‘Mafalda’ Cartoonist Quino Awarded Prince of Asturias Prize in Spain


Mafalda in Buenos Aires subway. Image on Flickr by user xomorrito. CC BY-SA 2.0

Maybe the news that Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities in Spain won't ring a bell. That's because the well-known 81-year-old Argentinian cartoonist is better known as Quino, the man behind the idealistic yet pessimistic little girl Mafalda.

The Prince of Asturias Foundation announced May 21 in Oviedo, Spain that it would give Quino the award for his creation of the Mafalda comic as well as his later works. 

The blog AdriBosch's Magazine, while announcing the news [es], shared some background information on Quino and his famous comic:

Este prestigioso galardón llega el mismo año en que se celebran los 50 años del gran personaje de historieta.

Quino dibujó a Mafalda durante nueve años, entre 1964 y 1973. “Pero nunca terminé de aprender a dibujarla; tenía que calcarla”, contó hace poco.

Mafalda es la tira latinoamericana más vendida en el planeta y en las cinco décadas que cumple no perdió vigencia: siguen en pie todos (o casi todos) los temas contra los que se indignaba la niña contestataria.

This prestigious award comes on the same year the great comic character celebrates its 50 anniversary.

Quino drew Mafalda for nine years, between 1964 and 1973. “But I've never learned how to draw her, I had to copy her”, he shared not long ago.

Mafalda is the best selling Latin American cartoon in the planet and has never lost it's relevancy over these five decades: all (or almost all) of the issues that made this non-conformist girl angry are still happening.

Meanwhile, Biblioblog FL-UNC congratulated [es] Quino:

Felicitamos a Quino !!! ganador del premio Príncipe de Asturias. […] La distinción consta de una escultura diseñada por Joan Miró y 50.000 euros, además de un diploma y una insignia representativa.


El Jurado del prestigioso Premio Príncipe de Asturias, una especie de Nobel de la cultura en español, tuvo todos los logros en cuenta para premiar a Quino.

La palabras del jurado fueron que Mafalda es “una niña que percibe la complejidad del mundo desde la sencillez de los ojos infantiles”. La define como como “inteligente, irónica, inconformista, contestataria y sensible. Sueña con un mundo más digno, justo y respetuoso con los derechos humanos.

We congratulate Quino!!! Awarded the Prince of Asturias prize. […] The award includes a sculpture designed by Joan Miró and 50,000 euros [about 68,000 US dollars], plus a diploma and a representative badge.


The jury of the prestigious Prince of Asturias award, considered a Nobel Prize of culture in Spanish, had in mind all of Quino's achievements when awarding him.

The words of the jury were that Mafalda is “a girl who perceives the complexity of the world through the simplicity of a child’s eyes.” She is defined as “intelligent, ironic, non-conformist, rebellious and sensitive. She dreams of a world that is more dignified, just and respectful of human rights.”

Margrafic quoted Quino describing [es] Mafalda:

“una niña que intenta resolver el dilema de quiénes son los buenos y quiénes los malos en este mundo”, algo en lo que hoy en día andamos todos metidos. Un premio muy merecido.

[She is] “a girl who tries to solve the dilemma of who the good and bad guys are in this world”, something we all are now involved in. A very deserved award.

From Spain, website La utopía del día a día [es] asked the famous character:

Ya nos contarás como os sentís tu padre Quino y tú recogiendo el premio “Príncipe de Asturias”. Yo opinaría que…

You will soon be sharing with us how your dad Quino and you felt when receiving “Prince of Asturias” award. I'd say that…

Twitter was flooded with congratulations and greetings almost immediately after the prize was announced, and many users republished some Mafalda cartoons:

All of this came out from a pencil. :) We are very happy with the Prince of Asturias award for Quino.

Quino, creator of Mafalda, the Prince of Asturias prize. Congratulations!

Of course, Quino is not just Mafalda (even though it would have been enough). Here, one about the crisis and the way out. ;)

Last Mafalda cartoon, published on June 25, 1973, as decided by Quino.

Earlier this year, Quino also received the Legion of Honor, the most important award in France, where his work is very popular. The creator of Mafalda was honored in a packed Hall of the Book in Paris with a big ovation.

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