Political Cartooning in the Latino Community
A perceptive study of a bold, prescient voice in Latino comics
Amid the controversy surrounding immigration and border control, the work of California cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz (b. 1964) has delivered a resolute Latino viewpoint. Of Mexican descent, Alcaraz fights for Latino rights through his creativity, drawing political commentary as well as underlining how Latinos confront discrimination on a daily basis. Through an analysis of Alcaraz's early editorial cartooning and his strips for La Cucaracha, the first nationally syndicated, political Latino daily comic strip, author Héctor D. Fernández L'Hoeste shows the many ways Alcaraz's art attests to the community's struggles.
Alcaraz has proven controversial with his satirical, sharp commentary on immigration and other Latino issues. What makes Alcaraz's work so potent? Fernández L'Hoeste marks the artist's insistence on never letting go of what he views as injustice against Latinos, the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. Indeed, his comics predict a key moment in the future of the United States--that time when a racial plurality will steer the country, rather than a white majority and its monocultural norms.
Fernández L'Hoeste's study provides an accessible, comprehensive view into the work of a cartoonist who deserves greater recognition, not just because Alcaraz represents the injustice and inequity prevalent in our society, but because as both a US citizen and a member of the Latino community, his ability to stand in, between, and outside two cultures affords him the clarity and experience necessary to be a powerful voice.
This book is a fantastic recollection of the Latino effort to make comics a true intellectual space of knowledge and critical thinking. Fernández L'Hoeste's book on Lalo Alcaraz opens the heart of the Latino community, bringing a new genealogy of knowledge and political understanding. Alcaraz's humanistic views on the immigration debate through political cartoons are a true lesson to all Americans who need to relearn the art of compassion and empathy. Humor and sarcasm are keys to reinforce a stronger democracy and the Latino way to express thoughts are consolidating the cultural richness of America.- Ana Merino, author of El Cómic Hispánico, Chris Ware: la secuencia circular, and Fantagraphics: creadores del canon
Fernández L'Hoeste's virtuoso scholarly skills dig deep into the work of one of the most politically incisive writing and drawing artists of our times: Lalo Alcaraz. He blasts his trademark erudition into every nook and cranny of Alcaraz's tremendous body of work: from his early satirical stand-up performative art to his comic strips and recent writing for Fox's Bordertown. With a magisterial sweep, Fernández L'Hoeste gracefully situates Alcaraz's oeuvre within a planetary scene of creative revolutionaries from our pre-Columbian pictographic arts to veteranos like Gus Arriola, Rius, Quino, and Art Spiegelman as well as contemporaries like Marjane Satrapi, Hector Cantú, Carlos Castellanos, Frank Espinosa, Rafael Navarro, Los Bros Hernandez, and Aaron McGruder. With this masterly scholarly work, our epoch's greatest word-image satirical creator, Lalo Alcaraz, finally gets his due.- Frederick Luis Aldama, author of Your Brain on Latino Comics: From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez and Latinx Comic Book Storytelling: An Odyssey by Interview