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Take Your Hits and Get Back Up!

The Raucous World of Roller Derby is the Backdrop for Exploring Friendship in Slam!

Slam! #1 is about friendship. It is about falling and getting back up, self-esteem, and cat parenting. And, oh yeah, it’s about roller derby!

Slam! is a new series from Boom! Box by Pamela Ribon (Rick and Morty) with art by Veronica Fish. Issue #1 follows two new inductees into the world of roller derby. Jennifer Chu is getting her Masters in Geology and is lonely in her extra curricular activities. Maisie Huff, who recently had her future ripped from her when her 3-year relationship ended all of a sudden, is trying to move on with her life. Both find each other and form an inseparable bond through roller derby.

But after the Rookie Rumble, the girls are separated. They are drafted onto opposing teams. The series looks to explore if the friendship be enough to hold them together. Or if the rigor of the derby smash their relationship.

The Bonds of Friendship Explored

This is a story with chutzpah and tenacity. Each character and relationship, clearly defined, and exposes new sides to the roller derby world. There is a wide range of emotion in this first issue. Maisie’s depression is tangible and slows the world down. Meanwhile, Jennifer’s passion and hope kicks things back into high gear.

Slam #1 mixes charm and whimsy with comedy as well. The issue is great about implementing exposition in unique ways. Instead of thought bubbles and narrations, at times there are charts and physical bits. These moments really let the visual storytelling shine.

The art by Fish is dynamic. It’s also absolutely fierce and terribly adorable. The expression of movement is sharp and relatable. Because Fish is so precise with every detail, her phrasing is fluid and her emotional beats feel natural. There is a seamless transition from the gritty, intense world of derby to the quiet solitude of an apartment or warmth of a diner scene.


Slam #1, Boom! Studios, November 16, 2016, Written by Pamela Ribon Art by Veronica Fish, $3.99

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Written by Donovan Eilert

Donovan is a host on the comics podcast "Panel on Panels". He has mastered the art of making his co-host roll their eyes. In addition to podcasting, Donovan can be found sipping tea, playing the ukulele and daydreaming about being the first zookeeper on Mars. Full disclosure: This article was most likely read/edited by Donovan's cat Artoo.