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Jason Lutes

JASON LUTES was born in New Jersey in 1967 and grew up reading American superhero and western comics until a trip to France at age nine introduced him to the world of “bandes dessinées.” In the late 1970s he discovered Heavy Metal magazine and the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, both of which proved major influences on his creative development.

Lutes graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration in 1991. While at RISD, among the many new comics he encountered were Art Spiegelman’s RAW magazine and Chester Brown’s Yummy Fur, which together inspired him to start publishing minicomics under the imprint “Penny Dreadful.”

Upon graduation in 1991, he moved to Seattle, where he spent several years working as a dishwasher and assistant art director at Fantagraphics Books. His “big break” came in 1993, when he began drawing a weekly comics page called “Jar of Fools” for The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative paper. By 1995 he had become the paper’s art director, but upon collecting and self-publishing Jar of Fools in 1996, he left The Stranger and made the leap to becoming a full-time cartoonist.

In the handful of productive years following that decision, Lutes began the comic book series Berlin, an ongoing 22-chapter story set in the twilight years of the Weimar Republic. The first eight chapters are collected in Berlin: City of Stones, and chapters nine through sixteen are collected in Berlin: City of Smoke.

Lutes currently lives in Vermont with his partner and two children, where he teaches comics at the Center for Cartoon Studies and works on City of Light, the final installment of his Berlin trilogy, whenever he can find the time.

He still tries to play Dungeons & Dragons once a week with friends.

Bio as of 2/2024

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