Komiks: Comic Art in Russia

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, Feb 3, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 288 pages
Josť Alaniz explores the problematic publication history of komiks--an art form much-maligned as "bourgeois" mass diversion before, during, and after the collapse of the USSR--with an emphasis on the last twenty years. Using archival research, interviews with major artists and publishers, and close readings of several works, Komiks: Comic Art in Russia provides heretofore unavailable access to the country's rich--but unknown--comics heritage. The study examines the dizzying experimental comics of the late Czarist and early revolutionary era, caricature from the satirical journal Krokodil, and the postwar series Petia Ryzhik (the "Russian Tintin"). Detailed case studies include the Perestroika-era KOM studio, the first devoted to comics in the Soviet Union; post-Soviet comics in contemporary art; autobiography and the work of Nikolai Maslov; and women's comics by such artists as Lena Uzhinova, Namida, and Re-I. Alaniz examines such issues as anti-Americanism, censorship, the rise of consumerism, globalization (e.g., in Russian manga), the impact of the internet, and the hard-won establishment of a comics subculture in Russia

Komiks have often borne the brunt of ideological change--thriving in summers of relative freedom, freezing in hard winters of official disdain. This volume covers the art form's origins in religious icon-making and book illustration, and later the immensely popular lubok or woodblock print. Alaniz reveals comics' vilification and marginalization under the Communists, the art form's economic struggles, and its eventual internet "migration" in the post-Soviet era. This book shows that Russian comics, as with the people who made them, never had a "normal life."
 

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Contents

Komiks Agonistes
3
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
11
CLOSE READINGS
143
Impolitic Thoughts
216
Notes
222
Bibliography
248
Index
262
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Josť Alaniz is associate professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Washington-Seattle. He is author of Death, Disability, and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond and Komiks: Comic Art in Russia, both published by University Press of Mississippi.

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