Culture

Quino, Cartoonist And Creator Of Mafalda Comics, Dies At 88

Mafalda is one of the most iconic cartoon characters for millions of Latinos around the world. The little girl highlighted the social inequities and pitfalls of dictatorships and authoritarian governments. Quino, the man who created Mafalda, died Sept. 30 at 88.

Joaquín “Quino” Salvador Lavado, famed cartoonist who created Mafalda, died at 88.

The world was first introduced to Mafalda in September 1964 in Primera Plana in Argentina. Soon after, the comic strip went global with readers on three other continents. The world fell in love with the young girl’s strong political statements.

Comic fans are mourning the death of Quino.

Lavado created the Mafalda comic strips from 1964 until 1973 being critical of dictatorships around the world, including in Argentina. The cartoonist stopped creating the Mafalda comic strips when the coup d’etat installed Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Three years later, the cartoonist fled to Spain to avoid being killed during the military dictatorship in Argentina.

Mafalda was a cultural icon that touched people from different walks of life.

At its height, Mafalda was being printed in 26 different languages for millions of readers around the world. Mafalda took complex and real issues facing the world and boiled them down into bite size moments people were able to understand by bringing it down to a child’s pure level.

“However, even if Mafalda is dissentient and rebellious, she is still a child, this is why she does not abandon the world to its fate, but she speaks with it and nurses it putting even plasters on its wounds if necessary,” reads part of Mafalda’s bio on Quino’s official website. “She invites it to improve, she exhorts it to resist, she makes it promise her that it would be still there when, as an adult, she’ll be an interpreter at the UN.”

Many in the English-speaking world do not know or know very little of Mafalda.

The Argentinian cartoon found wild success in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Quebec. Fans are sending their condolences through social media giving Mafalda and her quick wit and political prowess a time to shine.

Mafalda got people interested in the way the world and its governments work.

The young girl was always very politically active and interested. Her dreams and her zingers always went back to the heart of the issues the world was talking about. Mafalda influenced generations of young Latinas into being politically engaged and involved because of her involvement.

It’s hard not to honor Mafalda and her undying will to move the world forward.

When Mafalda speaks, she has a way of letting people feel like they have been seen. She is not afraid to speak up on the things she sees and doesn’t like. She is not afraid to be the one to voice the opinion everyone else is thinking.

Rest in peace, Quino.

You work will forever guide people through this world with intention and purpose. Thank you for giving us someone to see ourselves in.

READ: Here’s Why You Should Be Familiar With Mafalda, One Of The Best Latino Cartoons Of All Time

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Comedian Joe ‘El Cholo’ Luna Dies From COVID-19 Just Days After He Posts a Video Describing His ‘Journey’ on Instagram

Things That Matter

Comedian Joe ‘El Cholo’ Luna Dies From COVID-19 Just Days After He Posts a Video Describing His ‘Journey’ on Instagram

Photo: joeelcholo/Instagram

Another day, another tragic COVID-19 related death. On November 3rd, a Los Angeles comedian Joe “El Cholo” Luna passed away from the coronavirus.

Throughout his battle with COVID-19, Luna documented his struggle through social media.

Just two days before he passed away, Luna posted a video on Instagram chronicling his COVID-19 journey. He shared the video with his followers for “educational purposes”. In the video, Luna got extremely candid about the realities of the deadly illness.

“Let me tell you, man, when I would hear people talk about what COVID did to them, I always said to myself, ‘You know what? I doubt it’s that bad’,” he says in the video. “I’ll tell you guys right now, I’ve been putting up a fight. I’ve been fighting for my life for the last week or so, man. This COVID shit is no joke.”

Luna described his symptoms: losing his taste and smell, fainting, having trouble breathing, fevers, chills, chest pains. He also contracted pneumonia. At one point, he even lost consciousness.

Luna explained that he had been discharged from the hospital a few days ago simply to be taken back to the hospital via an ambulance. “I ended up passing out,” he said in the clip.

He also revealed that his mother, his girlfriend, and his children had tested positive for the virus. His mother was also hospitalized with COVID-19 and pneumonia.

Luna was a diabetic and had previously lost both of his legs due to the disease. According to him, COVID-19 hit him especially hard due to his preexisting conditions.

Luna’s family and community mourn the loss of a vibrant man who had been full of humor and light when he was alive.

“We are currently all mourning him because not only was he a great son, dad, hubby but also a best friend to many of us,” wrote Blanca Castro on his GoFundMe page.

She continued: “He fought hard after losing both legs to stay ok. He fought hard with the everyday pain. He was my comedian superhero. Even when he was hurting he managed to put a smile on our faces.”

Because of his father’s bright spirit, his family insists on celebrating his death the way he would have wanted: with humor. “For his funeral, he doesn’t want anyone crying so we’re going to put together a show because that’s what he would have wanted,” said his son, Jose Talavera, to Fox 11 News. “He wanted people to be laughing and having fun,” said Talavera.

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Here’s The Mexican Immigrant Who Voiced Peanuts’ Snoopy And Woodstock

Entertainment

Here’s The Mexican Immigrant Who Voiced Peanuts’ Snoopy And Woodstock

George Napolitano / FilmMagic

The more we dig, the more we are all learning of the Latinos who made the world what it is today. There are few places that have as many of these discoveries as entertainment. One often forgotten Latino trailblazer is José Cuauhtémoc “Bill” Meléndez who helped to create the most iconic cartoon special ever.

José Cuauhtémoc “Bill” Meléndez gifted us “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Meléndez worked closely with Charles Schulz to help create the animated Charlie Brown classics we all know and love today. Born in Mexico, Meléndez had a storied career in entertainment and made a name for himself in the animation world. Meléndez was part of four Walt Disney classics: “Dumbo,” “Bambi,” “Pinocchio,” and “Fantasia.”

Meléndez became Snoopy’s voice by accident.

Meléndez was not cast to voice Snoopy. He worked with Schulz to created the animated works of Charlie Brown while Schulz focused on the comic strips. The two worked with an understanding that one could not do what the other brought to the table.

In an interview in the Archive of American Television, Meléndez tells the story of how he became the voice of Snoopy. It was nothing more than luck and a fast approaching deadline that make him the voice of America’s most popular canine.

“Happy accident. When we first started animating Snoopy and I wen to Schulz and I said, ‘You know, he talks. He’s got these balloons,” Meléndez says in the interview. “I had a whimsical actor here in Hollywood who had a great voice and I said to everybody, ‘This guy’s voice would be perfect for Snoopy. He should talk for Snoopy.’ I made some recordings of him reading some of the lines of Snoopy and I took them up the Schulz and he says, ‘What’s this?’ I said, ‘A voice for Snoopy.’”

Schulz was originally against Snoopy talking because he is a dog.

“So I went home and I said, ‘Well. Arf. Arf.’ I started making noises to imitate something that maybe I could give to an actor to use for him. I came up with an idea,” Meléndez recalls in the interview. “There was a lot of dialogue that Snoopy was talking, like in the classroom. So I said, ‘Let’s record this.’ I had them record at one-quarter speed. So I start saying, ‘Well, Charlie Brown. You are wrong. The teacher says for you to it down and to drop that ball.’ Then I told the engineer to run that fast for me. he ran it fast until he finally ran it at one-quarter speed and I said, ‘That’s it. That’s our voice for Snoopy.’”

The rest, as Meléndez says, is history.

Just another example of that Latino excellence that has always been here.

The Charlie Brown classic movies are part of so many holiday traditions. Fortunately, after a brief scare, they are all available to watch this year on television. Apple+ currently owns the specials but has decided to allow PBS and PBS Kids to air the specials this year. You can watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas Special” on Apple+ from Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 11-13, respectively.

You can check out part of Meléndez’s interview below.

READ: Here Are Some Of Latin America’s Most Popular Comic Books That All Comic Book Fans Should Know

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