Local Hero: Lalo Alcaraz

Lalo Alcaraz

"I'm really proud to have pushed back against those who have opposed...the right to be diverse. Everyone should be able to do what they want."

Lalo Alcaraz is one of the most prolific Chicano artists in the nation. He has been busy for over two decades, chronicling the political ascendancy of Latinos in America and vigorously pushing the boundaries of Chicano art in the Post-Chicano Art Era. He is the creator of the first nationally syndicated, politically themed Latino daily comic strip, "La Cucaracha," which is distributed along with other such famous comics as "Doonesbury" and "The Boondocks" by the Universal Press Syndicate.

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Lalo has produced editorial cartoons for The LA Weekly since 1992 and has also created editorial cartoons in English and Spanish for Universal. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The L.A. Times, Variety, Smithsonian Magazine, Hispanic Magazine, Latina Magazine, Mexico's La Jornada, Germany's BUNTE and many other publications. Alcaraz and his work have been featured on Mi Ciudad Magazine, which named him "Best Latino Cartoonist in Los Angeles," and Lalo has also been featured by Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Magazine, Editor & Publisher and The Comics Journal. More recently, Lalo penned a comic book on the 2010 Census for MALDEF, the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund, which was distributed nationally in an edition of 120,000 copies. Aside from comics, Lalo co-hosts KPFK Radio's popular satirical talk show, "The Pocho Hour of Power," heard Fridays at 4 pm in L.A. on 90.7 FM. He also co-founded both the seminal Chicano humor 'zine, POCHO Magazine and the political satire comedy group Chicano Secret Service.

Mr. Alcaraz has received numerous awards and honors for his comics and his contributions to the Latino community. These awards include the "The Latino Spirit Award" from the California Legislature and the Office of the Lt. Governor, as well as the Los Angeles Community Coalition Ruben Salazar Award. His efforts have also been recognized by the Los Angeles City Council, The California Chicano News Media Association, the UC Berkeley Chicano Latino Alumni Association, the United Farm Workers of America, California Rural Legal Assistance, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

Alcaraz is a 1987 graduate of San Diego State University, where he received his bachelor's degree "With Distinction" in Art and Environmental Design. In 1991, Alcaraz earned his master's degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. Alcaraz was born in 1964 in San Diego, California and grew up on the US/Mexico border. Currently, he is working on adapting his work for a possible animated TV show pilot.

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