Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón, known as “Quino”, was born in Mendoza, on July 17, 1932. His parents were Spanish immigrants from the town of Fuengirola (Málaga). They nicknamed him “Quino” since he was little to distinguish him from his uncle. , the illustrator Joaquín, who was the one who awakened his vocation as a cartoonist at a very early age.
In 1945, after the death of his mother, when Quino was 13 years old, he began studying at the School of Fine Arts of Mendoza. But in 1949, “Tired of drawing amphorae and plasters,” he abandoned it and thought of only one possible profession: being a cartoonist and humorist. His father died shortly after, when Quino was seventeen years old.
Persistent in achieving his goals, at the age of eighteen, and after completing his mandatory military service, he moved to Buenos Aires in search of a publisher to publish his drawings, but it would be three years before turning his dream into a reality. “The day I published my first page – he said, remembering his debut in the Buenos Aires weekly Esto es – I had the happiest moment of my life.” It was in 1954. He then continued in media such as Leoplán, TV Guía, Vea y Lea, Damas y Damitas, tú, Panorama, Adán, Atlántida, Che, and the newspaper Democracia, among others. He also began to publish with some regularity in the historical Rico Tipo, Tía Vicenta and Dr. Merengue.
With his popularity his economic situation begins to improve. In 1960 he married his love, Alicia Colombo.
In 1963, his first humor book appeared called “Mundo Quino”, it was a compilation of silent graphic humor drawings with a prologue by Miguel Brascó. Brascó himself presented it to Agens Publicidad, which was looking for a cartoonist to create a comic strip to advertise the launch of a line of household appliance products called Mansfield, which is why the name of one of the characters had to start with the letter M. , hence Mafalda. Agens does not run his campaign, but Quino keeps a few strips that would be useful a few months later, when he gave life to the character that would make him famous.
Mafalda, the girl with black hair and bangs who hates soup and is in eternal contradiction with adults, was published for the first time on September 29, 1964, in the weekly “Primera Plana” of Buenos Aires. On March 9, 1965, with the transfer of the comic strips to the newspaper “El Mundo” (in which Quino would publish six strips per week), the unstoppable success of the character began, who crossed national borders to conquer South America and It later expanded to Europe, gaining a privileged place in the collective imagination.
Jorge Álvarez published the first Mafalda book that brought together the first strips in order of publication, as will be done in the following ones. It comes out in Argentina for Christmas and its circulation of 5,000 copies sells out in two days.
In Italy, the first book, “Mafalda la Contestataria”, was published in 1969, with the presentation of Umberto Eco, director of the collection. When the Italian philosopher read Mafalda he was extremely fascinated. In the prologue he wrote: “…this is not just another comic book character; She is, without a doubt, the character of the seventies "..." If the adjective 'contestant' was used to define her, it is not only to align her with the fashion of anti-conformism. Mafalda is a true ‘rebellious’ heroine, who rejects the world as she is,” Eco added in that text.
But the great success and international fame will not prevent Quino, on June 25, 1973, from making a decision, for many, unforeseen: not to draw more Mafalda strips, since he no longer feels the need to use the expressive structure of the strips in sequence.
However, interest in Mafalda has remained intact, in fact, her books continue to be reprinted and she continues to be chosen to accompany various social campaigns such as UNICEF, the Spanish Red Cross, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Argentina. . From now on Quino will continue to publish weekly her well-known humor pages that have been grouped together in his collection of Humor books.
In 1984, he was invited to join the jury of the “Havana Latin American Film Festival.” Quino traveled to Cuba and there began his friendship with the animation film director Juan Padrón and signed a contract with the ICAIC (Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry) to make short films with his humorous pages. The series was called “Quinoscopes”, directed by Juan Padrón based on Quino's drawings and ideas.
In 1993, the Spanish company D.G. Producciones S.A., in co-production with Televisiones Españolas, produces 104 episodes of Mafalda in one-minute cartoons directed by Juan Padrón at the ICAIC. The cartoons were broadcast in Italy by RAI2 and in Argentina on two occasions: first by the old Channel 11 and several years later by Canal Encuentro.
In 2008, under the guidance of Mercedes Casanegra and as part of the New Murals Program, the company Subterráneos de Buenos Aires commissioned a tile mural with the characters of Mafalda in the corridor that connects the Perú (Line A) and Catedral (Line D) stations. ).
In 2009, an original sculpture of Mafalda made for El Mundo in Bicentenario: 200 years of Graphic Humor was inaugurated, on the corner of Chile and Defensa streets in the Monserrat neighborhood. The sculpture was made by the artist Pablo Irrgang. In addition, at the event a memorial plaque was unveiled on the door of the building where Quino lived on 371 Chile Street, in the Monserrat neighborhood, with the legend "Mafalda lived here." The famous character already had a square in his name in the heart of the Colegiales neighborhood, on 145 Conde Street.
Mafalda's sculpture was not alone for long, then Susanita and Manolito arrived to accompany her, at the request of its creator.
Throughout his career, Quino received multiple recognitions, including the “Official Order of the Legion of Honor”, the most important honor that the French government grants to a foreigner. 2014 was a special year, Quino turned 60 in graphic humor and Mafalda turned 50. In that year she received the “Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities” in Spain and inaugurated the 40th Buenos Aires International Book Fair.
He died on September 30, 2020, at the age of 88, coincidentally one day after fifty-six years since the first publication of Mafalda.