Gordon was one of seven children born to Claire Marie Kurtti (nee Stokes) and Jeremiah Joseph Kurtti in Yonkers, New York. He was shy and somewhat introverted but known for his love of reading and early artistic abilities. Gordon had a vivid imagination and an affinity for comic book art, monster movies, fashion and outer space. He grew up drawing elaborate spaceships complete with flight instructions and statistics. He admired and drew mythical heroes like Prince Valiant and was inspired by Hamlet, the first existentialist. He was accepted into New York’s School of Visual Arts at a time when alumni such as Keith Haring were exploding onto the downtown New York scene. There he met and formed a lifelong friendship and artistic relationship with classmate Kembra Pfahler.