Radio isn’t something you normally see. It’s audio—not visual. But Jessica Abel, author-journalist-researcher-broadcasting-cartoonist-extraordinaire, proved that there is definitely one way that we can look at something we normally hear.
Abel’s Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio explores the hard work, planning, and execution that storytellers of radio put forth to create their magical work. The graphic novel reads very much like a textbook—a how-to manual of radio, from story pitching approach to final cuts and on-air moments. Coming from a background where I have studied both journalism broadcasting and graphic novel creation, I can appreciate all the thought that went into creating the masterpiece that is Out on the Wire. It’s a graphic novel that teaches and enriches—especially important for people in the radio broadcasting field.
The story itself is not light—this isn’t a story to be consumed in one sitting. It’s very wordy and dense with information—but that is not a bad thing, it’s a purposeful move in the part of Abel. One has to consume the information from the words while taking in the visuals to create a nice contrast of subject and concrete object.
Abel did a very nice job with constructing Out on the Wire—from showing an insider’s look into the world she researched, to providing a fascinating argument for the fantastic secrets of radio.
I received a free ARC copy of Out on the Wire from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.