Real Name: Octobriana
Identity/Class: Normal human (?)
Occupation: Hero and adventurer
Affiliations: Ally of Luther Arkwright
Enemies: The Disruptors
Known Relatives: None known
Aliases: Amazona (see comments)
Base of Operations: Worldwide
First Appearance: Mtsyry (1960s - exact date unsure), or perhaps Octobriana and the Russian Underground (1971)
History: Octobriana is a heroine who travels the world getting involved in all manner of bizarre and outrageous adventures. She has fought giant radioactive walruses in Russia, and faced stampeding buffalo in China.
Comments: It's difficult to say for certain who created Octobriana. Conflicting stories exist as to how she came into being, and since the one thing they all agree on is that she originated in the Eastern Bloc during the height of the Cold War, an apparently underground creation in a time and place where admitting involvement in producing her adventures could have been an unhealthy decision on the part of those creators, this means that there is little documented proof to back any of the stories.
One name that does seem inextricably linked to the character is Petr Sadecky. Claiming to be an Eastern European who had escaped to the West, taking with him smuggled copies of the Octobriana strips, in 1971 he released a collection of these strips in book format - Octobriana and the Russian Underground. He claimed the character was the creation of a group of disillusioned Soviet citizens calling themselves the Progressive Political Pornography Party, who felt the ideals of communism had been forgotten under Stalinist rule. The group allegedly conceived of Octobriana as an example of their beliefs, a character who belonged to no one and thus everyone, and they published her first adventures in a magazine called Mtsyry. Sadecky, who said he was Czechoslovakian, claimed he had become involved with PPP during a trip to Kiev in 1961, and to have eventually escaped to the West in 1967.
A conflicting version of her creation soon arose after Sadecky published his book. This version, put about by Reima Mäkinen of Finland, still included Sadecky, but in a quite different light. Reima claimed Sadecky asked the Czechoslovakian artists (Bohumil Konecny, Sdneck Burian and Milos Novak) to create an adventure strip for him, called Amazona. As soon as they had done so, it is alleged, Sadecky scarpered to England with their work, where he copied their work and sold it as Octobriana. This version is given some weight by Octobriana being referred to as Amazona in one panel of one of her early adventures, The Living Sphinx. Even more damning evidence of Sadecky's possible theft of other's work was provided by an 1970 Vampirella magazine (one year before the first official Western appearance of Octobriana), where "West German" reader Petr Sadecky sent in a picture of a character called Amazona - except that Amazona had a bat on her forehead in place of Octobriana's Red Star, an identical image appeared in Octobriana and the Russian Underground. Whoever really created the character, it does seem certain that she was at one stage going to be called Amazona - as to the rest, who knows? Petr Sadecky isn't talking. Shortly after Octobriana and the Russian Underground was published, he vanished without a trace.
In spite of this, the myth behind the character saw her become somewhat of an icon among certain sections of Western culture. Both David Bowie and Billy Idol are said to be fans, and since anyone can use her, she had appeared in a variety of Western comics, used by writers including America's Trina Robbins, Finland's Reima Mäkinen, and (most notably as far as I am concerned) by Bryan Talbot in his Luther Arkwright stories.
Kelvin Green adds "She appeared in a Nikolai Dante storyline in 2000AD called The Octobriana Seduction, the details of which should be obvious. This story ran in Progs 1113 to 1116 in October of 1998."
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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