BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Joaquín Salvador Lavado, an Argentine cartoonist better known as “Quino″ whose satirical comic strip about a socially conscious girl named Mafalda with a loathing for soup, found fans across Latin America, Europe and beyond, died on Wednesday at the age of 88.
Quino’s “Mafalda″ comic strip was first published in 1964 and the humorist 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 humor.
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. 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 traveled to both sides of the Atlantic thanks to his cartoons and his peculiar sense of humor.”
Mafalda, whose 6-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.