The motto below means something like “Up to Date,” though I have to guess at the first character which, and I am totally shooting in the dark here, appears to be a Ȣ, according to Google Translate. Yes, I entered the Cyrillic characters into the translator by cutting and pasting them from Wikipedia. Thanks internet! Any help with the translation would be greatly appreciated!
I am also interested in the iconography here. Please note that there is man in the back painted like Wonder Woman. Apparently it was important enough that Wonder Woman be in this group that a male figure was recruited to the task; however, also note that the Joker is included in the very front, not a hero but a villain. Most striking to me is the inclusion of non-super heroes. The gent at the front of the rank seems to be a green army man and, tucked away in the back, is Ronald McDonald. Icing on the cake, Santa Claus appears smack dab in the middle of the group. What is the iconography here? It seems to be more about something other than just comic books.
The message seems to be choice, anarchy, bravery, freedom, equality, and maybe even consumerism. Take that with the motto “Up to Date” and you get a plea that communist era governments “get with the program” and update themselves to include values traditionally associated with America. I wonder if I am on the mark here with the artists’ intentions. If so, it hits me a little sideways how these characters seem to be completely equal in the eyes of the artist; whereas, to many Americans, Ronald McDonald and Superman aren’t fighting for the same thing at all: the global evil empire at odds with the lone, idealistic farm boy. I suppose Americans must also group elements of other cultures together in similar ways. For example, I think of Shaolin Temple and Chairman Mao as “Chinese” even though they couldn’t be further apart idealistically.
It’s also exciting that a Russian newspaper was able to get these photos out in print because, PS Moscow Times. If you want people to stop vandalizing monuments, the LAST thing you should do is put big pictures of their “vandalism” on the internet. Just sayin’.