Throwback Thursday: Lalo Alcaraz’s ‘Virtual Varrio’ (1996) ;-{>

dailypennsylvanianlogoIn 1996, The Daily Pennsylvanian, the student newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania, reported on a presentation by POCHO Jefe-in-Chief Lalo Alcaraz at the 14th annual Festival Latino de Penn.

You won’t believe what happened next!

Actually, nothing happened next — it happened a few years before 1996. Que? POCHO Jefe-de-Content Comic Saenz was Managing Editor of VERY SAME The Daily Pennsylvanian when he went to Penn and he planted that Lalo story in a future edition by means of his WordPress wormhole publishing prowess, which powers this POCHO.COM you are reading right now!

Lalo has remained true to his mission. At the festival, he unveiled his plans for POCHO.COM, his vision for a virtual varrio on the Internets, where ordinary people can control their own media:

Chicano cartoonist entertains students
By ANJALI KUMAR · March 28, 1996, 5:00 am

Cartooning is not what it used to be, according to Chicano political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz.

Alcaraz spoke Monday night in Houston Hall, opening up the 14th annual Festival Latino de Penn.

“A Mexican sense of humor is unknown in the U.S,” Alcaraz said. Combining the sharp wit of his mother — one of his earliest inspirations — and a sense of Latino activism, this native Californian produces a weekly comic entitled L.A. Cucaracha that is published in “alternative publications” around the country.

Transforming the Bowl Room into a multimedia center, Alcaraz used slides, video and a lively commentary to explain to the audience of about 20 what he did as a cartoonist in the Latino community. To the sounds of laughter, Alcaraz presented slides of many of his cartoons, noting that the issues he parodies are significant to the Latino community today.

Among the topics covered in his cartoons are Proposition 187 — the California referendum regarding illegal immigration — the death of Mexican music star Selena and the 1996 presidential campaign.

“It’s really important to make the kids aware,” Alcaraz said, adding that he tries to make his work accessible to all members of the Latino community.

In an attempt to reach out to more people, Alcaraz has recently created a home page on the World Wide Web called “the Virtual Barrio.”

“The Internet is a great way for us to publicize our work,” Alcaraz said. “We didn’t want to get locked out of the Internet like we did with TV.

Here’s a screen grab of POCHO.COM in 1997, via


Story continued at The Daily Pennsylvanian


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