Original title: Mafalda
Characters: Mafalda, Mom and Dad, Felipe, Manolito, Susanita, Guille, Miguelito, Freedom
Author: Quino (Joaquín Salvador Lavado)
Primera Plana, El Mundo
Year: September 29, 1964
Gender: Comic Speech Bubble
Recommended age: Children from 6 to 12 years old
You will all know Mafalda, curious little girl with thick raven black hair, which was created in 1964 by the Argentine designer Joaquin Salvador Lavado, in art Quino. Well, this year the fans are celebrating its fortieth birthday. Mafalda arrived in Italy in 1969 (in full political and social dispute), thanks to Bompiani who published the book "Mafalda the contestant", with an introduction by Umberto Eco (nothing less!). Quino
was born in 1932 in Mendoza; in the years of his childhood, after seeing some of his uncle's plates Joaquin Tejon (well-known draftsman and graphic designer), he discovered he wanted to become a draftsman. Later he will attend the Accademia delle Fine Arts, but without concluding it. Around the 50s Joaquin moved to Buenos Aires to try his luck as a cartoonist of satirical and humorous comics, but for a few years he remained anonymous.
Only in 1954 did he meet the consent of the public with some works published in the weekly magazine "This is". But it will be the little one Mafalda to give him international fame and success. Mafalda was conceived as a sponsor for the launch of a line of appliances, called Mansfield (therefore the name of the character had to emphasize the initials MA). The advertising campaign, commissioned by Agens Pubblicidas was not completed. Equally Quino, inspired by his creation, worked to define its character: immediately his character began to have a soul that would soon conquer millions of readers. In fact, Mafalda's stories debut in the weekly "Primera Plam", and then move on to a prestigious newspaper,"El Mundo". But in 1973 Quino, despite the confirmed success, decided to put an end to the episodes of our little friend; who nevertheless will continue to live through numerous reprints and social campaigns (for example for Unicef). It will be in 1993 that the Iberian company DG Producciones SA, in collaboration with Televisiones Espaniolas, will rework the strips of Mafalda, making 104 cartoon episodes (lasting one minute directed by Juan Padrón); the same in Italy will be broadcast on Raidue. Mafalda is a pestiferous girl of about six or seven years who lives in Buenos Aires, has a little brother Guille, which is often her accomplice. The father works as a clerk and has a passion for gardening, while the mother is a housewife. He has complicated conversations with his mother Mafalda, because he just can't get the soup down (and how many other things!). The same despite being very critical and contesting (it often makes adults uncomfortable with its acute and intelligent questions, just as its considerations, however confused, are so compelling that they inevitably lay bare the truth, albeit with certain humor) intrigues, makes people think and conquers its readers, with its keen ability to observe reality.
Mafalda profoundly opposes the banality of adults, their superficial way of facing problems (not to mention the fact that they almost never take children's thoughts and reflections seriously!);
he also loves listening to the news on the radio and hears a lot about the problems that afflict the world, such as war (which he hates and finds completely unjustified), world hunger, racism and any other form of injustice and social inequality. For this reason she takes care of a globe with devotion, convinced in this way to heal the evils of the world and to instill in it a little common sense. Among his desires a healthy democracy, equality and equal rights among all men. When she grows up Mafalda would like to go to the University and become an interpreter, so as to work for the UN as a diplomat and intermediary It is not surprising that this nice sui generis girl has conquered the world and has become a symbol for those who committed (and still are committed) to obtain equal rights; to redeem children who are badly treated and exploited, raising them to the right dignity. Let's not forget Mafalda's friends and peers: Manolito, the son of a wealthy neighborhood shopkeeper, who is obsessed with money and wealth. His model is the father (which he inserts in every speech he makes).
instead, a shy and quiet child. The one who listens to the complex speeches of Mafalda. Felipe, being a little dreamer (he is very fascinated by scientific discoveries), he is always in the clouds, so our friend brings him back down to earth from time to time. Finally, he cannot miss the appeal susanita, with which Mafalda is often in contrast, since according to her opinion the friend has a vocation to marriage and motherhood, so traditional as to diminish the social potential of a woman. On the occasion of Mafalda's birthday, a traveling exhibition was promoted "Mafalda on the go", edited by Ivan Giovannucci, which will end at the Festivaletteratura, scheduled for September in Mantua. This event only underlines the cultural importance that has permeated the comics of our very affectionate Mafalda.
by Helga Corpino
Mafalda is copyright © Quino and of the right holders, the names and images are used here for cognitive and informative purposes.