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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

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

John Etty

University Press of Mississippi

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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