Out on the Wire
A graphic narrative that takes readers behind-the-scenes of five of today's most popular narrative radio shows, including "This American Life" and "RadioLab."
Every week, millions of devoted fans download or tune in to "This American Life," "The Moth," "Radiolab," "Planet Money," "Snap Judgment," and other narrative radio shows. The pieces captivating listeners are by turns funny, heartbreaking, and profound. Using personal stories to breathe life into abstractions, these programs help us--all in the space of an hour or less--to understand ourselves and our world a little bit better. Each of these beloved shows has a distinct style, but every one delivers stories that are brilliantly told and produced. "Out on the Wire" offers an unexpected window into this new kind of storytelling--one that literally illustrates the making of a purely auditory medium.
With the help of "This American Life"'s Ira Glass, Jessica Abel, a cartoonist and devotee of narrative radio, uncovers just how radio producers construct a narrative, spilling some juicy insider details. Jad Abumrad of "RadioLab" talks about chasing moments of awe with scientists, while "Planet Money"'s Robert Smith speaks candidly about his slightly goofy strategy for putting interviewees at ease. And Abel reveals how mad--really mad--Ira Glass becomes when he receives edits from his colleagues. Informative and engaging, "Out on the Wire" demonstrates that, even in the midst of all the other media that consumes us, radio is still very much alive.