Juan Padrón

Juan Padrón (Matanzas, Cuba, 1947) started his career as cartoonist at the age of 15, working as an apprentice in the Cuban Institute for the Film Art and Industry. Later on, he collaborated with diverse magazines as Mella, Pionero and Juventud Rebelde and his cartoons were also published in other Latin American countries and in the Soviet Union. His character Elpidio Valdés, created in 1970, a colonel of the Liberation Army in the Independence war against the Spanish Colonialism, soon became an enormous success. There are 22 short films, 3 movies, a TV series and hundreds of comics with Elpidio Valdés, becoming the most popular Cuban character of cartoons and animations. Outstanding musicians as Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, Carlos Varela or Buenafé and film directors like Fernando Pérez and Gerardo Chijona mention Elpidio Valdés in their works.

In 1985, his movie ¡Vampiros en La Habana! became a cult film in Latin America and Spain. It is one of the two film materials in the cinematographic collection of the MoMa in New York and was selected by the Iberoamerican film critics as one of the 100 most important Hispano American films of the 20th Century, being the only animated film among them.

Juan Padrón has also worked with the Argentinian cartoonist Quino in the creation of the series Quinoscopio and Mafalda and her friends. One of his last creations has been Erotips, 150 short films produced by Canal Plus Spain, where Padrón develops all his erotic imagination and his sense of humour. He has also created publicity works and videoclips and has given lectures on animation and storyboard in the prestigious Film School of San Antonio de los Baños and in various countries.

Among the countless recognitions received, the Medal Alejo Carpentier, the Order Félix Varela, the Cuban National Prize for Humor and the Cuban National Film Award stand out.

He is currently working on a graphic memoir.

A Cuban Life