Comic Review of “Heavy Vinyl: Riot on the Radio” by Carly Usdin and Nina Vakueva

In the late 1990s, Chris is a typical teenage girl living a perfectly ordinary life. She works at the local record store, has a crush on one of her coworkers, and fantasizes about starting a girl band. However, her life takes a dramatic turn when the local record store turns out to be just a front for a vigilante girl’s fight club.

Heavy Vinyl: Riot on the Radio is the first volume in a series of 5 works, and Usdin ensures that every volume brings something new to the table. Chris may be the protagonist, and as ambitious, positive and excitable she is, Chris is by no means the only memorable personality in this story. There’s Maggie, an adorable girl who could break your neck that Chris has a huge crush on, Kennedy, the second-in-command with an encyclopedic knowledge of music, Dolores, an edgy goth girl that proclaims herself as Chris’s rival, and Irene, the cool manager of the store that teaches the girls how to fight the patriarchy. This story is made so much more impactful by these characters because the diversity of the girls is so palpable, yet they are all fighting for the same goal.

The comic itself is very feminist because it empowers these girls to be able to take down their oppressors, whether they be the corporate tyranny trying to take over the music industry, or just a sexist jerk in the record store telling women what “real” music sounds like. These girls have been given the strength and the training to handle these situations with grace, and no mercy. I find this comic to be a wonderful form of escapism, because in a world where we don’t get to choose what happens to us, it’s nice to get lost in a world where good people fight for what’s right and get to live happily ever after.

Heavy Vinyl: Riot on the Radio is a story about young girls loving music, growing up and, of course, fighting for what’s right. For fans of comics like “Paper Girls” or “Giant Days”, I highly recommend checking out this heartfelt, action packed adventure at your local comic book store.

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