SLAM! is a comic series about roller derby, which packs a punch with its use of bright colours and slapstick comedy. Cos if we know anything about roller derby, it’s that you will inevitably fall down, especially if you’re a newbie (aka ‘fresh meat’ in derby-land). A contact sport on wheels doesn’t give you much of a chance.
While I don’t play roller derby myself, I have many friends that do or have in the past, and rubbing shoulders with them has given me a little insight into the ferocious sport that has captured the hearts of so many girls I know. The rules may be confusing, but the strong sisterhood is palpable. If roller derby had been in its prime when I was a teen, I’d have been ALLLLL over it I’m sure! I played field hockey like they play derby; fast and often a bit physical with other players. So I get it. It’s a rush that can’t be beat.
“You get slammed on the track and slammed in life,
and in both cases you have to take your hits and get back up again!”
SLAM‘s artistic style and subject matter appealed to me (yes, I often judge my books by their covers, I’m a designer, I can’t help it!). I loved the story of two girls who bonded at derby try-outs, only to have their friendship tested by being drafted to opposing teams, with new boyfriends and mentors and fan-girls added into the mix. Their story was so familiar to those I’ve witnessed from friends of mine, which is not surprising as writer Pamela Ribon is a Los Angeles Derby Doll herself.
Pamela and artist Veronica Fish have done a brilliant job capturing the fun but trying essence of the sport, and what it is to be a part of a roller derby team. It’s all-encompassing, and becomes something of a lifestyle choice, where your team is like a second family (or perhaps takes precedence over your actual family!). My current lifestyle choice is that I’m a self-employed business owner, so try as the local derby girls might, I don’t have the space in my life for roller derby. I love my Moxi skates and I love rollerskating, but I’m keeping it chill for now.
So if you’re into roller derby, this is an obvious pick for you, but if you’re into bad-ass chicks, sisterhood, and some rough and tumble action, then I’d highly recommend this comic for you too. This particular one is Volume 1, which is a collection of the first four comic issues, while the issues for Vol.2 The Next Jam is being released over the next few months (can’t wait!). In the meantime, Vol.1 is a great stand-alone story to start with and gets a huge tick from me!
With War Paint and Bum-Bruises,