Like its namesake insect, Lalo Alcarez’s La Cucaracha comic has proven hard to kill.
The sometimes controversial cartoonist Lalo Alcarez will spend the day at the UCSB MultiCultural Center for “Latino USA: A Cartoon History” Thursday. He is scheduled to give an artist’s workshop followed by a lecture and presentation in the MCC Theater. The events will be free to the public and are being co-sponsored by the Center for Chicano Studies and the College of Creative Studies.
Alcarez is best known for his outspoken cartoon strip, La Cucaracha, and his contributions to the creation of POCHO, a Latino-American satirical magazine. Alcarez’s comics have drawn criticism from angry readers of the newspapers across the nation in which it is published due to its criticisms of American culture. His comic strip was removed from the Albuquerque Journal after a reader poll found that 56.5 percent of the readers polled said they wanted his strip removed. He grew up in the San Diego area, which shaped the focus and content of his cartoons.
Currently, the Universal Press Syndicate distributes Alcarez’s comic. It runs daily in the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Denver Post, AZ Republic, Seattle Times and the Chicago Sun-Times.
The MCC decided to bring Alcarez to campus after it received requests from several artists on campus and fans of his editorial cartoons. An artist’s workshop is scheduled in the MCC lounge from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., where Alcarez is supposed to talk to students about drawing cartoons and the creative process while displaying some of his own artwork as well as talking about technical aspects of drawing editorial cartoons. He will also discuss his experiences as a Latino trying to become a syndicated cartoonist in America. At 7:30 p.m. Alcarez will lecture on cultural diversity in the media and give a multimedia presentation.
“Alcarez is a true inspiration to students who want to be artists and an exceptional role model to students of color who have a great difficulty to enter the professional artistic world,” MCC associate director Viviana Marsano said.