Argentine cartoonist Quino, creator of Mafalda comic, dies aged 88

Joaquin Salvador Lavado; cartoonist and creator of Mafalda; Quino

Joaquin Salvador Lavado, the Argentine cartoonist better known as “Quino″ – who created a satirical comic strip about a socially-conscious girl named Mafalda, has died at the age of 88.

Quino’s Mafalda comic strip was first published in 1964 and the humourist maintained a dedicated following throughout his career – even after he moved onto other projects, skewering social conventions through ordinary characters who endured absurdity, exploitation, authoritarianism and their own limitations.

“Quino died. All good people in the country and in the world will mourn him, ” tweeted Daniel Divinsky, the cartoonist’s former editor.

Quino, who had suffered health problems in recent years, was remembered affectionately by Argentina’s political class – which was frequently the target of his acerbic humour.

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina’s vice president and former two-term president, uploaded a video to Twitter in which Quino had wished her good luck in governing.

Ms de Kirchner said Quino had “said things that could not be said” — a reference to censorship during Argentina’s military dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s — and that he “challenged society with great strength”.

Quino was “creator of the unforgettable Mafalda and one of the most international cartoonists in Spanish”, the Madrid-based Royal Spanish Academy said.

“His precise words travelled to both sides of the Atlantic thanks to his cartoons and his peculiar sense of humour.”

Mafalda, whose six-year-old protagonist ponders the world’s problems to her parents’ bemusement, has sometimes been compared to the Peanuts comic strip created by Charles Schulz.

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