Elpidio Valdés first appeared dressed as a Mambí colonel leading a cavalry troop fighting for the freedom of his country against the Spanish enemy. He was created thus by Juan Padrón, a successful cartoonist who gave Elpidio the last name Valdés after the famous Cecilia, symbol of the Cuban spirit. Later he even found Elpidio a girlfriend, but she was not conceived by his rich imagination, as he tells us:
"The impact of the movies was so impressive that I decided to listen to what children had to say. Little girls wanted a woman next to Elpidio, and they even found her a name: Maria Silvia. But the boys complained: 'Don't put women in there! They are always fall ing down and needing to be rescued!' Maria Silvia was born, a brave mambisa who rides and fights alongside Elpidio. She doesn't fall down and she doesn't need to be rescued. And so the Cuban children and I created the characters."
Drawn by Juan Padrón, Elpidio first appeared in 1970 in the children's magazine Pionero, and jumped to the screen in 1974 with the animated short: Elpidio Valdés contra el tren militar (Elpidio Valdes confronts the military train) produced by the Cuban Institute of Cinema and Cinematographic Industry (ICAIC). Since then, Elpidio Valdés has appeared in numerous short and long animated features: Elpidio Valdés asalta el convoy (Elpidio Valdes attacks the convoy), Elpidio Valdés contra la policía de Nueva York (Elpidio Valdes faces the New York police), Elpidio Valdés encuentra a Palmiche (Elpidio Valdes finds Palmiche) and many others that the young -and not so young- never tire of.