Radio, comics, and abstraction

It’s been on my “to watch” list for quite a while, and today I finally got around to watching Jad Abumrad’s presentation at MaxFunCon 2010.

In it, Jad uses many examples from Radiolab (and borrows heavily from Walter Murch) to create a model that explains the relationship between words, music, various types of sound effects, and their relative levels of abstraction. Needless to say, if you’re interested in radio (or sound at all, for that matter), find an hour, and watch this in its entirety:

As I watched, I couldn’t help but notice a common thread between Jad’s model of sound, and Scott McCloud’s Big Triangle,  which aims to “put all of comics’ visual vocabulary (pictures, words, specialized symbols, etc.) into some kind of easily understood map of possibilities.”

It’d been a while since I’d last read Understanding Comics, and in digging around for an image of the Big Triangle, I came across Scott McCloud’s terrific TED talk, in which he explains his entire model:

The whole thing is good, but if you’re looking for to compare and contrast Jad’s sonic model with Scott’s visual one, skip ahead to 7:47.