Cartoonist, author, and 21st Century Renaissance Man, Lalo Alcaraz, spent a day and a morning in Houston giving several presentations, appearing on a radio show, and on several interviews. After being unlucky at catching him all day Tuesday, luck was on my side when I found out he had one more presentation on Wednesday morning at HCC-Central.
Alcaraz regaled the audience of mostly college students with stories about his development as a cartoonist, his style, and his recent achievements. Alcaraz’s strips appear on numerous print- and web-editions of newspapers around the country.
Seven years ago, as I mentioned yesterday, the local fish-wrap basically banned him (although it still appears online). As Dr. Alan Ainsworth of HCC stated, it was because he was edgy and political. And as Alcaraz stated, his intent is not to bring one to his way of thinking, but just to the point where they are actually thinking.
Alcaraz spoke briefly about a recent published history book in which he is paired up with academician Ilan Stavans. A Most Imperfect Union, A Contrarian History of the United States adds some truth-telling to historic tales of the U.S.’s development and founding. The book was on the New York Times’ best seller list for a couple of weeks.
A new project, which if one follows Alcaraz on Facebook, one would have gotten an almost daily update on its development, is the creation of a new Fox animated series, Bordertown. Alcaraz serves as a writer and consulting producer on the series which was developed by the creators of Family Guy and is about the daily lives of an Anglo border patrol agent and his successful Mexican immigrant neighbor. With the Family Guy guys involved, and five Latino writers (which is probably some world’s record to have on a series), I’m sure funny will be achieved. The series takes off in March, 2015, so, get ready.
By the way, Lalo had me when he stated that Hank Azaria will play the border patrol agent, Bud Buckwald.
The rest of his presentation took us through many of his hard-hitting and thought-provoking dailies and color-Sundays. Alcaraz admits that some of his best works begin to appear on his digital canvas while watching the evening news. While the internet has certainly helped spread his works, he was still amazed when one of his works was slightly changed and turned into a protest flier during the demonstrations in Egypt.
Now, I don’t want to give away everything he talked about since he’ll be in San Antonio next. But the next group of folks and fans to see him should expect an interesting conversation with a lot of comic relief.
Alcaraz has a couple of talks and a meet and greet at Palo Alto College, and on Saturday will serve on a panel at the Voto Latino Power Summit, along with State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Wilmer Valderrama, and MSNBC contributor Maria Teresa Kumar. You can’t get more star-studded than that!
UPDATE: Big kudos should go to Dr. Lydia French of the HCC Mexican American Studies Program, Dr. Alan Ainsworth, Tony Diaz and the Librotraficante Crew, and everyone else involved in supporting Lalo’s tour-stop in Houston.
It was great seeing Lalo and talking to him for a bit. It had only been seven years since I saw him last, but it looks like we haven’t aged much–or at all. (No one asked you!)