Due to the way the AM radio frequency signals bounce around the earth’s atmosphere, especially at night, AM radio station signals can often travel hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of miles.
Back then, before all-night television and the internet, I was always captivated by the strange, faraway radio stations that would fade in and out as I listened in the darkness. Country music from a station in Kentucky. People talking on a station way out in Pennsylvania. Amazing-sounding rock music from Chicago. All of it, drifting out of my little radio on waves of static. I’d almost never hear the same stations. A station I picked up once would never be heard from again. It was so cool…it was mysterious. I felt connected to the larger world, and I loved it.
That feeling of pulling in mystery stations from out of the late-night ether is what makes me love this digital comic ‘Midnight Radio.’ Drawn by Yael Nathan and written by Ehud Lavski, ‘Midnight Radio’ perfectly captures the mystery, and the intrigue, that comes from discovering a mysterious, unknown radio station.
Did you ever scan the radio dials late at night? If not, you should try it sometimes. The radio waves are out there, floating, waiting for you to pick them up.
‘Midnight Radio’ also reminds me of one of my favorite flicks, George Lucas’ ‘American Graffiti.’ The entire film features music blasting from car radios, as the teens of 1963 cruise up and down the streets of their small California town. And the scene where Richard Dreyfuss’ character drives out to the radio station to try to get their help in finding the mysterious girl in the white Thunderbird….well, it too perfectly captures the magic, the mystery and the allure of late-night radio.
The whole film is available to stream on Amazon Prime if you’re so inclined. Do yourself a favor and check it out if you’ve never seen it.