Italy marks 50 years of Mafalda

Quino's popular cartoon rebel girl feted in libraries

(ANSA)- Rome, March 7 - Italy is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first publication in the country of the Mafalda comic strip by Argentine cartoonist Joaquin Salvador Lavado, known as Quino, 85, with a round of events.
    An itinerant exhibit across Italian libraries will mark the anniversary of the little rebellious girl, the protagonist of books that have been translated into 20 languages, with over 50 million copies sold in 50 countries worldwide.
    The exhibit, to be inaugurated in October at the Diotti Museum of Casalmaggiore near the northern city of Cremona, will showcase some of the original cartoons first published by Feltrinelli in 1968 and a UN Convention on the Rights of the Child illustrated by Quino.
    The 1969 Bompiani book 'Mafalda la contestataria', or Mafalda the protester, an edition featuring a preface by renowned writer and academic Umberto Eco, brought Mafalda to fame in Italy.
    A daily Mafalda strip was subsequently published by one of the country's leading newspapers, Paese Sera.
    The full collection of comic strips 'Tutto Mafalda' was published in 2006 by Magazzini Salani, which is celebrating the anniversary on Friday with 'Tempo di Libri', or the time for books, on the day the international publishing fair, which starts on March 8, is dedicating to rebels.
    Magazzini Salani started publishing Mafalda books in 2006 and reportedly sold 200,000 copies in 10 years.
    Milan's Idroscalo park is also paying homage to Mafalda with a wooden sculpture at the entrance of an area, the 'Auli Aule garden of forgotten toys'.
    Some of Mafalda's quotes have also been published in a brochure that will be distributed for free at the park.
    Mafalda, a six-year-old girl who worries about the state of human rights and peace, first appeared as the main character of a strip published by Argentine weekly Primera Plana on September 29, 1964.
    Known for her great concern for human rights as well as her hatred of soup, Mafalda often leaves adults, notably her parents, at a loss with her mature questions on a number of issues including peace and gender equality, which have fascinated generations worldwide for decades.