[FREEDOM THROUGH THE KROKODIL MAGAZINE] Krokodil [i.e. Crocodile] #4-35 for 1989. Overall 32 issues from February to December
Moscow: Pravda, 1989. Item #888
35,5x27 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Very good, some tears of edges and ink marks (#31). Crosswords in most issues are filled out.
Almost complete year set of issues printed in a period of glasnost (i.e. publicity) marking the last years of the Soviet rule. They radically differ from the 1920-1930s issues and contain satire from a unique time in the country. The magazine proved revision of values, weakened party’s control, widespread cooperatives, crimes and prostitution, an international connection between countries (in particular, in press and trade) and different subcultures.
The magazine held a competition of drawings “Through Eyes of Glasnost” and the graphic works were regularly published in the issues. One of them was printed on the front cover of issue #35 depicting Stalin’s portrait consisted of skulls. “And shadow lasts over a century” reads below it. The picture was produced by artist Alfred Shtabel’ (1926-2002) and placed in the issue published in Stalin’s 101st birthday as a face of articles on repressions, camps and Stalin himself. It better than anything else shows how the Soviet people and their thoughts were changing.
Among well-known artists attracted to the design was Boris Efimov (1900-2008), the founder of the Soviet caricature school. With Deni and Kukryniksy, he is considered the most productive of them all. His works featured in periodicals like Izvestia, Pravda, Krokodil, Chudak, etc. Also, another figure was drawn our attention, the caricaturist and graphic artist Vladimir Uborevich-Borovsky (1950-). He created numerous illustrations as well as cover designs, for example, a photomontage with a drawn framework on the topic of Soviet heavy metal subculture (back cover of issue #25).
The ‘Krokodil’ magazine was issued in 1922-2000, exploring problems and crimes, showing the essence of the Soviet satire.