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Krokodil 1952: 2, p.1


  1. Hi John Etty

    Sorry, I couldn't seem to find a way to email you off the blog, so I have to put this is a comment.

    I am looking for a source of the (possibly apocryphal) Krokodil cartoon described roughly this way: "Krokodil published a cartoon showing an enormous nail hanging in a large workshop; ‘the month’s plan fulfilled,’ said the director, pointing to the nail. In tons, of course” observed Alec Nove, a well-known academic who studied the Soviet economy." The original description comes from Alec Nove, The Soviet Economic System, George Allen and Unwin, 1977 p 94.

    I consulted everyone at Birmingham University CREES, where I did my own PhD, but although some of us claim we remember seeing it, none of us can remember where.

    I would like it to illustrate problems of trying to replace equipment from the Soviet legacy, which I am working on in Georgia. Working on in the sense of actually getting the equipment replaced, by loans from banks. But the cartoon would be used in a Best Practice Guide I am helping to write.

    Of course the cartoon is not essential, I have found some others, but it is irritating to find so many references to it, but not a copy of the cartoon itself.

    Good luck with the PhD.

    Helene Ryding

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Hi Helene,

    Thanks for looking at the blog, and thanks for your message.

    I have tried to reply to your message, but haven't been able to do so directly. I'll do some Google searches to see if you have an email address in the public domain.

    If you can supply me with an email address (discreetly if you like) I can give you further details of where to find this cartoon, or provide a jpeg of it if you prefer. Alternatively, I have added a (coded) contact address for myself at the bottom of this page.

    Best wishes,


  4. This one?


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Krokodil 1952: 11, p.1

Krokodil and Russian folklore

Krokodil cartoons very often employed folkloric characters and themes. Soviet graphic satire owed much to pre-revolutionary popular prints, and in some cases, Krokodil images were composed in the graphic style of Russian folk arts. In other cartoons, Soviet satirical commentary was enacted by Russian folk tale characters.
Russian folk characters were thus reimagined in a modern satirical context, and the combination of discourses created unique visions of both old and new. Stalinist folklore/'fakelore' (Dorson 1950) co-opted folk heroes in the service of the Soviet state, but Krokodil's use of these characters was satirical and thus markedly different.

Ded Moroz and Snegoruchka also commonly appeared in Soviet satire, celebrating the turn of the New Year, or warning about the change in seasons.

Countless cartoons visualised anthropomorphised animals, but a number of images also referred to less famous Russian folk tales.

Perhaps the most frequent appearances were made by …