Writer: Pamela Ribon
Artist: Veronica Fish
Colorist: Brittany Peer
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Boom! Box
A review by Gregory Brothers
Lets be honest, all most of us ever want is to find a place where we feel like we fit in. Places where we feel that we can be our true selves and not be judged for whatever quirks we think that we have. Slam #1 introduces us to two different women who are coming from two completely different places but have the same goal in the end, to find that place where they fit in.
First, we meet Jennifer Chu, also known as Knockout. She is a college student who is getting a Masters degree in geology, is single and giving up on dating, and has parents who want her to move back home. Second, we have Maisie Huff, also known as Ithinka Can. She is a recently single after a long relationship, young professional, who is adjusting to her new normal. What brings them to roller derby is two completely different reasons as one is recruited to join, while the other shows up after seeing a flyer. Despite their different reasons for joining the group, the two become fast friends. They become such close friends that once the idea of not seeing each other on a daily basis creeps into their minds, they decide to become roommates.
Slam#1 seems like it is going to be more of a slice of life type story and it does that very well. At the end of this first issue, I already wanted to know more about these two women and how Derby had changed them and how much more it will change them. The end of Slam #1 leads us to assume that in the future, both of these women will be facing some adversity, and the way that Ribon draws you in with her story telling makes me truly interested in what the adversity will be and how it may effect them.
Both Jennfer and Maisie get their own splash page early in their story, in which the drawing is split into a Pre-Derby side and a Post-Derby side with notes and facts about each part. This is a unique way to give you a quick background of both of these characters and understand better where they are coming from without wasting time. The list of ten facts about your new Derby life gives the reader a peak into some of the things that, not only Jennifer and Maise will go through as new members of the roller derby family, but anyone who decides to join the roller derby life will go through.
The art is well done. You can feel the emotion that is being portrayed throughout the issue. Most of it is done in a traditional panel set up with unique takes like the previously mentions splash pages of Jennifer and Maise added in. I also appreciate the panels that are drawn to seem as if they were taken from someone’s scrapbook. It helps add to the slice of life feel of the book.
Buy it! In a genre filled with superheroes, villains, and alien invasions, Slam #1 is the perfect slice of life book that tells the story of two women, broken or damaged in their own way, and their journey to find their group of people. Ribon does and excellent job creating and presenting the characters in a way that you feel a connection with them. By the end of Slam #1 you feel as if have really gotten to know these women and the beginning of their struggles. Fish’s art complements the story perfectly and some of the unique takes gives the reader new ways to learn about Jennifer and Maisie. If you are looking for a book that is going to focus on personal struggles and finding your place in this crazy world we live in, Slam #1 will fill that need.