Octobriana

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Octobriana
Octobriana and the Russian Underground book cover, Tom Stacey, 1971).jpg
Cover of Octobriana and the Russian Underground, published in the UK by Tom Stacey Ltd, 1971
Publication information
Publisher Tom Stacey Ltd.
First appearance 1971
Created by Bohumil Konečný, Zdeněk Burian, Petr Sadecký
In-story information
Full name Unknown, possibly MahariAmazona

Octobriana is a Russian comic superheroine created by Petr Sadecký and based on the artistic works of Bohumil Konečný and Zdeněk Burian.[1] According to the 1971 book Octobriana and the Russian Underground by Petr Sadecký, Octobriana was created in the 1960s by a group of dissident Russian artists calling themselves Progressive Political Pornography (PPP), however, this was a hoax.

As a character embodying Communist ideals, Octobriana was said to be usable by anyone who wanted, rather than being copyrighted by an author or coproration. This made her, in part, the inspiration for the creation of Jenny Everywhere.[2]

Octobriana and the Russian Underground

In Octobriana and the Russian Underground, Sadecký describes the PPP as a loose group of cells, not only in Russia, but throughout the Soviet Union. This group, Sadecký wrote, started around 1957, after the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956. At first they called themselves Progressivnaya Politika (Progressive Politics) and tried to go back to the pure principles of the White movement and their Scandinavian roots; the Rus' people. They were descendants of the Vikings.

Later they put together samizdat comics about the superheroine Octobriana, said to embody the principles of the Russian Revolution and battle against both Russian and American oppression. Sadecky provides a history for Octobriana where she is said to be from thousands of years ago, the child of a Viking and a Toltec princes, whose original name was Mahari (which means "divine maiden" in Sanskrit). She was given radiation treatments that made her immortal and reborn as a superhuman in a radioactive volcano. (Her ethnicity has often shifted; the initial Amazona character seems to have been a confused mix of different indigenous backgrounds; Octobriana in Sadecky's book was said to have Mongolian features. Many later portrayals have ignored this and rendered her as white.)

Sadecky portrays her as a legendary figure who has been sighted throughout history; there are reports from Siberia, Spain in the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Chinese explorer Zhang Qian, and an unpublished book by left wing Moroccan politician Mehdi Ben Barka. She has been called The White She-Dragon, The Girl with the White Face Coming from the Sky, The Mother of the Seven Red Stars, Angelic Maiden who Turned into a Devil, the Avenger. It is said that she comes from an ancient civilization and was granted immortality by radiation treatments, then underwent an ordeal in a radioactive volcano which transformed her into a superhuman being. She pilots the Wonder Machine, which travels through time and space, crewed by Native Americans. Her weapons and equipment include a Smith and Wesson revolver, a kris knife, and a shark-tooth necklace which can detect radiation. [3]

One of the stories was "The living sphinx of the Kamchatka radioactive volcano 1934", in which she swims into a radioactive volcano and kills a giant walrus with her kris. Afterwards she brings the tribesmen of the Koryaks home with a giant flying ball. Another story was titled "Octobriana and the Atomic Suns".

Hoax

Octobriana was actually Sadecký's own creation.[1][4] Petr Sadecký, while still in Prague, enlisted the help of two Czech artists, Bohumil Konečný and Zdeněk Burian,[5] in creating a comic centering on the character of "Amazona." [6] Sadecký told the two that he had a buyer interested in the comic, and they worked together on writing and illustrating the Amazona comic. However, Sadecký betrayed his friends by stealing all the artwork and escaping to the West where, in his efforts to market the Amazona comic, he changed the dialogue, drew a red star on the character's forehead, and was successful only after turning Amazona into a fake political statement, "Octobriana: the spirit of the October Revolution". [7] Major inconsistencies in his story, and a frame in his book where Octobriana is referred to as "Amazona" (p. 83), lend credence to this story. In addition, Burian and Konečný sued Sadecký in a West German court, winning the case but never recovering all their stolen artwork.[clarification needed] Since Octobriana is still widely believed to be the product of dissident cells within the U.S.S.R., she is not copyrighted, and has appeared in a variety of artistic incarnations.

Other appearances

Comics

Octobriana in Brian Talbot's The Adventures of Luther Arkwright
Octobriana: Filling in the Blanks issue 1 from Artful Salamander, November 1997
Octobriana in Poseur Ink's Octobriana

Appearances in other comics include:

  • The Adventures of Luther Arkwright by Bryan Talbot. Octobriana featured in 'The Firefrost Principle', issue 3 of the Valkyrie Press series, as well as on the cover. Talbot was said[who?] to have included Octobriana after first reading about her in a Daily Telegraph article in 1971, publicising the release of the Octobriana and the Russian Underground book in the UK.
  • Cherry's Jubilee #2 - an adult comic by Larry Welz published by Tundra Publishing in 1992 and also starring Cherry Poptart (includes a two-page text recapping Sadecky's book).
  • Octobriana ja helvetin X piiri (Octobriana and the Tenth Circle of Hell) by creators Reima Makinen, Petri Tolppanen and Timo Niemi, published in Finland during 1997.
  • The Octobriana limited series from Revolution Comics ran for six issues (an issue 0 preceded the main 5 issue series) and was published in the UK and USA between 1996 and 1997. It featured two strips, one written by Stu Taylor and illustrated by Blake O'Farrell with Octobriana and members of the PPP (including Petr Sadecky) set in a 1960s Soviet Union. The second strip - Return of Octobriana - was written by John A. Short and featured a different artist for each of its five chapters, and was set in a contemporary 1990s Russia.
  • Octobriana Filling in the Blanks mini-series from Artful Salamander in 1997/8 2 issue comic series written by Stu Taylor and illustrated by Dave Roberts and Mark Woolley.
  • "I Fell In Love With A Russian Devil-Woman" short story in Romantic Tails anthology issue 1 from Head Press in July 1998. Written by Stu Taylor and illustrated by Dave Roberts and Mark Woolley.[8]
  • Nikolai Dante: "The Octobriana Seduction", written by Robbie Morrison, drawn by Andy Clarke and published in 2000 AD in 1998.[9]
  • Armageddon Patrol: The Shot one-shot from Alchemy Texts in 1998 by John A. Short. Octobriana clashes with the Armageddon Patrol's Maiden America during the Vietnam War.[10]
  • The Octobriana Special from Alchemy Texts in 2001 - a one-shot comic (with features) written by John A. Short. Including a continuation of Short's Return of Octobriana storyline from the Revolution Comics mini-series with Commie Zombie Dictator from Hell drawn by Shaun Bryan.[11]
  • She also made an appearance in the Dutch comic strip series Agent 327 by Martin Lodewijk in the album "Cacoïne and Commando's" (2000), where a character that resembles Octobriana is introduced. In the comic strip the character is called "Novembriana", but a reference is made to the samizdat album in which she first appeared.
  • In 2010, the comic book company Poseur Ink announced a new title based on Octobriana, written by Steve Orlando and illustrated by Chaz Truog (DC Comics, Marvel Comics). In early 2010 the company started a Kickstarter fundraiser to start early pre-orders for the upcoming project.[12]
  • The noted underground/erotic cartoonist John Linton Roberson is co-starring Octobriana, along with a number of other public domain comics characters including Projunior, in his most recent VLADRUSHKA series in 2012, and has announced she will be revealed to be the title character's long-lost sister.[13][14]
  • The New Amazons Preview Special from Kult Creations in September 2013 written by John A. Short and illustrated by Gabrielle Noble, depicting the New Amazons clash with Vladimir Putin.[10] Short later wrote a book on the history of Octobriana,Octobriana: The Underground History, which also contains a new Octobriana story drawn by Noble. [15]

David Bowie

  • A film to star Amanda Lear and to be produced by David Bowie was announced in 1974 but was never made.[16]
  • David Bowie included Octobriana and the Russian Underground in his Top 100 books list published in October 2013 [17]

In other media

Other appearances include:

Awards

Notes

  1. ^ a b Pospiszyl, Tomáš. "Octobriana a ruský underground, part 1" [Octobriana and the Russian Underground]. Umelec international. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  2. ^ "in search of jenny everywhere". Retrieved March 17, 2008.
  3. ^ Short, John A. (2015). Octobriana: The Underground History.
  4. ^ Alena (2008-03-25). "Octobriana a ruský underground - neuvěřitelný příběh Petra Sadeckého" [Octobriana and the Russian Underground: The incredible story of Petr Sadecký] (in Czech). Komiks.cz. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  5. ^ Walica, Rostislav (2005-02-17). "Zdeněk Burian" (in Czech). Reflex Magazine. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  6. ^ Čepelák, Vojtěch (9 October 2008). "Bohumil "Bimba" Konečný - ilustrátor Foglara, Batličky a... Octobriany!" [Bohumil "Bimba" Konečný - an illustrator of Jaroslav Foglar, Otakar Batlička and ...Octobriana!] (in Czech). Hospodářské noviny. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  7. ^ Pospiszyl, Tomáš. "Octobriana a ruský underground, part 2" [Octobriana and the Russian Underground, part 2]. Umelec international. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
  8. ^ http://www.reocities.com/SoHo/Studios/3125/art-romtail1.html
  9. ^ 2000 AD #1113-1116
  10. ^ a b http://downthetubes.net/?p=11942
  11. ^ http://shaunbryan.co.uk/shaunbryan,_Graphic-Artist,_Illustrator,_Oxford/octobriana,_lenin.1.html
  12. ^ http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1306135649/octobriana
  13. ^ Announcement of VLADRUSHKA series at I DIDN'T WRITE THAT!.
  14. ^ Vladrushka 6: "Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart," Part 1, 2012, PDF
  15. ^ http://kultcreations.blogspot.com/2017/01/octobriana-underground-history-digital.html
  16. ^ "The Ziggy Stardust Companion".
  17. ^ "Bowie's top 100 books".
  18. ^ picture and article
  19. ^ info youtube trailer
  20. ^ 1997 National Comics Awards

References

  • Octobriana at the Comic Book DB

External links

  • Umelec
  • Octobriana.org
  • Octobriana beginner's guide
  • Octobriana at Alchemy Texts
  • Octobriana at Harlequin Comics Page
  • Octobriana at ComicVine Page
  • Webcomic Beacon #111 podcast discussion of the character and history.
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