was That his two protagonists to paint and write, for the comic artist Jason Lutes obvious, finally, are the two activities which he pursues in his profession. 29. January, the total output of the “Berlin”, a Comic-trilogy, for which the American has taken 22 years to appeared. Actually take the time had to, because the Writing and Drawing of this gigantic work, he couldn’t live. “When I started, in 1996, I read two years only,” he says. “I have all of the antique shops in Seattle to books searches, I still had no Internet.” And since Lutes went to a state high school, was to be a history lesson bad. “Berlin” is playing at the time of the decline of the Weimar Republic, between 1928 and 1933. Lutes’ Knowledge about this Era is so well-founded, that he could take on in the meantime with any German history teacher. “It was the Desire for a private training that has brought me to the idea, I noticed it was only much later,” says Lutes in the star Interview. Inspired by an advertisement for the book “had him Brecht’s Berlin: A Scrapbook of the Twenties Bertolt Brecht”. Spontaneously, he trusted his Intuition.


“Berlin” by Jason Lutes, complete edition, Hardcover, 608 pages, 46 Euro, here, can be ordered

©Carlsen Verlag

Lutes, the story of Marthe Müller, a young woman who flees from her conservative home in Cologne, Germany, to study in Berlin, art is told in “Berlin”. Prior to their arrival she meets on the train, Kurt Severing, a chain-Smoking, left-wing journalist of the “world stage”, the Lutes visually to the young Kurt Tucholsky has inspired. The relationship of the two, which is a long time, a love relationship, is one of the narrative strands of the book, which gives an insight into the world of the workers, socialists, Communists, and nationalists. Müller and Severing represented two ways of looking at the world: The artist lives a hedonistic Lifestyle of Sex and Drugs and Jazz and enjoys her in Berlin-found freedom, while the journalists the changes in the city of disgust, and he fought his doubts to the people through his articles for a shake-up, more and more often with alcohol.


Kurt Severing begins, his work and himself to hate

©Jason Lutes/Carlsen Verlag

Jason Lutes has been beaten in the first years of his work in “Berlin” with Jobs in Restaurants. “I was quite often broke,” he says. “In 2006, then came my daughter and I had to earn money regularly. Since we moved to Vermont, I teach in White River Junction at the Center for Cartoon Studies.”

Jason Lutes Fullscreen

The question of whether Lutes has lived through his book for 22 years in parallel worlds, answered he with his living situations. “In the first few years I was a starving artist living in a Studio apartment,” he recalls. “For 15 years, my work room is in the ground, it is in the house, but in the basement. If I’m there, I’m in a different time zone.”


The book is now available in more than 600 pages, the complete edition, appeared in the USA, piece by piece, in 22 folders, each with 24 pages, which have individually been laid. “As a result, a little bit of money also came up clean again and again,” says Lutes, “but still there was at home occasionally tension because of financial constraints.” In 1999, the Carlsen publishing house published the first of eight parts in Germany under the title “Berlin – Steinerne Stadt”, the next eight were named “Berlin – Bleierne Stadt” and volume three, the first in October of 2018 came out, “Berlin – Shimmering city”. The publisher pushes the total output so quickly afterwards, shows its appreciation for – the work had just earned a large format. Volker Kutscher, who has written the template for the successful TV-series “Babylon Berlin”, calls it a magnum opus.

Berlin: life on the street or in the club

In the parallel levels of action, which are cut so seamlessly next to each other, such as the series of the present time, shows angles of Lutes, from different points of view, how fast in Berlin, the mood changes. The workers may bring their families at the subsistence level, the Invalids of the First world war begging on the roadside and the Hungry do not shy away from theft. The police will be more aggressive, beat, arbitrarily people, and the Nazis are becoming more visible. The worker Gudrun Braun comes in the Blutmai 1929 during a Demonstration and killed one of her daughters ends up in the gutter. The young Jew, David Schwartz sold on the street, the “A. I. Z”, the “Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung”, to something money of money – up rights to him go and his father explains to him that he had to be “invisible”. The lives of the two families, are two more pillars, which are anchored in “Berlin”.

While loitering at night around the streets, and freeze, enjoy the others in the Clubs, jazz music.


The most playful pages in “Berlin” will show a Solo by the clarinetist of the Cocoa Kids, a jazz band out of Louisiana. On the rights of a third clarinet page will follow … so much space!

©Jason Lutes/Carlsen Verlag

“I have worked in many Parts of unconsciously,” says Lutes, “I followed my characters, and I looked to see where they lead me.” After years of reading about the Weimar Republic was on the subconscious seem to be sufficiently reliable. Particularly Lutes of this period was interested in, because he wanted to understand how it was able to the seizure of power of Hitler and the third Reich. During his work at Berlin Lutes is part of music from the time, a lot of Jazz, but also pop songs, which were played on the Radio. In 1999, the publication of the first volume of his trilogy in Germany, he was even for the first Time. And he was afraid of the journey. Great fear that he had created in the more than 8000 kilometres away in Seattle, a Berlin, it was quite different than the real city. That he have missed the mood and the Aura that the year could be long term work for the ton. He had previously been only in Europe, as a child, in France. But his concern proved to be unfounded, the German public was entranced and Lutes’ illustrations felt right.


Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, by Jason Lutes drawn: The attention to Detail makes the Black-and-White illustrations in Jason Lutes’ Graphic Novel “Berlin” alive. The recently published Hardcover edition of his Comic trilogy gives the masterpiece a decent (Large)Format.

©Jason Lutit/Carlsen Verlag

“Berlin” has drawn Lutes for 22 years in addition to people, primarily building, building, building. Since the next book is a Western and plays in the Arizona desert. “There is just Sand and maybe a tent. Before that, I must, however, learn how to is horses,” he grins.


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