More than one generation has grown reading the Mafalda strips in one of the many volumes that have been re-printed over the years; and with good reason: Quino, the author, considers that “many of the things questioned by his work continue unresolved.”

More than forty years after they were originally drawn, Quino’s sharp observations through Mafalda, both in the local Argentinian political scene and on the global stage, her critical gaze, the naïve Libertad (Liberty) or Manolito’s opportunistic capitalist ways, continue to be replicated around the world with the same mordacity and humor that first resulted in their creation in 1964.

Quino, whose real name is Joaquín Salvador Tavado Tejón, was born in Mendoza, western Argentina, in 1932. Since the first publication of Mundo Quino in 1963 he has been recognized as one of the finest graphic humorists in the country, whose poetry and poignancy are also praiseworthy.

It was, of course, the grouchy and irreverent black-haired girl with a red bow which made Quino known around the world. Her origin dates back to an ad for vacuum cleaners, which Quino was asked to do.

In a recent interview the caricaturist explained:

I adapted the strip. A named the little girl Mafalda. And I took off with the comic without any plan. Since I no longer had to compliment the virtues of a vacuum cleaner, I made her whiny and grouchy. It was an immediate revenge.

Even though Mafalda’s adventures officially ended in 1973, Quino, like many other Argentinian intellectuals and artists, had to find exile during the military coup. According to the drawer, “Mafalda was not censored, I think, because in the artistic field comics were considered a minor genre, which did not represent a historical threat. The drawings did not appear to be intellectual art and they were considered a form of entertainment.”

Mafalda has historically been compared to Charlie Brown, by American cartoonist Charles Schultz, because they share a similar origin and they both criticize the middle classes. Nonetheless, for Quino “Mafalda belongs to a country were social contrasts are common, one that wanted to integrate her and make her happy, but she refuses and rejects every offer,” while “Charlie Brown lives in his own childhood universe, where adults are rigorously excluded, except for the fact that children want to become adults. Mafalda lives in constant dialogue with the adult world,” even if she rejects it, “while she claims her right to continue being a child.”

For the caricaturist, the future is a rigorously utopian place, but one where the baggage of the past cannot be excluded: “It is our duty to believe that the future will be better, even if deep in our hearts we know it will remain the same.”

More than one generation has grown reading the Mafalda strips in one of the many volumes that have been re-printed over the years; and with good reason: Quino, the author, considers that “many of the things questioned by his work continue unresolved.”

More than forty years after they were originally drawn, Quino’s sharp observations through Mafalda, both in the local Argentinian political scene and on the global stage, her critical gaze, the naïve Libertad (Liberty) or Manolito’s opportunistic capitalist ways, continue to be replicated around the world with the same mordacity and humor that first resulted in their creation in 1964.

Quino, whose real name is Joaquín Salvador Tavado Tejón, was born in Mendoza, western Argentina, in 1932. Since the first publication of Mundo Quino in 1963 he has been recognized as one of the finest graphic humorists in the country, whose poetry and poignancy are also praiseworthy.

It was, of course, the grouchy and irreverent black-haired girl with a red bow which made Quino known around the world. Her origin dates back to an ad for vacuum cleaners, which Quino was asked to do.

In a recent interview the caricaturist explained:

I adapted the strip. A named the little girl Mafalda. And I took off with the comic without any plan. Since I no longer had to compliment the virtues of a vacuum cleaner, I made her whiny and grouchy. It was an immediate revenge.

Even though Mafalda’s adventures officially ended in 1973, Quino, like many other Argentinian intellectuals and artists, had to find exile during the military coup. According to the drawer, “Mafalda was not censored, I think, because in the artistic field comics were considered a minor genre, which did not represent a historical threat. The drawings did not appear to be intellectual art and they were considered a form of entertainment.”

Mafalda has historically been compared to Charlie Brown, by American cartoonist Charles Schultz, because they share a similar origin and they both criticize the middle classes. Nonetheless, for Quino “Mafalda belongs to a country were social contrasts are common, one that wanted to integrate her and make her happy, but she refuses and rejects every offer,” while “Charlie Brown lives in his own childhood universe, where adults are rigorously excluded, except for the fact that children want to become adults. Mafalda lives in constant dialogue with the adult world,” even if she rejects it, “while she claims her right to continue being a child.”

For the caricaturist, the future is a rigorously utopian place, but one where the baggage of the past cannot be excluded: “It is our duty to believe that the future will be better, even if deep in our hearts we know it will remain the same.”

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