Berlin
by Jason Lutes

A comic book format book by Jason Lutes

I’ve not read a comic book format story since long before the demise of Mad Magazine in 2019 and not since well before Playboy Magazine stopped publishing “Little Annie Fannie” in 1988. So, I was more than a little stymied by Jason Lutes’ cartoon format attempt to describe the fall of the Weimar Republic in the 1920’s.

What Lutes attempts to do is describe life in Berlin during that time through the lives of a journalist (Kurt Severing) and his bisexual girlfriend (Marthe Mueller), a Jewish family, and some miscellaneous political and family characters living in the era. It is a nice attempt but pulling several threads along through a complex era of political conflict and public uneasiness is too much for the comic book format to handle.

The quality of the drawings leaves much to be desired.

Maybe it’s me and not the comic medium, but except for Kurt and Marthe I was often lost and there was no way in the Kindle book to back- or cross-reference events and people as there is in most Kindle format books.

Harvey Kurtzman created Little Annie Fannie and Alfred E. Neuman and could have offered Lutes some advice!

 

 

 

 

There aren’t many books that describe this era, although Erik Larson takes on the political scene in “In the Garden of the Beasts,” but if you want an alternate medium that well describes the era, try “Babylon Berlin” on Netflix.

 

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