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KomiksComic Art in Russia$
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Jose Alaniz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604733662

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604733662.001.0001

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Comics During the Soviet Era

Comics During the Soviet Era

(p.31) 2 Comics During the Soviet Era

José Alaniz

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the history of Russian comics or komiks under the Soviet regime, breaking it down into three main phases: the Revolutionary Era (1917–1934), Socialist Realism (1934 to mid-1980s), and the rise of the Non-Conformists (1960s–1980s). It also looks at the work of comics artists of the diaspora, namely the “Whites” who fled the Red Communists during and after the Russian Revolution. It considers how the Bolsheviks, led initially by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, sought to transform what they saw as backward Russian society into a modern industrialized state grounded on Marxist principles. It discusses the impact of the seventy-year Soviet domination of Russia under the Communists on the development of comics as an art form. It also describes the use of the poster or plakat in Soviet propaganda, the Russian Telegraph Agency’s (ROSTA) employment of “ROSTA satirical windows” as a communications device which fully exploited the sequential language of comics, and the rise of caricature and satirical journals in Russia. Finally, it assesses the state of Russian comics after World War II.

Keywords:   comics, komiks, Socialist Realism, Non-Conformists, diaspora, Russian Revolution, Russia, poster, propaganda, satirical journals

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