This article is about the comic strip. For other uses, see Mafalda (disambiguation).
Publication information
Publication date 1964- 1973
Creative team
Creator(s) Quino

Mafalda is an Argentine comic strip written and drawn by cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado, better known by his pen name Quino. The strip features a 6-year-old girl named Mafalda, who reflects the Argentinian middle class and progressive youth, is concerned about humanity and world peace, and has serious attitude problems but in an innocent manner. The comic strips ran from 1964 to 1973 and was very popular in Latin America, Europe, Quebec and Asia, leading to two animated cartoon series and a book.


The entrance to a small residential building in Buenos Aires that stands close to the house where Quino lived humbly for 22 years. It was probably used as inspiration for Mafalda's home. Currently, there is a plaque honoring the cartoon.[1]

The comic strip artist Quino created Mafalda in 1963.[2] He had received a proposal by fellow artist Miguel Brascó, and the comic strip would be a covert advertisement for the "Mansfield" line of products of the Siam Di Tella company. The characters would use their products, and all of them would have names starting with "M". The name "Mafalda" was selected as an homage to one of the characters of the 1962 Argentine film Dar la cara. The comic strip was conceived as a blend of Peanuts and Blondie. Quino and Brascó offered the comic strip to the newspaper Clarín, but they noticed the advertisement nature and did not publish it. The covert advertising campaign was never carried out, but Brascó published portions of those comics at the magazine Leoplán.

Julián Delgado, senior editor of the magazine Primera Plana, proposed Quino to publish the comic strip, if he removed the advertisements. It was first published in the magazine on 29 September 1964.[3] Initially, it featured only Mafalda and her parents.[1] Felipe was introduced in January. Quino left the magazine in 1965, and the comic strip was moved to the newspaper El Mundo.[3] Quino introduced new kids: Manolito, Susanita, and Miguelito; and Mafalda's mother became pregnant. The newspaper was closed in December 1967.

Publication resumed six months later, on 2 June 1968, in the weekly Siete Días Ilustrados. Since the cartoons had to be delivered two weeks before publication, Quino was not able to comment on the news to the same extent. After creating the characters of Mafalda's little brother Guille and her new friend Libertad, he definitively ceased publication of the strip on 25 June 1973.

After 1973, Quino still drew Mafalda a few times, mostly to promote human rights. In 1976, he reproduced Mafalda for the UNICEF illustrating the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[4]


The comic strip is composed of the main character Mafalda, her parents and a group of other children. However, the group was not created on purpose, but was instead a result of the development of the comic strip. The other children were created one at a time, and worked by countering specific aspects of Mafalda. The exception was Guille, Mafalda's brother, who was introduced during a period when the author did not have other ideas.

The characters aged at about half the real time-scale while the script ran. They also went through minor changes largely due to the evolution of Quino's drawing style.

Books and translations

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.

The Argentine editions[6] are as follows, published by Ediciones de la Flor (except for the first five books, which were first published by Editorial Jorge Álvarez)

The editions differ in other countries: in Spain the small books are numbered from 0 to 10 and the full compilation is called Todo Mafalda, all published by Editorial Lumen;[7] in Mexico the small books go from 1 to 12 and are currently published by Tusquets Editores.[8]

Although most strips were translated into different European languages as well as into simplified and traditional Chinese, there were only a few publications in English. In the United States of America, his only published work is The World of Quino (1986). Beginning in 2004, however, Quino's publisher in Argentina, Ediciones de la Flor, started publishing English-language collections of Mafalda strips under the series title Mafalda & Friends.


Quino has opposed adapting Mafalda for cinema or theater; however, two series of animated shorts featuring Mafalda have been produced. The first, a series of 260 90-second films, was produced by Daniel Mallo for Argentine television starting in 1972. These were adapted into a full-length movie by Carlos Márquez in 1979 and released in 1981.[9] It remains relatively unknown. In 1993 Cuban filmmaker Juan Padrón, a close friend of Quino, directed 104 short animated Mafalda films, backed by Spanish producers.


Mafalda has occasionally been pointed out as being influenced by Charles Schulz's Peanuts, most notably by Umberto Eco in 1968, who contrasted the two characters. 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.[10]

The appearance of Mafalda's character resembles that of the main character in the U.S. comic strip Nancy (called Periquita in the Mexican edition, which was in general use in Latin America) — and there is a reference in the strip where Miguelito buys a magazine and it has Nancy on the cover, then he asks Mafalda who she looks like. In the next panel is implied that Mafalda replied, "¡Tu abuela!" ("Your granny!"), a phrase similar to "Your mama!" in English, as Miguelito stares at the magazine wondering, "My granny?".


Statue of Mafalda in the "Paseo de la Historieta", Buenos Aires.

In 2009, a life-sized statue of Mafalda was installed in front of Quino's old home in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires.[11]

A passageway in Angoulême, France, is named after Mafalda.[12]

In 2010, it was announced that the city of Gatineau, in the province of Quebec, had sought and obtained permission to name or rename a street after Mafalda, as part of a project to establish a neighbourhood named after famous comic strips and bande dessinée characters.[13]

In 2014, other life-sized statue of Mafalda was installed in Campo de San Francisco, a park located in Oviedo, Principality of Asturias' capital (north to Spain), after the Princess of Asturias Awards conceived to Quino by the creation of Mafalda, in the category of Communications and Humanities.

See also


  1. 1 2 "Five things you probably did not know for Mafalda" (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  2. Gibson, Andrew. "The Celebration Of Cartoons and Comic Strip Art". Smashing Magazine. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  3. 1 2 Luciana Palacios. "Mafalda, a 50 years old little girl". The Munich Eye. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  4. Gravett, Paul. "Comica Argentina: A Rich Culture Of Cartoons & Comics". Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  5. El Mundo de Mafalda, ed. Marcelo Ravoni, Editorial Lumen, Barcelona, 1992, p. 44
  6. Quino's official site,
  7. Quino's official site,
  8. Quino's official site,
  9. Cinecin, retrieved June 7, 2009
  10. Quino interview by Lucía Iglesias Kuntz, UNESCO Courier journalist
  11. "El cómic argentino vive en las calles porteñas" on GCBA website, 7 Apr 2015
  12. Passage Mafalda; Le nom des rues d'Angoulême
  13. Prochainement à rue Mafalda, Cyberpresse, March 8, 2010
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