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Goodbye, Quino

Quino poses beside a sculpture of his creature Mafalda at the San Francisco park on October 23, 2014 in Oviedo, Spain – Photo: José Luis Cereijido/EFE

I slept with a picture of Mafalda on the bedside table, without knowing who she really was, for years. She was one of my most faithful childhood friends. She was always there, in the saddest and happiest moments of those endless days.

Mom used to tell me, “see how Mafalda smiles at you, now go to sleep”. Then mom left, and the picture, boh, dunno where it ended up. Today, even though I know she will remain forever, a bit like all mothers in the world, Mafalda seems to have left too, together with Quino, the man who created her back in 1964.

Born in Mendoza, Argentina, on 17 July 1932, Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón, better known by his pen name Quino, passed away in Buenos Aires on Wednesday at the age of 88. His Mafalda comic strip, which ran from 1964 to 1973, has been praised for its use of social satire as a commentary on real-life issues.

The humorist maintained a dedicated following throughout his career even after he moved onto other projects, skewering social conventions through ordinary characters who endured absurdity, exploitation, authoritarianism and their own limitations. Mafalda, whose 6-year-old protagonist ponders the world’s problems to her parents’ bemusement, has sometimes been compared to the Peanuts comic strip created by Charles Schulz.

A newspaper and magazine kiosk decorated with the image of Quino (2-R), next to his comic strip characters creations Mafalda (C), Manolito (R), Susanita (2-L) and Felipe, in Buenos Aires, on September 30, 2020, the day of his death – Photo: Juan Mabromata/AFP

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