties. In the meantime, the Sunday veared off more and more into the whimsical tone that came to define this strip in my mind.

1 comment:

John Platt said...

Gordo original art turns up on eBay frequently. I have yet to win one. Sigh...