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Accidental Ambassador Gordo: The Comic Strip Art of Gus Arriola Paperback – September 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-1578061617 ISBN-10: 157806161X Edition: First Edition - First Printing

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Popular Culture
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi; First Edition - First Printing edition (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157806161X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578061617
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

During its 44-year run, "Gordo" stood out on newspaper pages, not just because of artist Arriola's distinctive style, but because its Mexican setting and cast gave U.S. readers authentic if humorously exaggerated exposure to Latin American culture. (Remarkably, Arizona-born Arriola never went to Mexico until the strip was 20 years old.) The strip's eponymous star was lovable despite or, perhaps, because of his inveterate laziness and skirt chasing. His colorful supporting cast included nephew Pepito, housekeeper Tchuana Mama, and a household menagerie that served as a furred and feathered Greek-style chorus. The daily strips, especially in the early years, offered an ongoing narrative that brought Arriola's skills at characterization and wordplay to the fore, and Sunday installments gave full rein to his sense of design and color. Harvey provides perhaps too much detail, including anecdotes about Arriola's friends and his early career as a Disney animator, but still leaves plenty of room for the cartoons. Arriola retired "Gordo" in 1985. It is still fondly remembered, and this volume is an overdue tribute to a classic strip. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

A biography of the notable Mexican American cartoonist and an appreciative history of his creation

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Leigh Ann Hussey on October 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a kid, I looked forward to every Sunday paper's new and amazing /Gordo/ color strip. Gus Arriola's sense of style, his humor, his clean and accurate technique... those were great strips. I was heartbroken when he decided to retire.
But here we are with a brand new collection of strips, including some of my favorite stories, along with a biography of the cartoonist and a truly fascinating look at the evolution of Gordo, from /campesino/ to tour guide, from stereotype to the cultural envoy who gently and gracefully gave many of us north of the border our first exposure to Mexican customs and traditions. And there's no lack of attention to all the other characters that populated Gordo's world -- Tehuana Mama, the Poet, Juan Pablo Jones, Panchito, the Widow Gonzales, Mary Frances... and the wonderful animals (Poosy Gato was always my favorite).
I would only have been happier if there'd been more color strips -- in fact, more strips, period. I'd adore to see a complete collection through all the years of /Gordo/, though it'd probably take up multiple volumes. Still, until and unless that ever comes along, /Accidental Ambassador Gordo/ is a fine sop to my nostalgia. /Gordo/ truly belongs among the great comic strips of all time; this is a dandy introduction for those unfamiliar with it.
And don't miss the "Beans weeth Cheese" recipe! ;)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tzefirah on December 5, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like so many others here, I remember Gordo fondly from a very young age. The bright colors on Sunday appealed to me. So did the combinations of adult themes and animal themes. Gus Arriola was the first person in my life to bring home to me that life is life, animal or human.
The cartoonist has a great sense of humor and a unique drawing style. The book is essentially the story of the life of Gus Arriola, which is an interesting one, interspersed with many, many samples of his cartoons, both daily and Sunday. So this book has to be taken as a biography rather than as a compendium of the cartoonist's work.
This story of the life of Gus and Mary Frances Arriola is a nice one, full of laughter and good friends and fulfilling work. It is also very, very good to relive some of the cartoon moments that are also provided. No, this book is not the complete works of Gordo, and I would like to see that happen someday soon. But in its own right, it's a great book.
If you like cartoons and have an interest in cartoonists, you should have fun with this one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M.B. on August 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy comic strips, especially ones that have art as beautiful as Gus Arriola's "Gordo." This book gives an extensive biography of Arriola, along with extensive commentary by the biographer, Robert Harvey. Once I got past Harvey's writing, I enjoyed the book. Unfortunately, there are very few strips reprinted in the book. Harvey merely samples "Gordo" strips, putting his unnecesary commentaries in the margins, inbetween pages of prose. I think most people, like me, would prefer to have just a collection of the strips, so that we can enjoy Arriola's wonderful work without the "help" of a commentator.
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By Sheila R. on June 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a delightful book! Lovely biography AND by samples from
several years of this marvelous strip,
we see Pepito grow up. Also, some "Gordo Gossip"...I didn't know that Tehuana Mama (Gordo's housekeeper...she's one of my favorite characters)
had been married 5 times! Oh, how I loved Arriola's "Gordo," and
looked forward to reading it every day. It was a huge part of my
childhood. Marvelous characters...Poet and Poosy Gato and Coronado
really rang my bells. This strip wasn't childish...Gus did not
"talk down" to us kids. I loved it all. And I deeply appreciate
this book. But I do wish there were more strips!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is NOT a simple collection of Gus Arriola's cartoons, but rather a combination of a biography of the man and his cartooning style as it evolved. As a child, I read Gordo in the Pittsburgh Press, I had no idea then that he was such an interesting person nor that his comic strip had had such a wide ranging influence. This book will be of interest to anyone who read this strip when it ran or to anyone interested in cartooning as a business or an art.
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