This is not as much an angry manifesto, but more of an open letter thanking all the people over the years who have supported my career in cartooning. My cucaracha character represents the people, the masses, la gente. And it has been la gente that has always backed me up.
It's been a decade since I was brought in to meet the then editor of the LA Weekly, Kit Rachlis, by my friend Ruben Martinez, writer and Raza raconteur. He suggested to Kit that it was high time the Weekly, hell, anybody, started running a caustic Chicano cartoon strip, thus my comic panel L.A. Cucaracha was born. Rising from Chicano rage and L.A. riot cinders, L.A. Cucaracha evolved into national syndication
for my editorial cartoons which have been published in most every corner of the country and abroad.
Stacks of hate mail and four LA Press Club awards later, I stand at the edge of a new phase of my career in comics: La Cucaracha, the daily comic strip launches nationwide Monday, November 25th in funny pages everywhere. The LA Times has picked it up, as has the Chicago Tribune and the Arizona Republic and 40 other papers so far.
I have to thank all the people who have followed my work, and those who always make my day when they say, "I only pick up the paper to see your comic." And those who have given me feedback and ideas for topics to brutalize in an editorial cartoon. And especially the people who tell me, "I didn't know how to verbalize that issue, but thanks to your cartoon, now I know how to express myself."
Thanks to you, to the editors who have championed me all these years, and thanks to my family who has put up with the sacrifice of having to live with a cartoonist who could only look optimistically forward to his payday someday. The real payday has been every day I have had the opportunity to express my political opinion, and hopefully add something to the discussion, or to our collective rage.
Now, let's invade the funny pages together!
[ More about Lalo Alcaraz and La Cucaracha at http://www.lacucaracha.com ]