Broadway Books


Graphic Novel/Comic

More information



Jessica Abel

The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio

Go behind the scenes of seven of today’s most popular narrative radio shows and podcasts, including This American Life and RadioLab, in graphic narrative.

Every week, millions of devoted fans tune in to or download This American Life, The Moth, Radiolab, Planet Money, Snap Judgment, Serial, Invisibilia and other narrative radio shows. Using personal stories to breathe life into complex ideas and issues, these beloved programs help us to understand ourselves and our world a little bit better. Each 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 narrative, spilling some juicy insider details. Jad Abumrad of RadioLab talks about chasing moments of awe with scientists, while Planet Money’s Robert Smith lets us in on 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 narrative radio and podcasts are creating some of the most exciting and innovative storytelling available today.

Cartoonist and writer JESSICA ABEL is the author of two textbooks about making comics, Drawing Words & Writing Pictures and Mastering Comics, written in collaboration with her husband, the cartoonist Matt Madden. She is also the author of the graphic novel La Perdida and a new science fiction comics series called Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars.

Available Rights

Language Territory Type Agency Client
German World Book Tilo Eckardt
Mohrbooks AG
Broadway Books Please login


6. March 2016, review
A boundary-pushing comic, a love letter from one blossoming new media to another...Out on the Wire is a terrific book for radio superfans and would-be producers, a niche audience that isn't so niche anymore.

Los Angeles Times

6. March 2016, review
One of fall's coolest graphic reads...Consider the 240 pages a documentary comic and Abel your host.

Marie Claire

6. March 2016, review
What makes [Out on the Wire] especially fascinating is its use of visuals to represent an aural form; not only are we reading behind-the-scenes stories of what we eventually hear, but we get a rare glimpse of what the people and places in them look like t

6. March 2016, review
This instructive, impassioned, and educational volume uses a deliberate and friendly approach in the vein of Scott McCloud… 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 th

Publishers Weekly

6. March 2016, review
A richly engaging graphic narrative about radio storytelling and storytelling in general… A spirited work whose readership should not be limited to those who make radio narrative or love to listen to it.

Kirkus Reviews (starred)

More like this