Illustration | Who was Laika (Лайка)?

Laika_(Soviet_dog)How can a stray dog from the streets of Moscow become a worldwide recognized icon? Laika did it, but as a martyr:  she has been sent to the space with a one-way ticket aboard the Sputnik 2 spacecraft on November 3rd, 1957. Probably, Laika died in a few hours. But her short trip on the space has been followed by a longlasting success. The animalist ethic which is inside any reasoning being doesn’t allow us to accept this sacrifice as such a great event. However, we are remembering Laika as a visual icon of our time.

Post stamp has been dedicated to Laika.

Hungarian Stamp | By Hungarian post office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Hungarian Air Mail postal stamp (1963) | By Darjac (personal collection)  |  Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Romanian Stamp (1959) | Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

A monument built up in 2008 in Moscow.

Derivative work by Federica Pazzano based on: Laika by Laika ac from USA  [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Laika is not only the musa of postal offices from the Ex-Urss and Eastern European countries. The illustrated book by Owen Davey is my coup de coeur. A perfect illustration for kids with visual references to the soviet design in a retro colour palette.

PrintLaika-D-Childrens-Book-Illustration-Owen-Davey_900Laika-H-Childrens-Book-Illustration-Owen-Davey_900Laika-K-Childrens-Book-Illustration-Owen-Davey_900Laika-M-Childrens-Book-Illustration-Owen-Davey_900Laika Book 11 Web_900Laika Book 2 Landscape 72 2_900Laika Book 9 Web_900

You can by the book here.

Laika The Spacedog is the title of an opera for children produced by the English Touring Opera in 2013 and directed by Tim Yealland. The show, among the winners at the Armel Opera Festival 2013, tells to kids and families the story of the dog through music and animation.

Here is the poster of the event, noteworthy too.


Animation is also the language choose by the director Avgousta Zourelidi  in his short film Laika.


As you can see, Laika is still inspiring artists worldwide, not having only the attention of the postal offices in Eastern Europe and Ex-Urss.

An award-winning graphic novel by Nick Abadzis has been published in 2007 by First Second Books getting the attention of critics and public.

Here below an illustration by by Karina Grens.

Leika © Illustraties Karina Grens

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