Political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz becomes the first Latino to win a prestigious award

One of the nation’s first unionized Latino cartoonists has received a top prize for editorial cartooning.

Los Angeles-based political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz is the first Latino recipient of the prestigious Herblock Award in recognition of his editorial cartooning and his “passion, dedication and intelligence” in covering civil rights and other issues affecting Latinos in America. .

The $15,000 prize, announced Thursday by the Herb Block Foundation, is named after the late Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herb Block, who for many years was best known for his commentary on domestic and foreign policy issues. he signed “Herblock”.

Lalo Alcaraz at L’Attitude Conference – LatiNExt Live in San Diego on September 26, 2019.Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Alcaraz, who is of Mexican descent, is the author of the first Latin political comic strip released nationally, “La Cucaracha”. A writer, producer and cultural consultant for film, television and animation, he has worked on projects at Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and was a cultural consultant on the Oscar-winning Pixar animated film “Coco.”

Alcaraz’s various projects include a political and cultural satirical weekly radio show, and he is a writer and producer of the animated series “The Casagrandes”.

The prize is awarded annually for “outstanding examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous and independent standard set by Herblock”.

A ‘shameless focus’ on civil rights

The foundation said it considers Alcaraz’s work to be groundbreaking.

“One of the most striking pieces in its portfolio is its powerful homage to the 1967 work of Chicano artist Emanuel Martínez. Tierra o Muerte (Earth or Death). Alcaraz cleverly replaces Emiliano Zapata’s rifle with a vaccine needle and titles the image Vacuna or Muerte (Vaccine or Death), creating work that draws on the past to address the current pandemic,” the foundation said in a statement.

Image: One of Alcaraz's cartoons for CovidLatino.org compares a vaccinated and unvaccinated Latino farm worker.
One of Alcaraz’s cartoons for CovidLatino.org compares vaccinated and unvaccinated Latino farm workers.Lalo Alcaraz / Courtesy of Lalo Alcaraz / Andrews McMeel Syndication

“No other political cartoonist working in the United States brings as much passion, dedication and brilliance to the fight for fair border immigration and justice for the Latino community. Lalo Alcaraz’s courage and unabashed focus on these and other civil rights issues make him a deserving recipient of the 2022 Herblock Award,” the foundation added.

Image: This cartoon recreates a traditional Mexican bingo-type game, Lotería, to show the benefits of getting vaccinated.
This cartoon recreates a traditional Mexican bingo-like game, Lotería, to show the benefits of getting vaccinated. Lalo Alcaraz / Courtesy of Lalo Alcaraz / Andrews McMeel Syndication

“It still doesn’t feel real to have won this grand prize,” Alcaraz said.

An awards ceremony will be held next month at the Library of Congress in Washington.

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