Delta College hosted a presentation by political cartoonist, producer, radio talk show host and writer Lalo Alcaraz on April 19 in the Tillie Lewis Theatre.
Born and raised in San Diego, Alcaraz grew up on the United States/Mexico border, where his interest in writing and drawing political cartoons was sparked.
“I saw how my Mexican immigrant parents were treated and mistreated,” Alcaraz said. “And stereotyped and profiled; I was right there with them, feeling the same thing.”
After experiencing the mistreatment of him and his family, Alcaraz believed he didn’t have the same rights as other Americans; until he realized he did and saw that it’s okay to speak out and go against the current.
Perhaps what Alcaraz is best known for, especially in Southern California, is his satirical political comic strip, ‘La Cucaracha,’ where characters crack jokes and talk about current political events, particularly Mexican immigration.
Being a satirical cartoonist, Alcaraz tends to push the envelope, drawing cartoons such as Carrie Fisher as Princess Lea flipping off the Death Star, with 2016 slapped on to it.
“It was a horrible year,” Alcaraz stated, referring to the 2016 Presidential Campaign. “Usually Presidential Campaign years are really juicy and great for political cartoonists and satirist. And last year was no different, except for the part about the tragedy outcome.”
The result of last year’s presidential campaign upset Alcaraz, which inspired satirical cartoons and pictures of President Donald Trump.
“He is an exhausting thing in our lives right now,” Alcaraz said. “So I spent almost a year and a half drawing him.”
Some of the drawings consist a portrait of Trump and his hair doing a World War ll salute, as well as a satirical ‘how to’ instruction guide on how to draw Trump, with one of the required tools being an orange.
Alcaraz receives a lot of hate mail and criticism in regards to his work.
“A lot of my cartooning is meant to illicit a response,” said Alcaraz. “People ask me ‘Do you draw just to make people angry?’ Absolutely not. I draw to amuse myself, and hopefully amuse others.”
Alcaraz was recently a co-writer and consultant for the formally Fox TV series “Bordertown,” which is now on Netflix.
The show is about two families that live in a town on the border of Mexico and California.
This works well for the shows satirical take on the illegal immigration issue, giving viewers a look on both sides of the topic.
“We poke fun at both points of view,” Alcaraz said. “I think that the show is overwhelmingly pro-immigration, but there are times when we balance it out.”
To learn more about Alcaraz, fans can visit his website laloalcaraz.com and can see his latest project, “Coco” in theatres on Nov. 22.
For those who want to be in the same profession as Alcaraz, he has some advice.
“Just draw,” Alcaraz said. “Draw as much as possible, write as much as possible, don’t be shy, and share what you have to say with people. Also, learn to take criticism; it is part of the process.”