Jason Lutes was born in New Jersey in 1967. Lutes began drawing and copying comics at a very young age. During his childhood he encountered European comics, which are still of great influence to his work. He studied at the Art Academy on Rhode Island, and graduated in 1991. In his college days, he published his own comic book, called Penny Dreadful.
After working for Fantagraphics Books, he got the opportunity to draw a strip for The Stranger, a Seattle weekly for which he later became art director. That strip was later collected in the book 'Jar of Fools' by the Canadian publisher Black Eyes Productions. Afterwards, Lutes began working on his ambitious project 'Berlin', a graphic novel set in Germany during the rise of Hitler in the late 1920s, published by Black Eyes Productions and later Drawn & Quarterly. In addition, Lutes produced 'The Fall' with publisher Brubaker in 2001.