BERLIN is in stores today!: You need this thick thick book
Jason Lutes’ BERLIN is available in stores today and it truly is an end of an era. When Jason began this book there were only a small handful of graphic novels out there. Cartoonists were beginning to embrace the idea of the long form comic but many were still daunted by the task. Jason had assigned himself the nearly impossible—an exhaustively researched fictional historical narrative tied to one of the most famous events in modern history.
Of course, even if it took Jason YEARS to complete this task, he did it. And the results are astonishing. Jason brilliantly pushed the overwhelming events of the rise of Nazi Germany as far into the background as he could and brought the individual stories of the people who lived in Germany to the fore. This rise is something that nearly every character in the book has to directly deal with but we also see them living their lives. Characters fall in love, characters leave the city, characters die.
The brilliance of what Jason pulls off in this comic is astonishing. Any story about Nazi Germany is inevitably about NAZI GERMANY but by focusing on the works, soldiers, families, veterans, homeless, Germans, Jews, suburbanites, students, orphans, musicians, dancers, artists, writers, and reporters we see the losses that everyone suffered large and small.
There is humour in this book. A rare enough thing in historical fiction. But Jason never loses sight of the essential qualities of humanity. Even in the darkest times, people still laugh and love. People dream and grieve. Seeing his characters as people rather than just symbols of one of the darkest periods of human history is the backbone of this book. It’s the book’s greatest success. Many of you already know all this.
Many of you have likely read portions of this book over the years and got caught up in other things. Well, look, here it is. This miraculous book is DONE! It’s out there. It’s in your local bookstore or comic shop right now. Go get it!