‘Houston Chronicle’ Readers Protest Dropping of ‘La Cucaracha’ Comic

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By: E&P Staff

A number of readers are upset about the Houston Chronicle dropping “La Cucaracha” from its print edition.

“Encouraged by the strip’s creator, Lalo Alcaraz, along with the League of United Latin American Citizens, supporters started a campaign to get us to restore ‘La Cucaracha’ to our comics’ lineup,” wrote Chronicle Readers’ Representative James T. Campbell.

The Chronicle replaced Alcaraz’s Universal Press Syndicate comic with “Arctic Circle” by Alex Hallatt of King Features Syndicate, but kept “La Cucaracha” on the Chron.com Web site.

“You replaced a comic with biting commentary on the political and social scene with a strip about penguins? I’m disappointed beyond words,” said a reader quoted by Campbell. “I have always found ‘La Cucaracha’ to be humorous, while also socially relevant …. I can only hope that like the L.A. Times, you have enough sense to return ‘La Cucaracha’ to the print edition of the Chronicle.”

Campbell wrote that the comic’s “political slant was never the issue; objectionable content was. Editors often had to call the syndicate editor and request that the strip be modified, or that a substitute be sent because the strip’s language was offensive to some readers generally, but some Latinos as well.” He also noted that the Chronicle previously dropped the conservative “Mallard Fillmore” (by Bruce Tinsley of King) from its print edition.

“The Chronicle is aware of the city’s Latino population,” continued Campbell. “We offer several Spanish-language publications, and we have not cowered away from reporting on immigration rights and other issues important to the Latino community (some readers accuse us of pandering to Latinos).”

And Campbell concluded: “It’s not my call to make as to whether ‘La Cucaracha’ will be returned to the print edition.”

Alcaraz could not be immediately reached for comment this morning by E&P.

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