Soviet graphic satire: Krokodil's political cartoons Event as iCalendar

(History, School of Humanities)

28 March 2019


Venue: Pat Hanan Room, Te Puna Reo / Cultures, Languages & Linguistics Building (207-501)

Contact info: Dr Ellen Nakamura

Contact email:

Dr John Etty | Auckland Grammar School

This seminar, based on a recently published book (University of Mississippi Press, 2019), will explore Soviet graphic satire through the forms, production, consumption, and functions of Krokodil (The Crocodile) magazine and its political cartoons, 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. For most of its life, Krokodil consisted of a 16-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.