"In the fast-paced, hard-hitting, super cheeky, all-female world of banked track roller derby, two young women will have to decide if their budding friendship is stronger than the pull of a team when a win is on the line."
I have a lot of friends who play roller derby, so I have some idea of what goes on. It's rough, it'll make you tough, but you'll also meet some amazing people in the sport. In volume one of Slam!, which collects issues #1-4, we see just that.
Our main focus is on Jennifer and Maisie, who meet by chance at a derby tryout session. The two hit it off, and we follow them as their friendship grows, then crumbles, then comes back together again. Both of the girls are great, fleshed-out characters, with real problems that anyone can relate too. The first four issues take us through their triumphs and struggles as they try to find their feet in the world of roller derby.
Writer Pamela Ribon creates a believable world filled with strong and diverse women. She uses an array of ways to convey the story, too, from text messages, and narration. It isn't really a dialogue-heavy book, so there really isn't much filler. Everything is to the point.
Artist Veronica Fish is gracious with the different types of bodies we see in the book. There are big and small women, short and tall, athletic, etc. There's a good variety of body types in here, and they're all celebrated in a positive way. Every woman is portrayed as strong, which at the end of the day is really amazing. Their facial expressions are great, too, which helps tell the story when there's little to no dialogue. These characters are real, or at the very least, we know people like them somewhere in our lives.
Colorists Brittany Peer and Laura Langston have done some great work here, too. They don't hold back on color, with brilliant shades of blue, pink, and purple highlighting the book. The art is simply beautiful.
If you're into strong women, or just roller derby in general, Slam! is the book for you. I can't wait for volume 2.