Roller Women

Slam! Volume One written by Pamela Ribon, Illustrated by Veronica Fish. BOOM! Box, 2017. 9781684150045. Contains SLAM! #1 – #4.

Two friends, Jennifer Chau (muscular, brainy student studying for a masters in geology) and her friend Maisie Huff (skinny, recently dumped) meet when they’re freshies, new to roller derby. Roller derby gives participants many things: bruises, friends, enemies, and a sense of who they are. Jen and Maisie are drafted by different teams. Jen’s team’s all-star jammer seems to have a personal problem with her, while the less athletic Maisie struggles with her confidence and skating skills. After some drama when they’re both working with a new crop of freshies, their friendship seems over, and then their teams have a bout against each other.

Fish’s art really conveys the power of the derby without going over the top, and the panel layouts give the action just the right pace. Props to Pamela Ribon’s writing, too — she was (according to the cover) one of the writers of Disney’s Moana— her script allows the story to achieve a great balance between the words and pictures.

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