Today we talk about an artist who had an asteroid dedicated to him! (27178) Quino was discovered in 1999.
Quino is the nom de plume of Joaquín Salvador Lavado, an Argentine cartoonist born in 1932 and still with us today (currently 85 years old, for those in the audience who aren’t too good at mathematics). He’s best known for his character Mafalda (heroine of a self-titled comic strip), a lively and precocious 6-year old girl who sought to change the world for the better (but hated soup – how can anyone improve the world without soup?) This comic strip, which ran from 1964 to 1973, is said to have been influenced by Schulz’s Peanuts – for instance, Umberto Eco made that comparison in 1968 – but it makes me think more of Bushmiller’s Nancy. Comparisons aside, I heartily recommend it.
You won’t be surprised to find out that Quino wrote in Spanish – being Argentine and all – but some of his strips, notably Mafalda, have been translated into a variety of languages… by which I mean mostly French. I was harbouring the hope that this great artist had been able to reach many countries with his art, but it seems that his non-Mafalda cartoons (and he’s done quite a few after he quit Mafalda in 1973) aren’t really available in languages other than Spanish or French. As consolation, it seems that at least Mafalda was a big hit in not only Latin America, France and Québec, but also Asia, even meriting a translation into Chinese.
The following three comics were scanned from Manger, quelle aventure! (eating, what an adventure) published in 2016 by Glénat. I was looking for something mute but amusing to sidestep linguistic barriers, and I hope that these qualify. Check out Quino’s beautifully squiggly, decorative lines!
*part of our galaxy’s main asteroid belt