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Radio: An Illustrated Guide [Paperback]

by Jessica Abel, Ira Glass
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)


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Book Description

September 1, 1999 0967967104 978-0967967103
Radio: An Illustrated Guide is a comic book that explains how to make a radio program. Specifically, it explains how to make the public radio program This American Life. In comic book form, the producers of This American Life explain how to find a story, how to do an interview, how to edit sound, how to write for radio and how to mix a radio story. It also explains how the narrative structure of a radio story works, and how it's different from other kinds of stories. This American Life is the most popular documentary program on American radio, with a weekly audience of over a million listeners, on more than 380 public radio stations nationwide. It's produced at WBEZ Chicago and distributed by Public Radio International.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ira Glass
Ira Glass is the host and producer of "The American Life." The program is heard by over a million people on over 380 public radio stations every week. Glass began working in public radio at the age of 19, in 1978, as an intern at National Public Radio's network headquarters in Washington. After that, he worked for NPR as a tape cutter, production assistant, associate producer, editor, newswriter, reporter and host. He won numerous awards as a producer and reporter. He began producing "This American Life" as a weekly program in 1995 at WBEZ Chicago. The show isthe only program in the history of broadcasting to win serious journalistic honors - the Peabody and Dupont awards - and also be invited to perform at HBO's Aspen Comedy Festival.

Jessica Abel
Jessica Abel started making comics in college, at the University of Chicago. Her early efforts appeared in the student anthology Breakdown. After college, in 1992, she won the infamous "Stinky Date" contest in Hate comics, and, since she had arranged to meet Hate's creator Peter Bagge at the Chicago Comics Convention, she decided to put together a sampler of her comics to show him and the rest of the crew from Fantagraphics Books, his publisher. She printed 50 copies of Artbabe #1, but Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth, who claims not to remember this encounter, didn't take the bait. Four issues (and four years) later, she won a Xeric grant, put out the first full-sized and professionally printed issue of Artbabe, thus finally appearing on Groth's radar, and beginning a new volume of Artbabe with Fantagraphics in 1997. Abel won the 1997 "Best New Talent" Harvey and Lulu awards and she completed Artbabe Volume 2 in early 1999.

Abel currently lives in Mexico City with boyfriend Matt Madden, where she has been working on her Spanish and making a few minicomics.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: W B E Z Alliance Inc (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967967104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967967103
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cartoonist and writer Jessica Abel is the author of two textbooks about making comics, Drawing Words & Writing Pictures and Mastering Comics (First Second Books), written in collaboration with her husband, the cartoonist Matt Madden; and the graphic novel La Perdida (Pantheon Books). She's also the co-writer of the graphic novel Life Sucks. Previously, she published Soundtrack and Mirror, Window (Fantagraphics Books), two collections that gather stories and drawings from her omnibus comic book Artbabe, which she published between 1992 and 1999. She collaborated with Ira Glass on Radio: An Illustrated Guide, a non-fiction comic about how the radio show This American Life is made. Abel won the Xeric Grant, both the Harvey and Lulu awards for "Best New Talent" in 1997; La Perdida won the 2002 "Best New Series" Harvey Award. She teaches at New York's School of Visual Arts and is at work on a new science fiction comic series called Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars, for Dargaud France. Madden and Abel are also series editors for The Best American Comics. They live in Brooklyn, New York, with their two children.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
(13)
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Availability March 4, 2009
Format:Paperback
If Amazon is out of stock and you don't want to pay the crazy used/collector price, check out the This American Life store to pick up a copy at a more reasonable price. :-)
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great inspiration and reference February 26, 2001
Format:Paperback
If you have ever entertained the notion of trying to slow society's slide into stupor by giving your take on things some sort of voice, this is a great manual for using radio as your format. The format, as an iluustrated guide, takes on the feel of a Boy Scout manual or some other type of DIY instruction. and you can't beat the price.
Ira Glass' walkthrough of producing his show "This American Life" for NPR is boiled down to a primer on first focusing on the work to be presented, then the techinical aspect of broadcasting it - an itemized list that can be applied to nearly ANY endeavor with a little metaphorical flexibility.
Jessica Abel is a very competent caricaturist and graphic artist, whose presentation of a very technical (and occasionally wordy) subject matter added greatly not only to the understandability, but made it an enjoyable read and browse. I pick this up and look at it all the time.
I have to give it four stars because it's not really for every body - BUT! If you are thinking of doing radio because you love it and you can't imagine not doing it (because there's no money, apparently) this is a great map to set you on your way, and a sensible guide to assembling tools and techniques. If you are a fan of "this American Life," maybe this is the final factor in your own transition from radio listener to radio contributor.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I recently started a one-man show on a community radio station. I quickly learned it isn't hard to do, but its very hard to do very well. Wanting some tips on the cheap, I found this book. It reads like a good Ira Glass story - the small picture blending seamlessly into the big one. I particularly appreciated sections on how to interview effectively, and basics of how to edit tape on a home computer. If you love This American Life, or want to try your own radio show, or both, this is the best four bucks you will ever spend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Radio" a signal loud and clear. August 21, 2006
Format:Paperback
Having read "Radio", I can say it is packed with information not only on the production, but on how to tell a story. My son is a natural conversationalist, I asked him how does he put together his stories. He said he didn't know and I suggested wouldn't it be cool to understand how the dynamics/mechanics of storytelling work. He simply shrugged his shoulders and said, "I dunno". He works for me in the summer and I told him I would pay him to read this book in lieu of working. He liked that idea. He read the story in about an hour. Now he has the rhyme to the reason. This comic is a great read and should be required for any collegiate types.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Radio Goals October 8, 2005
Format:Paperback
To anyone who has ever listened to This American Life and thought "I have a good story to tell", this is the book to read. "Thank you!" to Ira Glass for sharing his knowledge on how to write for radio. This book is easy to read and fun. So if you have a dream of hearing your story on NPR, get this book!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get a life! May 18, 2000
Format:Paperback
'This Americian Life' brings new perspectives into the the mind of listeners every week on NPR. Buy this comic to get a new perspective on 'This Americian Life' itself. Jessica Abel wonderfully illustrates the process of making this weekly radio show.
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By SG
Format:Paperback
Even including shipping, it is much much cheaper to buy from this american life. A little annoying that it is over 4 times the price on here, that doesn't seem right. Plus I would rather give my money to TAL directly than amazon (much as I do like amazon)
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