Mafalda is a comic strip written and drawn by the Argentinean cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado (quino). The strip features a girl named Mafalda (5 years old at the time of the comic’s creation) , who is deeply concerned about humanity and world peace and rebels against the world as it is.
The strip ran from 1964 to 1973 and was very popular in Latin America, Europe and in Asia, leading to two animated cartoon series and a movie.
Most strips that were not too closely tied to then current events were chronologically republished in ten small books simply named Mafalda and numbered from one to ten, with two strips on each page. This excludes the very first ones, published in Primera Plana, but never reprinted until 1989.
Mafalda has occasionally been compared to Charles Schultz’s Peanuts, most notably by Umberto Eco in 1968, for reasons Quino states he does not understand.While Eco thought of Mafalda and Charlie Brown as the voices unheard of children in the northern and southern hemispheres, Quino saw Mafalda as a socio-political strip, firmly rooted on family values. This is one of the reasons adults play a starring role in the strip, while they are never seen in the Charlie Brown universe. Quino does, however, acknowledge the influence of Schulz’s work on his, in that Quino extensively studied Schulz’s books in preparation for an advertising campaign he was working on in 1963. The advertising campaign was scrapped but he reused some of the material for the Mafalda series a year later.
The brilliance of Mafalda lies foremost in the quirkiness of this little girl. She hates (that is an understatement) soup, cares deeply about humanity, loves the Beatles and has a bunch of equally quirky friends (Felipe, Manolito, Susanita, Libertad, Miguilito).
Mafalda’s dislike of soup was transmitted to her fans. I have to learn that soup could be a good dish too.
Submitted by guest blogger Mafalda Forever