Heavy Vinyl, Vol.1: Riot on the Radio by Carly Usdin & Nina Vakueva


Content/Trigger Warnings: Anxiety, panic attacks, a lot of self doubt, verbal bullying/harassment

“I’ll show them. I’m gonna get really good at the guitar and then they’ll have to let me in their super secret band.”

Starry-eyed Chris has just started the dream job every outcast kid in town wants: working at Vinyl Mayhem. It’s as rad as she imagined; her boss is BOSS, her co-workers spend their time arguing over music, pushing against the patriarchy, and endlessly trying to form a band. When Rosie Riot, the staff’s favorite singer, mysteriously vanishes the night before her band’s show, Chris discovers her co-workers are doing more than just sorting vinyl . . . Her local indie record store is also a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club! 

Main Characters

🌻ChrisNewest member at Vinyl Destination, still finding their self and expanding their music taste
🌻 MaggieChris’s crush, likes everything, has two dads
🌻 DoloresResident goth, second most newest person at Vinyl Destination, Chris’s arch nemesis, lives on her own, large family
🌻 KennedyMusic encyclopedia, trying to expand Chris’s music horizon, has a boyfriend named Logan
🌻 IreneVinyl Destination manager, Chris wants to be just like her, has a cute dog, has a female partner

Chris is a seventeen year old who feels like they finally found their little corner in this big world. Vinyl Destination is the coolest place in town with some of the coolest chicks around and Chris desperately wants to be one of the gang. But things seem like they’re becoming more of an outcast more and more. Until the leader of Chris’s favorite band goes missing and suddenly their world has been flipped upside down where secrets start coming to light. Everything that they thought things were, suddenly aren’t and now Chris is just trying to find their place among the chaos!

“And then there’s me. Who am I? I thought music would be a way to figure that out…I guess I’m still looking.”

Let me start thing off with this….So much diversity! So much representation and I can’t get over it! We have a Puerto Rican girl and an African American girl, both so unique characters with their personalities, but so amazing in their own ways with their skills. Then we get a female-female main couple and they are just the cutest ever, and did I mention they’re a biracial couple too!? We also have Maggie who is the daughter of two gay dads, one who apparently loves to cook his heart out and I’m here for it! And we get all the girl on girl crushing our little hearts could desire! Maggie and Chris are the cutest and their interactions are the purest thing ever!

Now that I’m done gushing, this comic did a fantastic job at sticking with a solid story-line. There were times where things felt very rushed, but it still stuck with the story-line. I can’t begin to how often I’ve gone into a comic book and the story-line felt muddle or a little all over the place. Thankfully, this was the opposite of some of my past reads! While it does have a weird-absurd concept, the dialogues were so well suited for this comic and the mood of each page. At times funny, clever, some heart breaking moments, and those soft moments that just warm the heart.

I already mention the great representation and diversity this book has to offer, but the cast of characters is simply too amazing not to mention again! There’s so much individuality among all these characters. The story-line also helps to connect and let the reader create a bond with the characters for who they are. The reader will find someone among with this amazing group of people someone they can relate or they can connect with. For me personally, I felt connected to Chris and Irene who both have traits that I resonate with.

“How much of that did you hear? Enough to know that y’all are definitely hiding something from me!”

While on the subject of amazing characters, that girl on girl crush was such a mood for me with this comic! I had some full blown nostalgic vibes when I had my first crush on a girl. I became so invested in the whole crush that I couldn’t stop myself from rooting for both Maggie and Chris. That slow burn romance was everything and I was here for every second of it. I I could put a love burn romance in ever comic book then I would! Even those little moments, absolutely precious and I can’t get over how great it was!

My biggest issues with this comic were a few minor things and one major issue. My biggest issues is broken into two parts. First, was how Dolores character was setup. The author made it so pain-staking obvious on why Dolores was such a bully towards Chris. I thought there was going to be more to it, but it’s not. It’s exactly what you think it is and I just wasn’t feeling it. Not to mention, Chris and Dolores making up felt a little rushed to me and I personally wasn’t feeling it. I feel like more work could have been put into Dolores and her character. Also, the second major thing that definitely doesn’t fit this entire comic…I’m sorry but since when is tripping a guy and then kicking the guy out of a store for saying he doesn’t like a certain artist to a girl empowering, even if the guy has a douchebug-y attitude, or since when is flirting with a guy and then joking about “trying to get some free nachos” being feminist? Kicking boys’ butts and exclaiming that you ‘fight the patriarchy’ doesn’t make you a feminist, it makes you look a terrible person for treating someone so poorly. There are better ways these situations could have been handled or written, but to me, it made these girls come off as obnoxious, disrespectful, and bullies. For me personally, it made me cringe. Along with that, there were parts that felt rushed or like a little more detail could have been added in. And my last real issue with this comic, there isn’t a lot of action. If you were going into this comic thinking there was going to be a lot of butt-kicking, there’s literally only two panels where there’s a little action. So that’s something to keep in mind.

Overall, this was a quirky little comic that sets things up very nicely for any future comics. I’m eager for a little more action and butt-kicking, but I’m so here for these amazing characters. Also, Kennedy and Logan have some of the cutest moments in this comic. I’m so ready for more! I did have a few issues with this comic, but I still ended up flying through this comic fairly decently. If you’re looking for some queer themed, fast paced reading then this is the comic for you!

“There’s no mission too big or too small. And Vinyl Destination is just the tip of the iceberg.”


3 thoughts on “Heavy Vinyl, Vol.1: Riot on the Radio by Carly Usdin & Nina Vakueva

  1. Pingback: June 2019 Wrap Up

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