Satire from the Soviet Era, Now Online in the Krokodil Digital Archive

For Immediate Release

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., USA – April 9, 2015 – East View Information Services (www.eastview.com), a leading provider of high-quality information products and services in world languages and English translation, has completed the full archive digitization of the popular Soviet satirical journal, Krokodil.

On 27 August 1922, the first issue of Krokodil (the Crocodile) hit the newsstands. Published continuously until 2008, Krokodil was at one time the most popular newspaper for humorous stories and satire, with a circulation reaching 6.5 million copies. Articles from Krokodil covered Soviet bureaucracy and excessive centralized control, ridiculed religion, lampooned US foreign and domestic policy, Western political leaders and events.

"Political jokes are prevalent the world over, but during the Soviet Era, telling a political joke could be a capital offense," said Kent D. Lee, President and CEO of East View. "Krokodil's status, as the only satirical journal published in the USSR, leads to fundamental, but as yet unexplored questions about the function of state-sponsored visual satire, official humor and popular responses to it, about artistic independence and working practices."

"Humor is central to understanding laughter in the Soviet Union. The caricatures found in Krokodil can be studied as a gauge of the 'correct party line' of those times," said Dima Frangulov, Vice President of East View. "During the height of the Cold War, cartoons lampooning Uncle Sam, Pentagon aggressors, and Bundehswehr militarists were common in the pages of Krokodil. During US-Soviet summits or during official visits from Western leaders, these anti-Western cartoons magically disappear."

Over the years, Krokodil's list of editors and contributors included many of the Soviet Union's literary luminaries and esteemed artists. Vladimir Mayakovsky, Mikail Kol'tsov, Ilf and Petrov, Samuil Marshak, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Sergei Mikhalkov and Lyudmila Petrushevskaya all wrote for Krokodil; Dmitri Moor, Mikhail Cheremnykh, Boris Efimov, the Kukrynisksy trio, and Ivan Semenov all created cartoons.

Whether it's looking at the rich illustrations and caricatures or reading in-depth articles, researchers want access to more primary source materials. The publication of this digital resource brings the magazine closer to a scholarly audience and offers the opportunity to fill in the gaps, gaining a better understanding of the intersection of media power, politics and humorous popular engagement in the Soviet context.

Researchers have access to the Krokodil full archive on East View's online platform, designed specifically to show the rich images found in these pages and provide the convenience of browsing full pages, similar to working with print originals. East View has carefully added full-text searchable tags to identify individuals and organizations within the artwork, where full-text search would not normally find results. Thanks to this added value, users are able to search for people and organizations and find them not only within the articles, but also wherever they are represented in caricatures, cartoons and drawings within the pages of Krokodil. Tools found in the interface may be used to magnify the images or text, or download pages for future reference.

Contact East View for access to the high resolution, color illustrations found in Krokodil Digital Archive at info@eastview.com.

For more information, contact:
Grant Bistram, Director of Marketing
Email:
grant.bistram@eastview.com
Tel: +1.952.252.1201

East View Information Services
10601 Wayzata Boulevard
Minneapolis, MN 55305 USA
www.eastview.com


About East View Information Services
East View was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. East View is comprised of East View Information Services (www.eastview.com), East View Geospatial (www.geospatial.com), and East View Map Link (www.evmaplink.com). East View maintains thousands of supplier/publisher relationships throughout the world for maps and geospatial data and Russian, Arabic and Chinese-produced social and hard science content. East View manages a data center, library and warehouse in Minneapolis where it hosts and stores dozens of foreign language databases, hundreds of thousands of maps and atlases and millions of geospatial, Russian, Chinese and Arabic metadata records. Uncommon Information. Extraordinary Places.