One person was more surprised than most by the Times' announcement today that several comic strips would no longer appear daily. He is Lalo Alcaraz, whose strip "La Cucaracha" got the axe. He is emailing supporters and friends in the Latino community:
From: Lalo Alcaraz
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 08:35:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject: LA CUCARACHA CUT FROM LA TIMES- HELP POR FAVOR
My daily comic strip, La Cucaracha has been CUT from the LA TIMES, without so much as an explanation. Can you please help bring to their attention that perhaps Los Angeles, with its majority Raza population might need at least ONE THING in the newspaper to show kids and grownups that represents a large part of Los Angeles in the paper? I'm thinking "Blondie" isn't really reflective of Los Angeles.
If you email them, please cc me at email@example.com
Los Angeles Times Readers' Representative Office
Telephone message line: (877) 554-4000
Fax: (213) 237-3535
Postal mail: 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Other strips that were discontinued via editor's note on today's comics page are "Mallard Fillmore," "Candorville" and "Mr. Boffo." But it's the dropping of "La Cucaracha" that is filling my in box this morning. Gustavo Arellano, a newly christened contributing editor of the Times opinion pages, blogs at the OC Weekly under the headline "The Los Angeles Times is Stupid (Canto MCXVI)."
Itís painful picking up the Los Angeles Times every morning and notice itís getting lighter every week. While theyíre doing this, however, their Chicago pendejo overseers are spending mucho millions on how to attract more readers. Their supposed salvation: Mexicans.
If so, why in Godís green earth would they axe La Cucaracha, the pinche funny comic strip drawn by legendary pocho Lalo Alcaraz??? Itís one of the precious few comic strips in Latino USA drawn by Latinos and that deal with Latino issues.
Today's move cuts the comics-crossword-Sudoku commitment down to two daily pages, which saves a little money. The Kids Reading Room' will now appear only on Sundays.
* Times relents: What a difference a day of bad PR makes.