This is the final instalment of a three-part series on Russian comics by Maria Evdokimova. See here for part 1, “The History of Russian Comics: An Interview with Misha Zaslavskiy” and here for part 2 “What comics are published and read in Russia?”
From “pictured stories” to comics
Plenty of contemporary Russian comic authors – particularly those who are in their mid-30s and whose childhood was spent in the USSR – consider Soviet illustrators and authors of “pictured stories” (the Soviet term for comics) their teachers. Soviet artists like Egeniy Migunov, Gennadiy Kalinovskiy, Genrich Valk, and Gennadiy Novozhilov created caricatures, illustrations, and animated cartoons that have become classics. The new generation of artists has grown up under the influence of their works.
At the same time, the influence of foreign artists was considerable. The French comic magazine Pif was very popular in the USSR. This magazine used to be sold in foreign literature aisles of book stores, and certain stories were issued in the magazine Nauka I zhizn (Science and Life). Another source of inspiration was Hergé’s Tintin. As a child, artist Roman Surzhenko used to be fond of the popular stories about Petya the Red-Head by Ivan Semyonov, and he assumes that those stories were influenced by the Tintin comics.