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Graphic Satire in the Soviet UnionKrokodil's Political Cartoons$
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John Etty

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496820525

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496820525.001.0001

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Krokodil’s Format and Visual Language

Krokodil’s Format and Visual Language

Chapter:
(p.35) Chapter Two Krokodil’s Format and Visual Language
Source:
Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union
Author(s):

John Etty

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496820525.003.0003

The first half of the chapter considers six political, cultural and social traditions-pre-revolutionary satirical literature, pre-revolutionary satirical journals, the lubok, Orthodox iconography, Soviet satire theory, and Soviet theatre-that influenced Krokodil. Tracing a fuller picture of Krokodil's heritages than previous literature provides, this chapter shows that Krokodil was the progeny of a complex system of satirical legacies, and it was also engaged in a mutually productive relationship with contemporary satirical forms. The chapter's second half analyzes Krokodil's visual language that is intended to move beyond the support/criticism binary vision of the magazine proposed by previous interpretations, and it thus proposes a tripartite model for explaining Krokodil's visual language. Considering all of Krokodil's graphic schemata-cartoons "contesting" anti-Soviet ideology, those "affirming" Soviet ideology, and images depicting the process of "becoming" Soviet-this chapter reveals how the magazine's cartoons dialogically and self-reflexively commented on serious Soviet discourses on graphic satire.

Keywords:   Visual language, Schemata, Satire, Dialogism, Becoming Soviet

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