The Cartoonist: Larry Alcala and his “Slice of Life”

The Cartoonist: Larry Alcala and his “Slice of Life”

About Larry Alcala

Lauro Zarate Alcala, also known as Larry Alcala, was a well-known editorial cartoonist and illustrator in the Philippines.  Born on August 18, 1926 in Daraga, Albay and died June 24, 2002 at the age of 75.


He has made over 500 characters, 20 comic strips, 6 movies, 2 murals and 15,000 published pages in his 50 years of cartooning.  He’s a retired Fine Arts professor at the University of Philippines after he obtained a degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting at the same university. He also received the Australian Cultural Award accompanied by a travel study grant in 1975.


Larry Alcala was well aware of the far reaching role of cartoons in education and value formation.  He started his cartooning career in 1946 while still attending school. After World War II, he created his very first comic strip, Siopawman, which was printed on the pages of the Filipino comic book, Halakhak (Laughter).  Later, he had created more comic strips which had become huge and made him famous because of unique humor and interesting cartoon characters.  Some of these works are Slice of Life, which is most popular cartoon series, Mang Ambo and Kalabog en Bosyo.  He pioneered animated cartoons for television commercials.  His campaign for the advancement of illustration and commercial art in the Philippines resulted to the establishment of the Visual Communication Department at the UP College of Fine Arts.


In 1997, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) granted him the title Dean of Filipino Cartoonists, an achievement award for his lifetime dedication to the art of capturing humor in the character and everyday life in the Philippines. In 1991, he promoted the formation of a group of young children’s book illustrators called Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK).


Slice of Life

His most popular cartoon series was Slice of Life, which is a reflection of the many unique aspects of everyday life in the Philippines. He captured the interest of his weekend patrons by giving them the task of looking for his image cleverly concealed within the weekenhhbj d cartoon. He did the same with his other comic strip Kalabog and Bosyo. His cartoons had been tapped in advertising campaigns, such as corporate calendars, print ads, promotional t-shirts and in San Miguel Beer cans.


In 1988, his Slice of Life received the Best in Humor award and was also cited for helping to keep alive the Filipino’s ability to laugh at himself, through the lively marriage of art and humor, and through commentaries that are at once critical and compassionate, evoking laughter and reflection.


Slice of Life appeared on the pages of the Weekend Magazine.





To know more about the Pinoy Cartoonist Memorabilia feat Slice of Life by Larry Alcala collection, read here.