It’s a prospect that would intrigue any die-hard, adventurous music lover: There’s this mysterious, staticky, barely audible radio station playing the best songs ever each midnight, but no one in town knows “a goddamned thing” about it, not even the handful of other people who have heard it. That’s the situation facing the unnamed heroine of Midnight Radio a sexy, noir-tinged comic written by Ehud Lavski and drawn by Yael Nathan. The short story is currently featured at both of their respective Tumblrs and is a reminder of a time in the not-so-distant past when radio, in its wild, pre-Clear Channel days, held sway over its loyal audience and seemed to wield some potent, intangible magic power over listeners. Reading this story, one is reminded a bit of George Lucas’ American Graffiti, in which Richard Dreyfuss eventually makes a pilgrimage to the lonely radio station where Wolfman Jack spins discs all night for his remote audience of lovesick teenagers.
“Midnight Radio” has the tone and pacing of a good Twilight Zone episode, only updated to the current millennium fashion-wise with its tattooed and pierced heroine. Like a Serling tale, this story conveys the sense of stepping cautiously and warily into an alternate reality. Once she hears that strange radio station, the nameless young protagonist seems trapped between two dimensions, fully belonging to neither and starting to feel frustration over that fact. Like any decent Twilight Zone character, the woman is compelled onward by her curiosity and her desire to understand this parallel world. By the story’s end, she has received a definitive and satisfying answer to her queries, forever altering the course of her life.