Eduardo “Lalo” Alcaraz'
Posted by NALIP on October 23, 2020
Eduardo “Lalo” Alcaraz is a producer, writer and political cartoonist, who is mostly known for being the creator of the comic La Cucaracha. Born in San Diego, California and raised on the United States-Mexican Tijuana border, Alcaraz loves Mexican pop-culture and Chicano art and is passionate about combining these two and making them art. However, growing up in a bilingual and bicultural environment, he did not see himself working in television in the United States. As a result, he shares that he “eventually discovered that I can make my own content and brown characters for other kids to see.”
Being a television animation Producer, Alcaraz serves as the cultural consultant team of Pixar's 2017 film Coco, “we watch the film and give notes on everything such as dialogues, performances of pronunciations and the looks and everything.” When Alcatraz was first reached out by Pixar and Disney to work on the film, he did not believe that he was invited to the project given all the critiques that Disney have on his previous films, “that strikes a chord of humanity. You think it’s about a very specific thing about Mexican family, but it was a universal boom because of our love to our families.” Alcaraz is amazed at the contribution Latinos are making in the industry, “it is such a big moment in American film, made by the top animation studio and has so much money behind it with global reach but focused on mexican family. One of my job is to avoid typical Mexican portrays.”
Alcaraz has been involved with NALIP for many years, recalling 15 years ago when he was crashing the conference and interviewing people from NALIP for his radio show. NALIP has invited him back to speak on panels, discuss issues and encourage other filmmakers. One of his most memorable moments with NALIP is watching Adrian Molin, the co-director of Coco, being on the panel and presenting movies. “It is very important to see Pixar and Adrian, the young talent, are introduced to the world of NALIP letting people know what you are doing. We appreciate when studios open the doors and when NALIP helps us grow and get this access to the media.”
Alcaraz further mentions that NALIP has advanced his career by making him stay visible with people in entertainment. “We are all kind of involved and open doors for each other, to show we have not given up.” After 25 years’ work on Chicano theater, Alcaraz was very surprised and grateful for the achievement Lations have made in the industry. “We still can’t believe that the door of the access is cracking in our lives. I haven’t given up but I kind of thought ‘well, you know, my kids will get to see this someday.’But no, it’s happening now. When you open one door, you also have to have your peasants jump into the window, so more doors and more windows will open. ”
Alcaraz believes NALIP’s #WeAreInclusion campaign speaks to everyone, not only the people already in the industry, but also helping others to be a part of the industry. “I think society is going through a moment right now, where all these movements need to come together and shake the status quo ‘what is happening’”. To take a part in the campaign, he addresses his attitude to take in his community’s feedback about brown characters, “my fans and readers will send me jokes and suggestions for me to write. They are always horrible and terrible. But once in a while, there is one suggestion that really is about the themes and issues that we face as a community. I incorporate that in my work whether in TV, film, or comics, and I believe we should all do that.”