Welcome to Night Vale has released two books of scripts, with illustrations and introductions to each episode. While I wouldn’t recommend reading them by themselves (unless you don’t like or can’t use podcasts.) The narrator has a truly excellent radio voice, and the other characters and guests are quite impressive too–and everyone is excellent at putting emotion into their voices, putting an emphasis on the words you just can’t get from a book. (A lot of the humor comes from the way these words are said, trust me.)
And the weather! The weather is a wonderful, varied collection of music that shouldn’t be missed if possible. There’s other music in the background, or sound effects, which add to the experience, as well.
That being said, these books would work excellently for a fans who have listened to the podcast, or someone who’s interested in listening to the podcast in the future. Either way, the introductions–from the creators and voices and musicians–offer all sorts of insights. You can read about how ideas for episodes happened, how people were invited to join the show, how people collaborated on writing, etc. The drawing style will be familiar to fans, lovely and creepy.
And of course, listening to a podcast means you’ll probably miss a word here or there, which doesn’t happen when you can read the words. And as most people read faster than they can listen to the same words, you can condense the story. Each book is a whole season. Not that Welcome to Night Vale makes a great deal of sense in the way of story arcs, or that the story doesn’t have episodes that almost stand alone.
For people who aren’t fans–what is Welcome to Night Vale? The creators describe it as a town where all the conspiracy theories are true–and they wrote it, so… I’d add that it’s funny and clever, brave and emotional, with the best kind of morbid humor. Is it for everyone? No. But it’s wonderful in a way that really has to be seen–or read–to be understood, and I’d highly recommend either!