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'Cucaracha' creator to draw syndicated comic strip

November 14, 2002|Maria Elena Fernandez | Times Staff Writer

The creator of "L.A. Cucaracha" is going national with "La Cucaracha," a rare Latino-themed syndicated daily comic strip, which promises more fodder from the Spanglish, warped world of its main character.

Creator Lalo Alcaraz, 38, of Los Angeles signed a 10-year contract with Universal Press Syndicate, which also syndicates "Doonesbury" and "The Boondocks," to begin his biting and satirical strip on Nov. 25.

Set in a "hyper-Boyle Heights" neighborhood, "La Cucaracha" will use humor to address political and topical issues, such as immigration, and will portray Latinos in a rounded and multidimensional way, Alcaraz said.

"L.A. Cucaracha" will continue in the LA Weekly, but Alcaraz is considering changing its name to avoid confusion between the two strips. "La Cucaracha" has been picked up so far by 35 newspapers across the country, including the Los Angeles Times.

"I hate stuff that's watered down and not specific," Alcaraz said. "The more specific you are when you create art, the more universal it is. That's not what Hollywood does, but if I followed Hollywood's advice I'd be doing a cartoon about a white man, and that's not interesting to me."

"Baldo," a Latino-themed comic strip by Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos, has been distributed by Universal Press Syndicate for the last two years.

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