Berlin (comics)

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Berlin: City of Stones
Cover of Berlin: City of Stones (Book One)
Publication information
Publisher Black Eye Productions, Drawn and Quarterly
Schedule Irregular
Format Limited series
Publication date April 1996 - present
Number of issues 19 (Released), 24 (Planned)
Creative team
Writer(s) Jason Lutes
Artist(s) Jason Lutes
Collected editions
City of Stones ISBN 1-896597-29-7
City of Smoke ISBN 978-1-897299-53-1

Berlin is the title of a comic book series created by Jason Lutes and published by Black Eye Productions and then Drawn and Quarterly. Planned as a series of 24 magazines, then re-released in book form, it describes life in Berlin from 1928 to 1933, during the decline of the Weimar Republic. As of 2015, the halfway point of the final book in the trilogy had been reached.


Book One[edit]

The first eight issues were compiled into a book titled Berlin: City of Stones, published in 2000. It starts with Marthe Müller, an art student, arriving in Berlin. One story arc details the start of her life in Berlin, focusing on her relationship to journalist Kurt Severing. A second storyline describes a working-class family which breaks up due to differing political views, the mother, Gudrun, eventually joining the communists with her daughters Elga and Silvia, while the father takes his son Heinz to the Nazis. The book ends with Gudrun's death in the massacre of 1 May 1929, the International Workers Day (known in German as Blutmai).

Book Two[edit]

Issues 9–16 have been compiled in Berlin Book Two: City of Smoke, published in 2008.[1] In the second volume, the relationship between Marthe and Kurt disintegrates, partly due to the influence of Kurt's former lover Margarethe. Marthe develops a relationship with fellow art student Anna. Gudrun's daughter Silvia struggles to stay alive by herself; Elga was apparently taken in by her father, but Silvia refuses to join the Nazis and blames the Communists for Gudrun's death on Blutmai. Another major subplot involves a group of African-American jazz musicians who perform at a Berlin nightclub. The volume concludes with the electoral victory of the Nazi Party in September 1930.

Collected editions[edit]

The series has been collected into trade paperback:

  • Berlin: City of Stones (collects Berlin #1-8, Drawn and Quarterly, 1 June 2000, ISBN 1-896597-29-7)
  • Berlin: City of Smoke (collects Berlin #9-16, Drawn and Quarterly, 19 August 2008, ISBN 978-1-897299-53-1)


The series has been widely acclaimed, most notably, perhaps, by Rolling Stone, listing it among their "50 Best Non-Superhero Graphic Novels".[2]



External links[edit]