Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio

Jessica Abel. Broadway, $16.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-385-34843-0
This instructive, impassioned, and educational volume uses a deliberate and friendly approach in the vein of Scott McCloud. Abel (La Perdida) brings readers on a tour of radio shows and podcasts that specialize in innovative storytelling techniques. Not surprisingly, Ira Glass of This American Life wrote the foreword and appears in Abel’s simple, sturdy, black-and-white line drawings as something of a quirky but eager and well-informed cohost. The shows covered vary in style, from the long-form essays of This American Life to the more out-there sonic experiments of Radiolab or epic personal histories of Radio Diaries, but their staff all share a deep and abiding curiosity. Abel digs into the structural details of how the shows are produced, from the obsession with “getting great tape” to the “ruthlessly collaborative” editorial meetings where feelings are rarely spared. A must-read not just for listeners of today’s great flowering of audio storytelling but for those who want to learn how to do it themselves. Agent: Bob Mecoy (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/18/2015
Release date: 08/25/2015
Genre: Comics
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