Simply known as MORDILLO, Guillermo Mordillo is one of the world’s greatest cartoonists. Famous for his humorous, colourful, wordless depictions of love, football, golf and long-necked animals in everyday and absurd situations, his work is a mastery of design simplicity coupled with complexity of meaning over decades of experience and development.
This is a story of an individual who followed his passion of drawing, developing his talent from childhood and still creating 84 years on. Born in 1932, his Spanish migrant parents raised Mordillo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in a modest home, where he played football in the streets and drew cartoons at the kitchen table from aged 5. Attracted to the cinema in his pre teenage years, Charlie Chaplain, Buster Keaton and Walt Disney characters fuelled his love of cartoons and animation. Snow White was the first animated movie he experienced. At 13, he drew his first comic, Pascasio the Beggar. He also experimented with self portraits.
Keen to learn, at 16 he obtained the Certificate of Illustrator from the School of Journalism). Two years later, while continuing to study, as part of the animation team Burone Bruch, he illustrated children's stories, Tales of Perrault Schmid, The Musicians of Bremen and The Three Little Pigs.
In 1952 he co-founded Galas Studios, dedicated to the production of animations. Meanwhile, he continued to develop his career as an illustrator and published some strips in local magazines.
In November 1955, he moved to Lima, Peru, where he worked as a freelance designer for advertising company McCann Erickson. During his time in Lima, he discovered golf which later influenced his choice of cartoons motifs. In 1958 he worked on Aesop's Fables for Editorial Iberia Lima.
After having done greeting-card illustrations for the Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards, in 1960 he settled in New York, where he was working for Paramount Pictures on Popeye and Little Lulu animations.
In 1961 MORDILLO goes back to work on greeting cards at Oz Greeting Cards. In 1963 he moved to Paris, where he turned to illustration and comics, mainly for magazines such as Elle, Paris-Match and Pif Gadget. In 1966, his first joke without words, was published in Le Pelerin no. 4368. His work started to be printed in publications from other parts of the world, most notably Germany's Stern magazine.
In Paris, he met his wife Amparo Camarasa, marrying in 1969 and now has two children: Sebastian Jerome (1970) and Cecile Isabelle (1972) and 2 grandchildren, Felix and Victoria.
Book series Crazy Cowboy, Crazy Crazy and Galeon were created in 1972 and in 1981 Mordillo Football and 1987 Mordillo Golf were published in Germany. Over 40 books were published between 1972 and 2012.
From 1976 to 1981, Mordillo's cartoons were used by Slovenian artist Miki Muster to create a series of 400 short animations that were presented at Cannes and bought by television studios from 30 countries. He also created his own productions in Germany and UK.
1980 he moved to Mallorca, Spain and returned to France in 1998.
Still actively creating cartoons, Mordillo is intensively working on a television series and a new fully feature 3D animated film, called Crazy Island, due to be released in 2018.
Despite huge interest in his work, Mordillo has always resisted to sell his precious originals and those few which are in the public domain, are either gifts or donations.
Mordillo passed away on 29 June 2019 in Palma Nova, Mallorca.
How to talk to people, you normally Say “Mr Mordillo”? Or just “Mordillo”?
It depends on whether or not they are my friends. Most of them call me Guillermo. But many others call me “Mordillo”. You think it’s my artist name.
Are you fascinated or even obsessed with Numbers. You know how many drawings have been carefully created you in your career?
I am keeping records of my Cartoons. Before the actual Cartoons I make small sketches, and each of them gets a number. Sometimes I write the day and time. I don’t know why, I just do it for me. In total, there are more than 2000 Cartoons.
more about this interview in 48th issue of irancartoon E-magazine...