Timing is everything, and rarely books come along at the exact moment we need them in our lives. Last week, I read an article in the Chicago Reader about Jessica Abel’s yet-to-be-released graphic non-fiction book Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio, the same week I officially began my Masters program in Digital Storytelling.
Despite having lived for two years in Japan, I steer clear of comics and graphic novels. I love regular
novels, movies, and podcasts, so I never felt like I needed to learn about and appreciate another format. Just as National Public Radio revealed the power of audio stories to millions of listeners, Abel opened my eyes to the power of comics. Her research could have been presented in a multitude of platforms, perhaps a documentary film, but no platform would have the soul of her artistry. The characters’ idiosyncrasies and brilliance came to life with her drawings.