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[Commlist] new book: Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union: Krokodil’s Political Cartoons

Sat Jan 05 07:01:05 GMT 2019

NEW BOOK: /Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union: Krokodil’s Political Cartoons/
John Etty
Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
ISBN: 978-1-4968-2052-5

Dear all,

I'm very pleased to say that /Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union: Krokodil’s Political Cartoons/ is now published with the University Press of Mississippi. A flyer for the book is attached.

*Cover Description*
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.


“This highly sophisticated and intellectually exciting study is a tour de force of visual and political analysis that overturns traditional notions of Cold War strategies. Etty surveys the long-lasting satirical magazine/ Krokodil /(1922-2000) (2005-2008) as an officially approved publication lampooning the execrated West but also selectively criticizing aspects of Soviet life. He concentrates on the Thaw era, tackling the issue of the magazine’s Sovietism from multiple perspectives even as, with the illuminating aid of Bakhtin, he moves far beyond the conventional wisdom of /Krokodil/ as pure propaganda. With cartoons by such celebrated graphic satirists as the Kukryniksy and Ivan Semenov, the study engages transmedia theory while rigorously adhering to a non-partisan, historically informed base that takes into account the publication’s /telos/, patterns of production, aesthetic/humorous considerations, and audience reception. The impeccable scholarship alone is worth the price of the book, though the Conclusion serves as a superlative summation not to be missed. Teeming with insights and rigorously argued, /Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union/ is indisputably one of the most riveting monographs in Slavic Studies to appear in the last few years.” —Helena Goscilo, Professor of Slavic Studies at the Ohio State University, affiliate faculty in Comparative Studies, Film Studies, Folklore, Popular Culture, and WGSST. Author/editor of approximately twenty volumes, including /Putin as Celebrity and Cultural Icon/ and/ Fade from Red: The Cold War Ex-Enemy in Russian and American Film 1990-2005/

“A fascinating, lavishly illustrated, often astonishing study of Soviet Russia’s key satirical journal with the focus where it belongs: its brilliant cartoons. Etty’s reading of /Krokodil/ through a Bakhtinian lens, as a form of Menippean satire, proves fabulously productive and illuminating; his scrutiny of the decade after Stalin’s death, meanwhile, plugs a hole in the scholarship of Soviet caricature and visual culture that needed filling. It delights me to no end that this book will bring further attention to such great Soviet-era cartoonists as Boris Efimov, Iulii Ganf and Kukryniksi – names as familiar to Russian readers as Charles Schultz, Al Capp and Herblock are in the US.” —José Alaniz, Professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Washington, Seattle; author of /Komiks: Comic Art in Russia /and /Death, Disability and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond/

Link to Book Depository, for convenience:

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