Gus Arriola, creator of the comic strip Gordo, has died at age 90. The strip, which began in 1941, was one of the first to highlight Mexican culture on the comics page, although Arriola changed the character from a bandit to a bean farmer after some complaints.
In an interview with The Chronicle several years after he retired, Arriola said he drew the comic strip for an audience that knew little about Mexico or its culture.
“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.”