December 7, 1967|
Jar of Fools|
|Awards||Xeric Award, 1993|
Jason Lutes (born December 7, 1967) is an American comics creator. His work is mainly historical fiction, but he also works in traditional fiction. He is best-known for his Berlin series, on which he has worked for over 20 years. He has also written a handful of other graphic novels, as well as many short pieces for anthologies and compilations. He now teaches comics at the Center for Cartoon Studies.
Lutes was born in New Jersey, but his family soon relocated to Missoula, Montana. In his early years, Lutes liked superhero comics, but a trip to France exposed him to European comics like The Adventures of Tintin and Asterix, which he says greatly affected his style of drawing.
Lutes went to college at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1991. He moved to Seattle after graduation, where he found work for the alternative comics publisher Fantagraphics, and eventually became art director of the alternative weekly The Stranger.
During this period, Lutes began writing and self-publishing his own comic work with Penny Dreadful Press. In 1993 Lutes began serializing a strip for The Stranger, which was collected in 1996 in the critically acclaimed graphic novel Jar of Fools. After two years of research, in 1996 Lutes embarked on the ambitious comic book series Berlin, an ongoing 22-chapter story set in the twilight years of Germany's Weimar Republic. When Berlin's original publisher Black Eye Productions closed in 1998, Drawn & Quarterly took over the series.
Lutes subsequently moved to Asheville, North Carolina, in October 2002; this move forms the subject of his autobiographical Rules to Live By, collected in AutobioGraphix by Dark Horse Comics.
Lutes has published work in a variety of forms.
- Jar of Fools (1994)
- Berlin (1996–2018)
- “The Secret Three” (with Jake Austen, in Nickelodeon Magazine, 1997–1999)
- “Sam Shade” (with Paul Karasik, in Nickelodeon Magazine, 2002–2005)
- The Fall (with Ed Brubaker) (2001)
- Houdini: The Handcuff King (words; pictures by Nick Bertozzi, 2007) ISBN 978-0-78683902-5 (2007, Hyperion), ISBN 978-0-78683903-2 (2008, Disney–Hyperion)
- “Side Trip” (in Dark Horse Presents #125, pp. 23–28, 1997)
- “Late Summer Sun” (in Drawn and Quarterly: A Picture Story Book (Volume 2, number 6), pp. 31–38, 1997 June, ISBN 1-896597-09-2)
- “We Three Things” (pictures only, script by Peter Gross; in Vertigo, The Books of Magic, Winter's Edge #2, pp. 35–42, 1998)
- “Rules to Live By” (in AutobioGraphix, by Dark Horse Comics, 2003).
- “Small Explosions” (in Rosetta #2, 2004)
- Album cover for Troubled by the Fire (2003), Laura Veirs
- Illustrations for "How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?", Paul Krugman, The New York Times.
Unpublished work includes:
- 1-page biography of J. R. R. Tolkien for The Stranger (1997)
- "Which Witch is Witch?", 3-page story for "Sam Shade" in Nickelodeon Magazine, written by Paul Karasik (2003)
- short Charles Atlas parody for The Stranger (2004)
Lutes has done some game work, such as unit portraits for the open-source video game Battle for Wesnoth (2006), a map for Dominions 3: The Awakening (2006), and website illustration for City of Heroes (2005).
- "Jason Lutes" at Comic Creator
- Jason Lutes profile at Read Yourself RAW
- Jason Lutes biography at his publisher, Drawn & Quarterly
- Hulk vs. the Universe, by Jason Lutes
- Lutes at Forefront of Graphic Literature, Asheville, NC Citizen-Times, Feb. 21 2003
- AutobioGraphix, 2003, ISBN 978-1-59307-038-0
- Morrow, Julina. "15 Questions," Sequential Highway (Nov. 8, 2012).
- Lutes, Jason. "Spring in Vermont," Official blog (Apr. 22, 2008).
- Coyote vs. Wolf (Lutes's blog), Bibliography
- AutobioGraphix, pp. 23–28, 2003, ISBN 978-1-59307-038-0
- Coyote vs. Wolf (Lutes's blog), Illustration
- Arise!, October 16, 2009 by Jason Lutes
- How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? by Paul Krugman, New York Times, September 2, 2009
- Coyote vs. Wolf (Lutes's blog), Comics Work
- Coyote vs. Wolf (Lutes's blog), Game Work