Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union
Krokodil's Political Cartoons

By John Etty

240 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 53 b&w illustrations

9781496820525 Printed casebinding $90.00S

9781496821089 Paper $30.00S

Printed casebinding, $90.00

Paper, $30.00

An original study on the little-known but highly influential Russian magazine Krokodil

After the death of Joseph Stalin, Soviet-era Russia experienced a flourishing artistic movement due to relaxed censorship and new economic growth. In this new atmosphere of freedom, Russia's satirical magazine Krokodil (The Crocodile) became rejuvenated. John Etty explores Soviet graphic satire through Krokodil and its political cartoons. He investigates the forms, production, consumption, and functions of Krokodil, focusing on the period from 1954 to 1964.

Krokodil remained the longest-serving and most important satirical journal in the Soviet Union, unique in producing state-sanctioned graphic satirical comment on Soviet and international affairs for over seventy years. Etty's analysis of Krokodil extends and enhances our understanding of Soviet graphic satire beyond state-sponsored propaganda.

For most of its life, Krokodil consisted of a sixteen-page satirical magazine comprising a range of cartoons, photographs, and verbal texts. Authored by professional and nonprofessional contributors and published by Pravda in Moscow, it produced state-sanctioned satirical comment on Soviet and international affairs from 1922 onward. Soviet citizens and scholars of the USSR recognized Krokodil as the most significant, influential source of Soviet graphic satire. Indeed, the magazine enjoyed an international reputation, and many Americans and Western Europeans, regardless of political affiliation, found the images pointed and witty. Astoundingly, the magazine outlived the USSR but until now has received little scholarly attention.

JOHN Y, Auckland, New Zealand, is Head of Faculty (Social Science) and Head of Department (History) at Auckland Grammar School in New Zealand. Etty has published in the edited volumes Russian Aviation, Space Flight and Visual Culture and Russian Culture in the Era of Globalisation, as well as in journals such as Slavic Review, History Review, the International Journal of Comic Art, and Slovo.

240 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 53 b&w illustrations