Buenos Aires, Sep 30 (efe-epa).- Argentine cartoonist Joaquin Salvador Lavado, better known as Quino, creator of the widely loved comic strip “Mafalda,” died Wednesday in his native Mendoza, members of his circle told Efe. He was 88.
The son of Spaniards who emigrated to Argentina, he acquired Spanish citizenship in 1990 and alternated his residence between Madrid and Buenos Aires, until the end of 2017, when he moved to Mendoza following the death of his wife.
Quino, who received Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities in 2014, created the character Mafalda for what proved to be a failed advertising campaign and the comic strip featuring the 6-year-old Argentine girl was first published in 1964 in Buenos Aires weekly magazine Primera Plana.
Though the strip only ran from 1964 to 1973, “Mafalda” has been translated into more than 30 languages and adapted for film and television.
“In the Mafalda series, Quino reflected the world of adults as seen through the eyes of a group of children. The leading character was an inquisitive, intelligent, ironic, non-conformist girl, concerned with peace and human rights, who hates soup and loves the Beatles,” the Prince of Asturias Foundation said in 2014.
Italian novelist Umberto Eco, who brought the comic strip to Europe in 1969, described Mafalda as an “angry heroine.”
Quino continued to draw after stepping away from “Mafalda,” but opted for a darker brand of humor aimed at adult audiences.
That work was published in several collections, including “¡Que presente impresentable!” (What an Unpresentable Present!) (2005), “La aventura de comer” (The Adventure of Eating) (2007) and “¿Quien anda ahi?” (Who Goes There?) (2013).
The cartoonist had to use a wheelchair in the last three years of his life, but he remained active and attended various events in his honor.
Quino died for “reasons pertaining to age and developments in his health,” the family said.
On July 17, the Argentine Culture Ministry marked Quino’s 88th birthday with a statement hailing the cartoonist as a “creator of part of Argentine culture.”
Reacting to news of Quino’s death, Spanish Culture Minister Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes, said that the artist’s “drawings, his characters, the brilliant Mafalda, form part of our lives, of our memory.” EFE