Alkemanubis Revisited

We are greater than the sum of our parts. I am often faced with the reality of that aphorism whenever working with Pigtails readers. In the spirit of community, you have many times provided additional research to augment and correct items in the past. The original Alkemanubis post on May 3, 2021 started out as an unidentified random image from Christian. As luck would have it, one of our contributors is a friend of the artist and was given permission to share more of the work. Although this image is no longer publicly available, Alkemanubis (also referred to as Alke) does maintain a DeviantArt account, a Pixiv account and now also Twitter. It turns out that there were four versions of the image we published shown below. -Ron

Alkemanubis - Ritual

Alkemanubis – Ritual (2018)

Anime is a style of Japanese animation that is characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes. The anime style has become incredibly popular around the world, and there are many online communities dedicated to this type of art. Even though it originates from Japan artists from all over the world get influenced by it.

Alkemanubis – Rainy (2020)

A case in point is Alkemanubis, a talented Argentinean artist known for his anime-influenced digital illustrations featuring adorable little girls. His style has a heavy emphasis on realistic rendering, very reminiscent of academic art, but with a modern spin.

Alkemanubis – Afternoon in the meadows (2022)

Alkemanubis – Feel the breeze (2017)

One of the most striking things about Alkemanubis’ art is the attention to detail. From the characters’ anatomy to the delicate expressions on their faces, every aspect of his art is carefully crafted and lovingly rendered. His images often depict scenes from everyday life, capturing moments of joy, laughter, and friendship between young girls. But during special occasions he also creates nightmarish themes. That only shows his versatility as an artist.

Alkemanubis – Fashionistas (2020)

Alkemanubis – Dddemon unleashed (2021)

His tools for creating digital paintings are a computer, a digital tablet and Photoshop. Most of the process is similar to traditional illustration or painting, but with additional tools to speed up the process, but most of the work is still hand-drawn. Even with these tools Alkemanubis spends a very considerable number of hours on each of his artworks. Once the painting is complete, it can be saved and shared digitally.

Alkemanubis – mhmm-hmm-hmm (2018)

There’s a speedpaint video of some of his process you can view.

Mafalda

First of all, I would like to apologize for not publishing this sooner. One thing after another keeps cropping up and I never seem to get to reviewing an author’s work. At the time, Quino (the artist in question) had just died so I feel bad that I didn’t get to it in a timely manner. Interestingly, Google did feel the man was important enough to commemorate with a Google banner. -Ron

Azul Portillo – Google Doodle: Quino’s 90th Birthday (July 17, 2022)

Quino – Mafalda

Today [30 September 2020] I woke up with very sad news. Mr. Joaquín Salvador Lavado Tejón, better know as Quino passed away, at the age of 88, in his home country Argentina.

In the year 1964, Quino made a comic strip about a little girl that challenged society. The comic ran for only 9 years, but that was enough time to make Argentina, as well as many other countries, fall in love with this little girl and her shenanigans.
Mafalda was initially planned to serve in advertisements for the “Mansfield” product line for the Siam Di Tella company, but quickly became it’s own independent idea. A local newspaper also offered to publish it with the advertisements removed, but in the end Quino decided to publish his strip in the magazine Primera Plana.

Quino – Mafalda Comic (1964)

Mafalda:  But… Why do I have to do it?
Mom: Because it’s an order and I’m your mother!
Mafalda: If it’s a matter of titles, I’m your daughter!
And we graduated the same day, no?!

The first strip was published on 29 September 1964, one day and 56 years before Quino’s passing.

The comic moved to the newspaper El Mundo just one year later, but the newspaper shut down in December of 1967. The next year the weekly Siete Días Illustrados resumed the publication until the strip concluded on 25 June 1973.

The comic was a mirror of Argentinian middle class and progressive youth during that time period, but at the same time touched topics that are still of concern today, like world peace, communism, capitalism and the way society operates.

Quino – Mafalda – See no Evil

Mafalda is an innocent but critical 6-year-old, very concerned with the state of human kind. She very often poses questions or makes observations about serious or mature topics that adults are unable to answer. She hates soup—which is a running gag in the strips—sometimes used metaphorically for different topics. She’s also a big Beatles fan.
She has a younger brother, Guille, who in contrast loves soup! He’s also a troublemaker and, like his sister, also has the tendency to bring complicated topics from an even more innocent point of view.

Mafalda’s parents are a regular middle-class young couple. Her mom is a housewife—very common for that time in Argentina—and her father works as an insurance agent. Both try to avoid Mafalda’s tough questions about adulthood, work, society and school.

Quino – Mafalda’s Friends

Mafalda also has friends who appear in the comics. One is Manolito whose family owns an almacén (a type of traditional shop), called Don Manolo, and usually represents the capitalist point of view. He loves soup and hates The Beatles. He’s always trying to make money.

Felipe is the oldest member of the gang. He’s a bit lazy and also a dreamer, very often worried about school. He loves to play and likes The Beatles.

Susanita is a very, very girly child; she loves gossip and other stereotypical female traits of the period. She dreams of becoming a mother and a housewife one day which usually leads to arguments with Mafalda.

Libertad—which means freedom in Spanish—is a really short girl, the same age as Mafalda, but shorter than Guille. She’s the most political and radical of the children, often touching upon even more complicated topics than Mafalda. She was the last character to be added to the strips. All the children’s parents are secondary characters in some strips.

Estatua (Mafalda statue)

In the year 1972, one year before the strips ended, Mafalda was developed into an animated series. Running for 52 short episodes. The show was very popular and aired in multiple countries including Spain.

In the year 1976, Argentina was ruled by a military dictatorship; but even in that hard political climate, a Mafalda movie was developed. It was released in 1981.

The last time Mafalda was animated was in the year 1993, with a short series titled Mafalda Animada; it was just a collection of strips turn into shorts.

Quino worked on over 20 different books and comics, but Mafalda became his best-known work. You can still see his legacy to this day in and all the generations Mafalda has touched.