Comics in Modern Russia

1992–2000: comics for children

In the 1990s, comics began to be published in many reputable newspapers and magazines (for example, the comics of Valentina Rozantseva in Ogonyok and Izvestia ). However, readers still do not take comics seriously. Publication of comics for a wide audience is associated with the risk of losses, therefore, the most widespread comic books are in children’s magazines. Publications of foreign comics are becoming much more than domestic ones: firstly, because their characters are recognizable and popular, and secondly, it is much more profitable to buy up old western products than to order drawings to domestic masters. This situation continues to this day.
Comics in Modern Russia: Comics in Russian, released in the countries of the former Soviet Union, are not taken into account in this chronology.

1992 – “War with Snowmen” by Igor Kolgarov appears. AO “The International Book” publishes several series of comic books about PiF in the form in which they appeared in France.
The publishing house “Physical Education and Sport” publishes “Samovar Stories” , a comic about the Olympic Misha , who began to live in the ancient Russian city of Samovarsk and made friends there: boar Egor, the cat Martha and the hare Ivan. Two years later, stories about these heroes are published in the first Russian comic book magazine “Bear” (“Machaon” publishing house). Total for 1994−1995 There were six numbers.
Egmont Russia, the largest publisher of children’s comics in Russia, is emerging. Among the magazines published by Egmont are such hits as: “Mickey Mouse” (1989–2009), “Duck Stories” (1991–1995), “Bamsi” (1992–1996), “Jurassic Park” (1994), “Indiana Jones “(1994),” Mickey Detective “(1994-1998),” Little Mermaid “(1995-1998), ” Aladdin ” (1996-1997),” Disney for Kids “(since 1996),” Superheroes “(2002 −2004), “The Witch” (2003−2009) “Smeshariki” (from 2005), “My Little Pony” (from 2008), “Winnie and His Friends” (from 2012), “Luntik” (from 2012), Angry Birds (since 2014), Maya Bee (since 2014) and many others.
1993 – The Lost World was published in the Fly Studio, a collection of Swedish avant-garde comics Galago in Russian: the best comics by the artists of the publishing house Galago, Andrei Bruce is an agent of the cosmoflot, Pyotr Severtsov, based on the story Cyrus Bulycheva , Hobbit. By David Venzella on the novel by J. R. R. Tolkien . In addition, a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR Sergey Ainutdinov publishes the book “Drawing a Comic Book. Coloring book “.
Artist Evgeny Zhilinsky creates a new album for the Bravo group “Moskovsky Bit” in the comic style of the 1950s.
1994 – Tom and Jerry magazine starts publishing at Semif; in 1996−2002, it was published by “Machaon”, and since 2004 – “Egmont Russia”. In Ulyanovsk , the first issue of the children’s magazine of comics “Seryozhka” is published . In the year he changed the name to “Watermelon” and went out until 1999. In St. Petersburg, goes unlicensed comic book “Star Wars” based on the first film saga.
1994–1995 – “Makhaon” releases five translated issues of the American comic-series “The Sage of the Horsemen” and five issues of “Archie”.
1994−1999 – Makhaon Publishing House publishes the comic book magazine “Ninja Turtles” .
1995 – The Asterix and His Friends comic book and the first volume of the barefoot Geng manga by Keiji Nakazawa (with abbreviations; the full reprint of the series began in 2013).
The first and only issue of the Blaster comic book with Peter Severtsov’s comic book based on Kira Bulychev’s “Pass” is published. The publishing house “Egmont-Russia” planned to start issuing a periodical journal with Russian authors, but, for unknown reasons, abandoned this idea.
1997 – Comic-adaptation of the novel “Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov with the illustrations of Rodion Tanaev. A few years before, Askold Akishin and Mikhail Zaslavsky made their comic-version of this novel, but it was published only in 2005 in France.
1997–1998 – Makhaon publishes five licensed editions of the Star Wars comic series.
1998 – The exhibition “Comics in Russia” is held in St. Petersburg, following the results of which a collection of research articles “Russian Comics” is published, the first of its kind.
Two volumes of Classic Comics are published with stories about the Flintstones , Jetsons , Yoga , Scooby-Doo, and Droopy .
Publishing House Drofa publishes several editions of DC superhero comics .
1999−2003 – Comic book “Magnificent Adventures” , founded by the children’s psychologist Dmitry Smirnov, is published . Comics in the magazine told about the adventures of a group of young people living a full and interesting life. The magazine promoted a healthy lifestyle, the desire for creativity and invention, many leading Russian authors of comics participated in its creation. For four years, 22 issues were released.
1999 – “Cool Magazine” begins to be published , in which licensed comic series about Snoopy , Garfield , Kelvin and Hobbs are published , and later about the Flintstones . Also in the magazine is printed the first domestic manga series “Nika” by the author Bogdan (1999-2002). In 2002 and 2008, two separate volumes of “Nicky” were released with recycled material.
2000 – Katie Metelitsa ’s comic book “Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy” (artists: Valery Kachaev , Igor Sapozhkov), a parody of Leo Tolstoy’s novel . Two years later, the same authors release the same comic book The Queen of Spades by Alex Pushkin .
The first All-Russian Festival of Japanese Animation is held in Voronezh , where manga is also paid attention .

2001–2008: comics for children and adults

In the early 2000s, new artistic associations, such as People of the Dead Fish, appeared; they publish (as a rule, at their own expense) fanzines – amateur magazines. Attitudes toward the genre of comics began to change with the advent of better-quality “adult” comics from domestic producers, where everyday, social, and political themes were played up. For example, “Akimych and Vladimir Vladimirovich” by Konstantin Yavorsky, “Timych and Dimich” by Andrey Tkalenko or “The Story of the Life of Osama bin Laden” by Chihos .
Comics are increasingly used for advertising promotion of goods and services. Photo mixes are regularly printed in Cool, Bravo and other teen magazines .
An important phenomenon is the activity of enthusiast scanners , who themselves translate foreign comics into Russian and post them on the Web . Such activities generally violate copyrights , but often these amateur translations are the only way to read rare or old comics. Some publishers (for example, “Comic Factory”) attract former scanlaters to work on official Russian editions of foreign comics.
With the expansion of Internet access , web comics and visual Internet memes are becoming popular .

2001 – Comics LTD Publishing House presents in the domestic market products of the American publishing house Marvel. The cult series “X-Men” (2001–2010), “The Fantastic Four” (2001–2011), “Spider-Man” (2002–2011), “Marvel: Team” (2004–2009) and others started with success . In 2010–2011, the Great Superheroes and Golden Comic Collection series are produced, and in 2014, the Marvel series is launched . The official collection of comic books ” : one story entirely in one edition in a hardcover.
The publishing house “Rovesnik” launches a line of comic magazines. In collaboration with DC Comics, they bring to the domestic market such serials as GEN-13 (2002–2007), “ Bugs Bunny and His Friends” (2001–2005), “The Adventures of Scooby-Doo ” (2002–2009) and “League justice ” (2003-2004).
2001−2003 – Moscow studio Bigant Comics releases several episodes of the comic science fiction series “Z_Index”.
Publishing House Comics releases fifteen issues of the comic book magazine Buffy – the Winner of Vampires, based on a popular television series .
2002 – For the first time in Moscow, the comic book festival “ComMission” is held. It was organized by the artist Chihuus (Pavel Sukhikh) and Natalia Monastyreva. The festival was needed so that Russian comicists finally got acquainted with each other, realized themselves as a professional community and began to take the first steps in their careers.
The publishing company Comics, in collaboration with Bongo Intertainer, is launching the Simpsons comics series based on the popular cartoon series .
2002−2003 – Publisher Nitusov publishes a number of translations of French publications: “Golden City” by Daniel Pecker, “Torgal” and “Peter Pan” by Regis Loisel, and also implements three domestic projects: “Site-o-Policy” by K. Komardin and A. Anosova, “The Secret of the White Wolf” E. Scherbinskaya and S. Gavrish, “Leshiki” S. Kurchenko and O. Kozlovskaya.
2003−2005 – St. Petersburg publishing house Prime Eurosack publishes such popular comic series as Terminator , Aliens , Shrek , Hellboy , Catwoman , Mask , Wonder Woman , “Batman” , “Wallace and Gromit” and others.
2003−2007 – Extreme Press publishes K9 magazine with comics by Russian and foreign authors.
2004 – Four comics “Shop Bo” by Oleg Kuvaev are released in “AST” . A year later, four issues of his “Masyani” were released . Publisher “Academic Project” produces several intelligent English comics publishers Icon Books. The autobiographical comic strip of Nikolai Maslov “Siberia” is published in France – “a portrait of senseless banality, cruelty and hopelessness of everyday Soviet life during the stagnation period of the 1970s,” as comic book researcher Jose Alaniz describes it.
2004−2008 – Edvans-Press Publishers publishes the comic books “Well, wait a minute!” And “Yula” – the first Russian manga magazine for girls of 8–12 years old, built not entirely in Russian material.
2005 – The “City of Sins” by Frank Miller is published by Amfora Publishing House. This is the first comic book published in Russia, to which the definition of “graphic novel” applies. Other books in the series, from the second to the eighth, are published in 2013–2014.
Writer Linor Goralik creates an existential web comic about the hare of HRC . In 2007 , 2008 and 2011 there are three collections of these comics.
Under AST, a publishing house Sakura Press is created , specializing in manga production. One of the first projects is the publication of the 38-volume Ranma ½ series by Rumiko Takahashi . The release stops in 2010 at volume fifteen. The rest of the manga-series ( “Crone Crusade” , “School of the murderers” and others) also remain unfinished. In 2012, the activities of the publishing house is terminated.
2006 – The Comic Factory Publishing House appears in Yekaterinburg, which later became part of the AST group of companies. Basically “Factory” publishes a popular manga , manhwa and MANHUA , but also produces books for a narrow audience (like Kafka’s works manga Hideshi Hino ). The first published manga was the ten-volume “Gothic” series “Little Shop of Horrors” by Akino Matsuri .
2007 – A graphic novel “V means vendetta” by Alan Moore and David Lloyd (reissue in 2014), “Santa Claus. Deep Freeze ”by Eldar Salavatov,“ Unarmed ”by Yoshi Zauer, the first issue of the WinX Club comic book based on the cartoon series of the same name .
In St. Petersburg, the first festival of drawing stories “Bumfest” is held . The following year, the publishing house Bumkniga will be formed under the auspices of the festival. Among his most notable projects is the anthology of the Finnish comic strip Saryakuva (2009).
2008 – Comics-Art comics publishing house begins work in St. Petersburg , and Istari Comics and Palma Press in Moscow.
The Afisha magazine makes a list of 50 main characters of comics.
Artist Victoria Lomasko begins the revival of the graphic reporting genre . The most famous are the work of the protest movement 2011−2013. and the trial of the Pussy Riot .
The publishing house “AST” released a graphic novel “Wanted” by Mark Millar .

Since 2009: the emergence of the industry

In 2009, the publishing house “Amfora” released a graphic novel “The Keepers” , in conjunction with the release of the film of the same name . Despite the considerable price, the circulation was sold out within a few months. An additional print run was printed, and it sold out just as quickly. The success of this publication allowed publishers to believe that a solvent comic audience has formed in Russia. In the next five years, many famous graphic novels of the 20th century were published; open several publishers that produce comics; The comic series about domestic superheroes published by Bubble has been launched. In a situation of falling demand for paper books, graphic novels continue to be successful in the market.
Published: first volume of the fantastic comic book “Hacker” by Alexander Eremin; “Azart” noir by Alexey Panteleev, Alexey Mamedov and Roman Surzhenko , “Full bye” and “Black and white, as well as a little blue and green” by Alexandra Golubeva.

2009−2011 – “Rosman” publishes the magazine “Rumanga” with the works of domestic manga . There were 14 issues in total.
2009−2012 – Comics Art and Eksmo publish 12 out of 13 volumes of the Death Note compendium of Tsugumi Oba and Takeshi Obata .
2010 – The Center for Comics and Visual Culture, the first official organization for the study of comics, was organized in the structure of the Russian State Library for Youth in Moscow. Zangavar publishing house starts work in Moscow. One of the first editions is the classic of the early American comic book: “Little Nemo in the Sleepy Country” by Winsor McKay (2010). This comic was published in The New York Herald in the 1900s . Even more successful was the complete collection of comics about the Moomin trolls of the Finnish author Tove Jansson .
The first in the country comic book store “Chuk and Geek” starts its work in Moscow.
Published: “Bitch” Andrei Tkalenko and Elena Voronovich; “Skunk and Ocelot” by Alex Hatchett and Bogdan, “Sunshine Moore” by Olesya Kholodchuk, the first volume of the story about the Sandman and “1602” by Neil Gaiman , “The Black Hole” by Charles Burns , “The First Squad. The Moment of Truth ”by Enki Sugihara as written by Russian authors Alexey Klimov and Mikhail Syringe, the first volume of the Chobiity manga .
2010−2012 – Egmont publishes Twilight magazine, which publishes popular comics about the Goth girl Nemi Montoya by the Norwegian artist Lisa Mure .
2011 – “Sacred Disease” by David B., “The Unusual History of Panorama Island” by Edogawa Rampo and Suehiro Maruo , “Crime and Punishment” by Osamu Tezuka , the ironic comic book “The Adventures of the Poo” by Anna Suchkova, the first Scott Pilgrim comics , the first issue of Scott Pilgrim , the first issue of the theme book , published manga MNG (by 2015 released ten issues). In AST, a series of comic adaptations of the classic novels “Playing the Classics” appears.
The documentary “Yury Lobachev. The father of Russian comics.
2012 – Bubble Comics publishes four Russian comic series: “Major Thunder” , “Besoba” , “Red Fury” and “Enoch ” . At first, it is coldly accepted by the comic-community, with time they acquire their audience.
Publishing house “42” begins. It produces comics “Hellboy” , “The Walking Dead” , “Invulnerable”, “Cool Cooked” and others.
Published “Illustrated Constitution of Russia” . 2013 – “Persepolis” published by Marzhan Satrapi , “Calvin and Hobbs. All days are packed to the limit ” ,“ Death ”by Neil Gaiman ,“ Blue is the warmest color ” Julie Marot ,“ The Ghostly World ”by Daniel Close, the first two books of Erzhe about the adventures of Tintin , the first volumes of the series “ The Dark Tower ” (by Stephen King ) , “Superman. Earth-1 ”, “ My comics-biography ”by Askold Akishin, “ Art-activism in comics ”by Alexey Iorsh and others.
The world famous graphic novel “Maus” by Art Spiegelman about the Holocaust is published by Corpus . In 2015, he finds himself in the center of a scandal, when, due to the swastika on the cover, unidentified officials demand that the stores remove him from the windows and from the trading rooms. All remaining circulation immediately sold out.
2014 – Publisher Bubble Comics presented two new comic series: “Ex-librium” and “Meteora” .
Moscow hosts the Comic Con Russia festival . During the four days of its work, over 157 thousand visitors visited it.
The publishing house Tien begins work in Yekaterinburg, working on the reissue of the comics of the Veles publishing house and the release of their sequels.
Frederick Peters’ Blue Pills, Emmanuel Gieber’s “Photographer” and Didier Lefebvre, Miguel Gaillard’s “Maria and Me” , Frank Miller’s “300 ,” Mike Minyola’s “Amazing Head-Screw and Other Curious Objects ,” Jean De Pierre Zhibra, “My Sex” by Alena Kamyshevskaya, “Stigmata” by Lorenzo Mattotti and Claudio Piersanti, “Prince Valiant” by Hal Foster, “Lost in the Sea” by Brian Lee O’Malley , first volumes of “Sagi” and “Adventure Time” .
The first issues of domestic comic series “DreadCore: Anamnesis” , “Doctor Lyutsid” , “Borovitsky” appear .
The “High School Journal” begins publication of domestic manga -seriala “Legend of Silver Dragon” author Vladislav Yartsev. In 2015 and 2016, six chapters of the series were released. The release continues ..
2015 – “Forest” by Askold Akishin, “Books of Magic” by Neil Gaiman, “Superman: Red Son” by Mark Millar, “The Night was Dark and Rainy, Snoopy” , “Blacksade” , “The Stone Jungle Law” and others are published . Kolibri Publishers launches the “Graphic non-fiction” series, where the basics of scientific disciplines (chemistry, physics, economics) are explained in a comic format.
2018 – The first Orthodox textbook for youth “Technique of spiritual security” was a typical comic book, painted by students of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts with the blessing of the Vyborg diocese .

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