Issue 2 opens up a new lens on our characters later in life as we get a more in-depth look at some of their lives in the 2011 timeline, 15 or so years after their college experiences. Naturally, the passage of a decade and a half is enough to change anyone—not to mention the fact that as a group, they have all shared a trauma that informs who they became as full-formed adults—but I still had the challenge of building a future for each character that was able to tie-in with who they were when we first met them in university.
Without giving away any spoilers, I wanted to have at least a handful of Dead Air’s characters have their careers and life choices linked to their college radio days. As a campus DJ myself, I spent a big part of my 20s in the music world, whether it was performing or promoting in the rave scene (experiences I chronicled in our previous book, Code 45). It wasn’t FM, but it was the next step in my own journey towards exploring what music meant in my life.
As a result, I tried to come up scenarios on the page that reflected the crooked, meandering path that a passion for music and a love of being on the mic can set someone down. I also kept in mind that, just as new technology like D-TALq had flipped society upside down, the state of broadcasting was also likely to change considerably between the 90s and the 2010s, just like it did in the real world.
I’ve also always been a fan of those sequences you come across in TV and film where “the team” gets back together, and you get a hint of what their new lives are like before they rejoin the group and old dynamics get re-established. I was happy that Dead Air’s story unfolded in such a fashion that I could work in my own tribute to that trope, with a comic book twist.
Sometimes as a writer you get lucky, and you are able to give your characters choices that don’t just feel logical, and rooted in their on past, but which also serve to help push the plot forward during two very different eras in a narrative. That’s what happened here in Dead Air Issue 2, where an unexpected link forged from our older character’s new lives ends up putting them in a position to play a key role in cracking the mystery facing the group of friends.