La Cucaracha ya no puede caminar in the LA Times

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Updated 3/6: The LA Times relented and La Cucaracha will be back starting Wednesday March 7th. See extended entry for more.

Lalo Alacaraz is mad. His strip, La Cucaracha was cut from the LA Times “without so much as an explanation.” Gustavo Arellano has his back and is raising a well-deserved stink at the OC Weekly Blotter. Arellano notes that keeping La Cucaracha should be more than about meeting a quota in the comics section.

But fuck affirmative action: the strip is funny (we’ll never forget the one or two strips dealing with Paris Hilton’s Mexican relative, Fresno). What’s more boggling is that the Times deported Lalo while keeping creaking gabacho favorites like Crankshaft and Rex Morgan, MD and unfunny tripe like Dennis the Menace and that weird one with the kid that doesn’t talk.

Kevin Roderick at LA Observed notes the irony of the Times cutting La Cucaracha in light of the papers’ most recent strategy to attract more Latino readers (more on the Times’ historical relationship with Latinos by Daniel Hernandez link. Roderick also notes some other changes to the comics pages. The Times also cut Mallard Fillmore, Candorville and Mr. Boffo.

I’m mad too. I’ve been following Lalo Alcaraz since I first got my hands on a copy of the LA Weekly as a college freshman, which publishes his weekly editorial comics. I was excited to see the daily strip. It was a great compliment to Aaron McGruder’s The Boondocks (on permanent hiatus?). Seeing La Cucaracha was like finding my first book written by a Chicana/o author when I was in grade school. It was empowering that someone outside my home and community was talking about issues relevant to me in a way that actually celebrated yet gently critiqued my culture. I soon discovered Pocho “Aztlan’s numero uno source for satire y chingazos.”

If you want to tell the Times that you’re upset, here’s the info:
Los Angeles Times Readers’ Representative Office
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone message line: (877) 554-4000
Fax: (213) 237-3535
Postal mail: 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

Alcaraz asks that you cc him if you send an email (laloalcaraz AT yahoo dot com).

Updated 3/6
The LA Times relented and La Cucaracha will be back on the comics page. The note to readers:

“La Cucaracha,” one of several comics dropped this week as part of a shift in The Times’ daily and Sunday print edition feature lineup, is returning to The Times’ daily comics pages starting Wednesday. We decided to bring it back after hearing from so many of our readers who follow the comic strip loyally. “La Cucaracha” will return to our Sunday pages starting March 25 (link).

11 Replies to “La Cucaracha ya no puede caminar in the LA Times”

  1. How does the Times decide what to pull and what to keep?
    I don’t think La Cucaracha is terribly smart or funny, but it certainly is unique and brings a fresh voice to the comics, which tend to be full of even less funny, more dumber cartoons.

  2. Wait, so Marmaduke stays and a very incisive, actually relevant political cartoon has to go? Wait, is Marmaduke still in the LA Times? I just made an assumption. Oh Marmaduke, your very lame antics will live on forever.

  3. Has anyone had trouble emailing? My email came back as ‘underiverable’ so I went to the LA Times website and it also bounced back.

    =(

  4. Interesting that both La Cucaracha and Candorville are gone as they are both by Angelenos.

    I went to high school with Candorville’s Darrin Bell in Van Nuys.

    He also happens to be a minority.

    So are we down to one strip in the times written by and featuring minority characters?

    Boo. Guess I’ll get my Get Fuzzy and Pearls Before Swine online while I switch to Sundays only.

  5. Hmmm. Well, I suppose the decision makers over on Spring Street are patting themselves on the back for “still being better than the OC Register”. Yeah… now there’s something to aspire to.

    They might as well just throw the Chicago Tribune in our driveways at this point. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the dinosaurs.

    Oh well – look at the long view – the Times is already basically a “minority paper” pandering to predominately wealthy caucasian Westsiders… and that leaves more and more room for a dynamic, ethno-diverse paper to build a significant base here. So why isn’t it happening??? That’s the real question, and sorry – I don’t have the answers to that one!

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