Cartoonist's Graphic Novel 'Berlin' Tracks Democracy's Decline In Interwar Germany

Oct 3, 2018

A grizzled journalist writing through his middle age. A young artist in her 20s fleeing an upper middle-class life traced out by her parents. The two meet on a train headed to Berlin in 1928, and their lives unfold, connect and diverge amid the backdrop of a changing Germany between the World Wars. They're among the characters in the graphic novel Berlin by cartoonist and Center for Cartoon Studies professor Jason Lutes.

Lutes began the project in 1996, releasing chapters over 22 years that were collected into three volumes. The final volume, as well as a single book capturing the more than 500 pages of the trilogy in one tome, was published in September.

Cartoonist Jason Lutes' "Berlin" tells the story of a changing Germany from 1928 to 1933 as much through its characters as through its snapshots of city life.
Credit Jason Lutes / Drawn & Quarterly

He joins Vermont Edition to discuss the project, the story and the resonance he sees in his historical fiction and America in 2018.

Lutes is giving a talk about Berlin and his art at the Center For Cartoon Studies in White River Junction on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 3 p.m. He's also speaking at book stores in RutlandMiddlebury and Burlington in October.

Details of the tour, which will take him to Montreal, Boston and beyond, can be found on his publisher's website

Broadcast live on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.