So back when I was a DJ at my last radio station, there was a time when I came in at 6am to take over from an overnight DJ who went by the DJ name of Barb Wire. Barb was great fun. She loved all kinds of music, and liked to share it — she’d burn me a CD (and I did the same for her), or she’d give me something she’d found that she wanted me to review for the station. (She did in fact introduce me to Hugh Reed and the Velvet Underpants.) She called me “Tony the Tiger”, a nickname I wouldn’t have let anyone else call me. Barb was fun.

She was always looking for new music. She struck up relationships with bands and interviewed people on her shows (at times she was on two or three times a week; sometimes even four, over the holidays when people are out of town). She reviewed countless CDs for the station. And where overnight shifts can be kind of quiet and lonely, she had lots of callers and listeners. She loved the overnight shifts; she was a night person and liked to call herself a “vampire”.

Barb Unruh, AKA DJ Barb Wire, passed away a week ago, after a long battle with cancer. To the very end she was the same tireless volunteer she’d always been. She never missed a show.

This comic is a tribute to Barb, and to those days when I’d just started in radio, and I saw her every week. I will miss her. In my mind, Barb will always be as I’ve drawn her today: in that studio in the wee hours, spinning great music.