OCTOBRIANA and the Russian Underground by Petr Sadecky

OCTOBRIANA and the Russian Underground

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Meet Octobriana -- ""true spirit of the October Revolution"" and Barbarella-like heroine of the satiric politicosexual comic strip bearing her name and representing the best samizdat (underground) protest art produced by a group of young Russian dissidents calling themselves ""Progressive Political Pornography"" (PPP). Courtesy of Petr Sadecky -- a former Czech cultural minister who first encountered PPP in 1961 while lecturing in the USSR, then helped the group create and publish Octobriand by providing technical advice and smuggling Western pornocomic literature used as prototypes, and eventually defected to West Germany in the late '60's with the sexy Octobriana in hand. In addition to reproducing two complete strips (Octobriana and the Atomic Suns of Chairman Mao; Octobriana and the Living Sphinx of the Kamchatka Radioactive Volcano), Sadecky discusses the lady's serious motifs which include opposition to Soviet imperialism and censorship of sexuality in proletariat art -- for Soviet youth Octobriana is an erotic embodiment, ""taking the place of the Playboy gatefold girls, the mini-skirted dollies of permissive Western society and the bra and corset ads."" Perhaps more interesting however are Sadecky's firsthand observations about the Russian counterculture types he met, the under-thirties who, like their American brothers, are saying ""I don't want to howl with the wolves -- when they feel like it they'll push the button and we'll all go up in a puff of smoke."" We nominate Octobriana as this year's political pin-up; the book is informative and the woman is, well, WOW!

Pub Date: June 1st, 1972
Publisher: Harper & Row