[Image explanation and translation: six window strip with Mafalda. Mafalda calls out, “bureaucracy!” in the first window. Windows two through to five she sits on a chair, looks around, reads a newspaper, stares blankly into space and waits. Window six her tortoise arrives and she greets him with, “your lettuce leaf”.]
In a square in San Telmo, a relatively old (and fairly touristy) barrio in Buenos Aires sits a bench with a statue of Mafalda. The statue was installed there in 2009 honouring the work of Quino (whose house is just across) and in recognition of the place the comics hold in the collective memory of the argentina’s reading classes. Each day bunches of people sit by her and have their pictures taken. And not all the hard-earned cynicism from a life being lived stops me from being one of them.
One of the (many) things I love about Mafalda is the variety of relationships she has with people around her. The comic would collapse pretty quickly if she weren’t surrounded by a group of friends and family that supported, challenged and annoyed her in about equal measures (shades of Buffy anyone?). Which is why I felt compelled to leave by her side, a crocheted tortoise and a note bearing the legend, “Porque Mafalda siempre tenía amigos” (because Mafalda always had friends).
How is that for a first in daytime yarn graffiti?