Mafalda is a comic strip written and drawn by Argentine cartoonist Joaquín Salvador Lavado, better known by his pen name Quino. The strip features a 6-year-old girl named Mafalda, who is deeply concerned about humanity and world peace and rebels against the current state of the world. The strip ran from 1964 to 1973 and was very popular in Latin America, Europe, Quebec, and in Asia, leading to two animated cartoon series and a movie.



The character Mafalda and a few other characters were created by Quino in 1962 for a promotional cartoon that was intended to be published in the daily Clarín. Mafalda's name was inspired by David Viñas's novel Dar la cara. Ultimately, however, Clarín broke the contract and the campaign was canceled altogether.

Mafalda became a full-fledged cartoon strip on the advice of Quino's friend Julián Delgado, at the time senior editor of the weekly Primera Plana. Its run in that newspaper began on 29 September 1964. At first it only featured Mafalda and her parents. Her friend Felipe came on the scene in January 1965. A legal dispute arose in March 1965, which led to the end of Mafalda's Primera Plana run on 9 March 1965.

One week later, on 15 March 1965 Mafalda (the character at the age of five) started appearing daily in Buenos Aires' Mundo, allowing the author to follow current events more closely. The characters of Felipe, Manolito, Susanita and Miguelito were created in the following weeks, and Mafalda's mother was pregnant when the newspaper shut down on 22 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.


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.

  • Mafalda: The main character Mafalda is an Argentine girl, approximately six years old,[1] with a great concern for the state of humanity and a proverbial hatred for soup. She often leaves her parents at a loss by asking about mature or complex topics. As an example, she gets chided to concern herself with child-like things instead of asking about China's communism; in response, she pretends to play with bubbles in soapy water only to promptly proclaim that she is done and then restate the China question once more. Her incisive observations often leave the adults at a loss. Mafalda is generally a pessimist to the point of being accused of being so by her friends; to this she responds that things are not so bad as to stop discussing them.
  • Mamá ("Mom") (Raquel, 6 October 1964) and Papá ("Dad") (Alberto, 29 September 1964): Mafalda's parents are a very normal couple, without any particular distinguishing features. Mafalda is often very critical of her mom's housewife status; her dad often tries to avoid Mafalda's snarky remarks and questions, although he very much sympathizes with the kid's scary view of school life. He is an avid horticulturist. Raquel appears to have been a talented pianist with Mafalda's father having a job as some sort of insurance agent who occasionally smokes. Their car is a Citroen 2 CV, which was a popular entry-level model for middle-class Argentines in the 1960s.
  • Felipe (19 January 1965): A dreamer who is deeply scared of school, even though he's the brightest and oldest member of the gang. He often wages intense internal battles with his conscience, innate sense of responsibility, and top school grades that he hates (*shows Mafalda a note where his teacher compliments him on his grades* "That is the worst good news I've ever been given!"). A consummate procrastinator, he loves to play cowboys and read comics, especially the Lone Ranger. Late in the series, he also has a crush on a girl named Muriel (as Susanita once says). He is characterized by his hair and teeth. When Mafalda drew a picture with an uncanny likeness to him, she says she used a shoe with a carrot at an angle for a model.
  • Manolito (Manuel Goreiro, Jr., 29 March 1965): The son of a Spanish shopkeeper. He is sometimes referred to as gallego (Galician), as his surname hints at such an origin, but it is common practice in Argentina to refer to all Spanish migrants as Galicians. While his family business is but a small, local grocery store, he seems ambitious with his career, business, capitalism and dollars, being more concerned with them than anything else. He's shown to be simple minded, but sometimes this is not the case. He is, in fact, very creative when it comes to business plans. He never goes on a vacation because of his father, who owns the store they work in. Both appear to enjoy making money and upon Manolito suggesting closing shop and go on a vacation for a few days, his dad appeared to have fainted from shock. He is characterized by his brush-like hair, which runs in the males of the family, and in one strip it is seen as growing quickly back right after it has been shaved.
  • Susanita (Susana Beatriz Clotilde Chiruchi, 6 June 1965): A frivolous girl with curly blond hair, who displays stereotypical feminine traits likes gossip, dreams of marriage and maternity, and woman antagonism. Her dream is to be a mother and dedicated housewife; she often fantasize about the possibilities. She is Mafalda's best female friend despite their bickering ("Well... you know... I'd rather freak out at you than at a complete stranger") She and Manolito are fiercest enemies, although it is shown that Susanita is more often the perpetrator of their bickering; as the attacks are often one-sided, Manolito is caught off guard most of the times, but on occasion he gains the upper hand. At times, she seems to have a crush on Felipe. She is sometimes shown as a glutton, usually regretting sharing with her friends or tricking them out of their snack.
  • Miguelito (Miguel Pitti, 1966): About two years younger than Felipe and one year younger than Mafalda and the others, characterized by his lettuce-shaped hair. Somewhat of a rebel, most of the time he is a little too eager to get into philosophical debates. A descendant of Italian immigrants, his grandfather is very fond of Benito Mussolini. He appears to have a harsh, houseproud mother, whom he is frightened of.
  • Guille (Guillermo, 1968) or Nando in some translations: Mafalda's little brother. He loves soup (much to his sister's chagrin), has a pathological dependence on his pacifier, and he and Mafalda have a pet tortoise called Burocracia (Bureaucracy). Somewhat cynical and prone to histrionics, with the prime target being their mother. He is a bit of a troublemaker and appears to share the same trait as his sister in terms of bringing up awkward topics of discussion.
  • Libertad (5 February 1970): "Libertad" is a given name in Spanish, which means "Freedom". The character is of small stature, leading to jokes about the size of freedom. Libertad is the most politically radical character of the comic strip, more even than Mafalda herself. She took the place of being the political one while Mafalda became more well rounded in her topics of discussion. She often gets in trouble with her teachers due to her point of view.
  • Muriel: Felipe's platonic love. Although he could never actually speak to his beautiful neighbor, it appears that Susanita knows everything about her, as well as everything else, because of her gossipy behaviour.

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

  • Mafalda (1966)
  • Así es la cosa, Mafalda (This is the way things are, Mafalda) (1967)
  • Mafalda 3 (1968)
  • Mafalda 4 (1968)
  • Mafalda 5 (1969)
  • Mafalda 6 (1970)
  • Mafalda 7 (1972)
  • Mafalda 8 (1973)
  • Mafalda 9 (1974)
  • Mafalda 10 (1974)
  • Mafalda Inédita (Unpublished Mafalda) (1989)
  • 10 Años con Mafalda (Ten years with Mafalda) (1991)
  • Toda Mafalda (The Whole Mafalda) (1992)

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;[3] in Mexico the small books go from 1 to 12 and are currently published by Tusquets Editores.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] Quino states he does not understand the reasons which led Eco to point out the alleged influence.[citation needed] 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.[7]

Some people think the appearance of Mafalda's character resembles that of the main character in the U.S. comic strip Nancy— 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 abuelita!" ("Your granny!"), a phrase similar to "Your mama!" in English, as Miguelito stares at the magazine wondering, "My granny?".


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.

A plaza in Angoulème, France, is named after Mafalda.

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.[8]

See also


  1. ^ El Mundo de Mafalda, ed. Marcelo Ravoni, Editorial Lumen, Barcelona, 1992, p. 44
  2. ^ Quino's official site,
  3. ^ Quino's official site,
  4. ^ Quino's official site,
  5. ^ Cinecin, retrieved June 7, 2009
  6. ^ (Spanish) "Lo que dice Umberto Eco sobre Mafalda".
  7. ^ Quino interview by Lucía Iglesias Kuntz, UNESCO Courier journalist
  8. ^ Prochainement à rue Mafalda, Cyberpresse, March 8, 2010

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mafalda (BD) — Mafalda Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mafalda (homonymie). Mafalda Série Genre(s) Comic strip Auteur Quino …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mafalda — steht für: eine Variante des weiblichen Vornamens Mathilde Mafalda (Comicfigur), eine Comicfigur des argentinischen Zeichners Quino Mafalda von Savoyen (1902 1944), eine Tochter des vorletzten Königs von Italien Mafalda (Molise), eine Gemeinde in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mafalda — f Portuguese and Italian: variant of MATILDA (SEE Matilda), used especially in Portugal. The name was taken there by a princess from the royal house of Savoy, who in 1146 went to marry the Portuguese king. St Mafalda (1203–52) was a daughter of… …   First names dictionary

  • Mafalda — es el nombre de una historieta creada por Quino en 1964, cuyo personaje principal es una niña de clase media argentina con una particular visión del mundo. Mafalda, una pequeña niña preocupada por la humanidad y la paz mundial, que se rebela… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mafalda — Rare, le nom devrait renvoyer à la commune italienne de Mafalda, située dans la province de Campobasso (Molise) …   Noms de famille

  • Mafalda — Para otros usos de este término, véase Mafalda (desambiguación). Mafalda Publicación Formato Tira de Prensa con posteriores recopilaciones en álbumes Primera edición …   Wikipedia Español

  • Mafalda — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mafalda (homonymie). Mafalda Série …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mafalda, B. — B. Mafalda, Reg. (2. al. 1. Mai u. 7. Aug.) Die sel. Mafalda war eine Tochter des Königs Sancho I. (nicht II.) von Portugal (1185 bis 1211) und im J. 1203 geboren. Sie wurde schon in ihrem zwölften Jahre an ihren Blutsverwandten, König Heinrich I …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

  • Mafalda — Original name in latin Mafalda Name in other language Mafalda, Ripalta sul Trigno State code IT Continent/City Europe/Rome longitude 41.94308 latitude 14.7161 altitude 444 Population 1340 Date 2012 02 15 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Mafalda — germanischer Ursprung, italienische, portugiesische Nebenform von → Mathilde (Bedeutungszusammensetzung aus: »Macht« und »Kampf«). Bekannt durch die gleichnamige Comic und Cartoonfigur …   Deutsch namen

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