Previously I wrote about how sometimes you can clearly remember when you first bought or read a particular comic and how that can trigger all sorts of memories beyond the actual reading experience; memories from the "real" world, not the fictional one reads. Argentinian cartoonist Quino's much celebrated creation, Mafalda, is another of those comic book characters that I can place in that category.
I first met her on my Portuguese Grammar manual, when I was around ten years old. Man, how I loved that book! It was a school book, yes, but it was filled with samples of great comics used to teaching grammar! Judging by how Portuguese school has been going to hell for the last decade or so - and I should know it, being a teacher - I don't think they do that anymore. You see, I'm from a generation where kids still read books and comics were seen as a good teaching tool to get kids to read... but I digress. Back to Mafalda, for awhile that book was my only source of her incredibly funny and lovingly drawn comic strips. The jokes were great, the characters were super cute but, as usual, it was Quino's superlative drawing line and cartooning ability that held my attention. There was a sort of pleasant humming that came across his ink lines that felt so spontaneous and yet perfect. Then, one day, I fell ill with a sore throat and high fever and had to remain in bed for a few days. Guess what? Mom and dad offer me a wonderful anthology with hundreds of Mafalda's comic strips - I went to heaven that evening!