№11, 12, 14, 19, 28-33, 40, 41, 46 for 1923. #2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 11,
15-17 for 1924. #1 for 1925. #15/16 for 1932. All issues in a good
condition, with tears of the wrappers (with minor losses of text #40, 41,
17), occasional foxing, soiling and stains; loss of the spine (#11/1923),
pages with minor losses of margins (#12, 30), owner’s marks (#14, 28,
29), pale bookshop stamp on the back cover (#9, 17).
The collection of 24 early issues of Krokodil magazine. The
magazine was founded in 1922, and early issues are the most rare today
on the market.
From 1922 to 1925 is the period of the maximum concentration
of important names in the magazine: Mayakovsky, Ganf, Moor, Deni,
Kukriniksy, Cheremnykh, Malyutin, Gruzenberg, Radlov and others.
Long Russian tradition of illustrated satirical magazine
started in 1860s with reforms and social changes, and the big boost
to it was given by the Revolution of 1905. Since then Russian press
experienced a boom in satirical magazines, journals, newspapers,
pamphlets, etc. Krokodil took a lot from that period, and later in 1930s
after massive political and ideological attack on the «bourgeois NEP
satire» it surprisingly survived and remained the only all-Union satirical
magazine with multimillion runs. Krokodil ate them all, and in these
early issues the birth of the monster is reflected.
After 1940s Krokodil was considered by everyone as an official,
ceremonial organ of propaganda satire. The jokes were not funny and
the drawings were typical of the style, issue after issue. In this early
collection we can see that although Krokodil was political from the
beginning, much more talent and experimentation could be found
on its pages. Indeed Mikhail Cheremnykh invented soviet satirical
drawing within this magazine, a lot of Dmitriy Moor’s images were ‘on
the brink’. The sketches themselves were quite advanced graphically:
photomontage was used as well as the abstract design, the echo of suprematism and cubism.
At the same time artists like Kukryniksy and Boris Efremov have
started to develop what is later will be known as Krokodil style: the
mix of grotesque and simple poster-like imagery bulldozing political
enemies of the state.
Because all of this coexisting we can say that 1920s were the
most interesting period for the magazine.