Rodion Tanaev - Master i Margarita

English > Adaptations > Comic strips > Complete albums > Rodion Tanaev


There have been quite some attempts to make a comic strip based on the story of The Master and Margarita. Some meritorious attempts were halted prematurely, such as the project of the Russian artist Aleksandr Vygalov (°1959) from Yekaterinburg, who quit the job after 20 pages, when the head of Berlioz rolled over the tramway tracks. Others, who have persevered to the end, like the English couple Andrzej Klimowski (°1949) and Danusia Schejbal or the Russian duo Askold Akishin (°1965) and Misha Zaslavsky had to come to the conclusion that perseverance is no guarantee for quality nor success.

Rodion Tanaev

The first author who ever succeeded in making a complete comic strip adaptation of The Master and Margarita was the Russian comic strip author Rodion Borisovich Tanaev (°1962) from Magnitogorsk in the south of the Urals. In daily life he leads the production department of the A.S. Pushkin Drama Theatre in Magnitogorsk.

When The Master and Margarita was performed in the theatre where he worked, Tanaev got the idea to tell the story in comic strip form. At a rhythm of one page per week, it took him two years before the work was finished.

Tanaev tried to stick to the original text of the novel as faithfully as possible, and has succeeded quite well. The artist not only managed in conveying Bulgakov's zeitgeist, but also preserving the integrity of the work. On some pages, however, there is so much text that you sometimes wonder whether you are reading a comic strip, or a novel with a lot of illustrations.

The album was published in Russia in 1997, but can hardly be found today. That is why it was published in digital form on the Nazer Comics website in 2007. Scans of all pages were compressed in 3 zip archives. The owner of this website promised to publish the fourth part as soon as possible, but that promise was never held and the website with the first three archives has also disappeared.

For three years I tried, with the help of several fans of this website, to find the remaining pages. It seemed to be a hopeless task until November 2010. That was the moment when Maarten Van Tieghem, a master student in Eastern European Languages ​​and Cultures at the Ghent University in Belgium, wanted to write a master's thesis on the comic strips based on The Master and Margarita. He found someone in Moscow who could get to the remaining plates and Maarten kindly provided us with the scans. You can now download the full strip free of charge. And we are very grateful.

Click here to download the comic strip

Technical details

Мастер и Маргарита

Rodion Tanaev

Terra, 1997

Share this page |